Designers Dish: Irene Neuwirth

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Irene Neuwirth's star has shined brightly at Barneys New York for years, but now the jewelry guru is taking her act to West Hollywood for her first flagship store on the most designer-friendly street in town

Irene Neuwirth regularly posts dreamy pics on Instagram featuring her chic Venice, Calif., home. But soon, you won't need to score an exclusive invite (or drive to the Westside) to find out what it actually feels like to hang out in the native Californian's abode. In a few short weeks, the designer will open the doors to her first store, a flagship on Melrose Place designed to mirror Neuwirth's own pad. We caught up with the creative brain at LAXART's gala at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills on Sept. 27 to chat about her latest business venture.

So where exactly is the new store?

It’s on Melrose Place between Marni and Isabel Marant. The space became available and I jumped on it. It’s really the only place I would’ve looked on Melrose Place — the side of the block I wanted and the actual space itself is so beautiful. It’s the brick building with all the vines. It’s so great.

Why now?

I’ve been so careful on how I’ve grown my business and done it really slowly over time. We have so many women who collect pieces and a strong business with Barneys here in L.A. that we thought it was the perfect time to increase brand awareness and take it to the next level.

What can people expect to find in your first flagship?

I wanted it to feel like my house, so we have a big open kitchen and living room. We collaborated with [design firm] Commune. They did the Ace Hotel and are really, really talented. It’s really over-the-top. And there is a little jewelry gallery inside too, and I made 300 one-of-a-kind pieces for the store.

Tell me more about the pieces.

You’ll have to see. They really run the gamut; there are one-of-a-kind pieces that are $1,000 and it goes up to half a million dollars. It’s really crazy … so over-the-top.

You’re scheduled to open around Nov. 1, just in time for the always busy awards season. Was that part of the plan?

It think it will be a really good time to be there.

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