Sonja Rubin and Kip Chapelle were among the pioneers of the Meatpacking District when they opened their store there in 2002. Although this store closed in 2013, designers at Rubin & Chapelle returned to Manhattan with the opening of ‘a store later this week at 964 Madison Avenue between 75th and 76th Streets.
The duo, who met at the Fashion Institute of Technology, created their women’s brand in 1997 and in their heyday counted Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus among their retail clients. Their collection is known for its sleek and sophisticated silk dresses, pants and tops that easily drape over the body. The line is now sold exclusively directly on the brand’s e-commerce site as well as in its Malibu store.
The Malibu unit opened in 2011 and features a gallery-style design that was used as a prototype for the two-level store on New York’s Upper East Side. Both were designed by Annabelle Selldorf.
Chapelle said he and Rubin were set to sign a lease for the store in January, just before the pandemic-fueled lockdown, but have waited until now to take the plunge. The brand’s sales rebounded from a decline at the start of the health crisis, giving them the confidence to revisit their retail plans.
“New York is a tough environment for retail, but it’s such an iconic place,” he said. “We just felt it was a good time to open a store.”
Rubin said they never considered returning to the Meatpacking District, as the neighborhood has changed dramatically since they operated there almost ten years ago. But the Upper East Side with its upscale hotels, galleries, and proximity to Central Park was the main motivator for taking up this space.
The store, which spans two levels, is “not really big, but it’s unique,” Chapel said. As a result, the assortment offered at the store will be organized and the rest of the range will be presented on screens displayed on the walls.
What gets worn are the duo’s bias and spiral silk tops, dresses and jackets, designed to be worn from day to night. Daywear and a new collection of bags are marketed on the ground floor, while a bespoke program is hosted on the second floor where customers can select fabrics and silhouettes and place orders that can be delivered in one. week only. Prices include $ 680 for tops and $ 920 for pants at $ 1,850 to $ 7,200 for evening. The collection is produced in New York City and new offerings are expected to ship every four to six weeks, they said.
The bags, a new category for Rubin & Chapelle, are influenced by equestrian, saddle and bridle equipment, and consist of four styles and colourways crafted with recycled leather and made in the USA from handcrafted tanned leather. plant-based in local tanneries and blended. in Manhattan. The price of the collection ranges from $ 890 to $ 1,850.
In addition to building their designer collection, Rubin and Chapelle teach a four semester fashion thesis program at FIT where they have invited guest speakers such as Hussein Chalayan, Dr Valerie Steele and Edward Buchanan.
The store’s official opening date is Wednesday.