This story first appeared in the Oct. 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
LVMH bought the Bulgari space at 319 N. Rodeo for the landmark price of $85 million in 2012, doubling the footprint of the space at neighboring 295 N. Rodeo to 7,100 square feet and becoming one of the largest stores in the world. As for Bulgari, once new owner and landlord LVMH decided to move in, the Italian jeweler decamped two blocks north between Brighton and Santa Monica (401 N. Rodeo, the former DeBeers store).
The luxe Swiss watchmaker opened its Beverly Hills store at 280 N. Rodeo in 2006, but on Oct. 3, the brand rolled out a new look. The cobalt blue walls are now all white, oval furniture replaced former heavier pieces, and the store was reformatted to fit more of its classic merchandise.
CH Carolina Herrera
Herrera already has her signature ladylike designer collection boutique on Melrose Place; CH, at 230 N. Rodeo, is her lower-priced line (Amy Adams and Kiernan Shipka are fans, and Sarah Hyland wore CH to the Emmys). "I always wait for the perfect place to open a store," says Herrera. "So I was excited when this Rodeo Drive location was available. Rodeo epitomizes Beverly Hills: the palm trees, the clean white buildings and luxurious shopping."
The Italian menswear brand is departing its 18-year-old space at 301 N. Rodeo. It will reopen its new Global Store at 337 N. Rodeo on Nov. 7, when Gildo Zegna and new design head Stefano Pilati (formerly of YSL) will debut Pilati's first Zegna collection. The new store was designed by Peter Marino (who has created 16 Zegna concept stores around the world), with more than 5,800 square feet of selling space on three floors.
The venerable British brand (pictured, left) will decamp from 9560 Wilshire to Zegna's space at 301 N. Rodeo once it's vacated and will open in fall 2014. The new space will be designed with creative director Christopher Bailey and include a bespoke experience of being able to create one's own iconic trench coat. "Relocating to Rodeo has always been of interest to Burberry," says Andrew Taylor, vp public relations, "and we were very patient to wait for the perfect piece of real estate."
Its West Coast global flagship at 366 N. Rodeo opens in November (with a Jan. 14 party to follow). The designer worked on the 4,800-square-foot space with architect Daniel Romualdez (hint: gold-leaf wallpaper, Moroccan mirrors). Red-carpet fans Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling no doubt will like the private VIP room.
Creative director Hedi Slimane's current reboot of the Rodeo boutique at 326 N. Rodeo likely will suit his signature rock 'n' roll image. The fall collection now is being housed at temporary space 469 N. Rodeo (the old Missoni), with 5,000 square feet of black and white interiors by Slimane himself, and will relocate back to 326 in 2014.
Wang is working with architect Brian Sawyer to create her first Beverly Hills flagship in 5,500 square feet at 428 N. Rodeo (after which she'll shutter her 8445 Melrose Ave. space). Sofia Vergara and Kaley Cuoco, who wore Wang's wares to the Emmys, will be happy to hear the store will open in February -- just in time for awards season.
The four-floor flagship (with VIP room) at 400 N. Rodeo, refreshed by Peter Marino in 2006, is so packed with tourists and locals, the French giant purchased the Lladro building next door at 408 N. Rodeo in May, reportedly paying $117 million for the 13,317-square-foot property -- the highest per-square-foot retail sale in L.A. County. When finished, it is sure to welcome brand loyalists like Drew Barrymore. Down the block, French juggernaut Hermes reopened in early September after an 18-month hiatus and a $20 million investment, with swimming-pool blue-tiled floors and interiors designed by Rena Dumas. As for Lladro, the Spanish figurine brand is seeking a new home in Beverly Hills after selling its building to Chanel. Whether it will remain on Rodeo is the question. Either way, the $117 million payday will make that decision easier.
SAVE THE DATE: OCT. 10 to 13
Twenty premier watchmakers gather for three days of new product introductions -- including Panerai's Luminor Submersible model -- and exhibitions. The fest, sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter, kicks off with an open house from 6 to 9 p.m. at Rodeo Drive and Brighton Way.