2012 November 28
Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com View Gallery
A fleet of uptowners clinked champs last night to celebrate Monique Lhuillier's brand new flagship at 19 East 71st Street. Bronson Van Wyck, Jennifer Creel, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, and Steven Kolb were a few of the notables who congregated inside the two-story, 19th century townhouse to eye the ready-to-wear on the first floor and bridal on the second—not to mention those glorieux Waterford chandeliers! But before the doors swung open at 6:30 p.m. to the sounds of Harley Viera Newton on deejay duty, Lhuillier hopped on the tele for a tête à tête.
Congrats on the flagship!
Thank you! It's so nice to finally have one in New York City. It's been a long-term dream of mine. In 2008, we were very close to opening one, but something happened with the landlord so we decided not to do it. The next day the financial crisis hit. I thought, 'It's a sign!' For this space, we found the ground floor first, not knowing that the second floor would become available. We combined the spaces and added in a glass staircase for a total of 3,000 square feet.
What's your favorite element of the store?
When you walk in you feel like you're in a jewelry box. It's luxurious, but in a quiet way. I love the 22 foot ceilings.
What was your greatest challenge during this process?
The construction took us so long. We had the space for over a year and a half! Since this is a townhouse, we just kept discovering more things every time we tore something down.
What prompted you to choose an Upper East Side location?
When we were looking for spaces, we only looked in this part of town. I live in L.A., but fly to New York often and stay in this part of the city. It's what I know of New York. It's the DNA of our brand. I always knew my customer lived in this area and shopped here.
What hotel do you prefer?
We have three favorites: The Mark, The Lowell, and The Carlyle.
What are some of your favorite UES haunts?
I love to eat in the restaurant at The Mark, and Le Bilboquet is a place I've been going to for years.
What type of music do you typically play in your stores?
A lot of loungy, French music. When I'm at home, I Iike a range. It varies from classical to Bruno Mars. He's so soulful, and his lyrics are great. What's not to love? We also listen to Rihanna and Katy Perry. We have young children, so that explains Katy Perry.
What are your favorite party staples?
Champagne, white wine, and tequila. Notice how it's all clear drinks...
Any holiday plans in the works?
I'm kicking off the holidays at the New York Botanical Garden gala on Dec. 14th with my children. On Dec. 21st, we'll fly to the Philippines to holiday with my family for ten days. There will be a lot of bonding. I'm not good in the kitchen, though. I'm okay with admitting that!
What's on your wish list?
A new store. I'd love to open up in Hong Kong or the Philippines since we're building a nice international following.
Do you plan on expanding into different categories as well?
Down the line, maybe next year, I'd love to start the process of building a fragrance. I already have floral and citrus scents in my head!
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