Why would a chic designer boutique located on Rodeo Drive -- the golden triangle of high-end retail -- make a neighborhood move? That's what I asked myself when I saw a large sign on the more southern end of Rodeo Drive -- between Brighton Way and Dayton -- that read, "Valentino Coming Soon."
The location is between the YSL boutique and Dolce & Gabbana, right across the street from Prada, Dior, Gucci and Miu Miu. But why make a move to a locale a block away? It's obviously very expensive!
The boutique, now at 360 N. Rodeo Drive, situated right next to the Luxe Hotel, did confirm the move, but said they don't know when the new Valentino will open. One thing I've deduced -- the stores a block down, like YSL and Dolce -- are raking in more bucks than the ones where the current Valentino store is. Not only that, in designer retail, image is everything. And just like with celebrities, everybody wants to be with the A-list - even if the A-list is changing all the time.
Meanwhile, Valentino is still bustling amongst celebs, even though Valentino himself retired. The current design team of Pierpaulo Picciolli and Maria Grazia Chiuri -- both with virtually unpronounceable names -- are doing very pronounced looks, according to fashion insiders.
Their spring 2012 collection was a giant hit with celebs like Jessica Biel, who attended. And Anne Hathaway has already worn a next season Valentino this past weekend, to the Spike TV Scream Awards. Well, soon enough, they'll have a brand new VIP room to try on frocks in.