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2012 August 3

Vince's New UES Flagship Digs, Decoded

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Vince's new UES flagship Vince's new UES flagship
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(NEW YORK) Today, parfait staples purveyor Vince is throwing open the doors of its sparkling new UES flagship boutique, clocking in at nearly 2,000 square feet. Your Daily rang up Vince founder and president Christopher LaPolice for the full scoop on the fresh digs, plus the one Vince item he can't live without!

If you look at the brand today we sell $1,100 leather leggings and $2,000 shearling coats, we have really elevated the product and Madison Avenue and the history of what that street represents in terms of luxury and in terms of quality. We really felt like the brand belonged there, you know 6 or 7 years ago we hadn’t thought to open a store there because brand hadn’t quite found its path that it has been on. Also you have tourists and a wonderful hotel there, and it is a neighborhood. You have an amazing school and it’s a public school that we think many women will drop the women drop their kids off in car pools. So not only are we sort of able to think of the tourist and the people who come to shop the city for luxury but we are also able to be in what I consider a neighborhood where the Vince customer may have chosen to go down to our Washington street store or maybe have chosen some other retailer that Vince is carried in in the neighborhood and we thought if we present the product in a way that really represents the brand then why not do it. And certainly that space is such a fabulous space.
Do you have a favorite street on the Upper East Side?
Whenever I am there I certainly go to Eat and have a delicious Sunday brunch at that restaurant and the Carlyle hotel is certainly the favorite place to go have drinks. But most importantly I think our customer kind of lives and works there and I do believe it is a wonderful part of Madison Avenue when it comes to global visitors into New York City.

What makes the Upper East Side flagship-worthy?
Today we're selling $1,100 leather leggings and $2,000 shearling coats; we've really elevated the product. Madison Avenue's history represents luxury and quality. Now it feels like Vince belongs there. Six or seven years ago, we hadn’t thought to open a store there, because the brand hadn’t quite found its path. And it's certainly a fabulous space! 

What are your favorite UES haunts?
I love E.A.T. for delicious Sunday brunches. And The Carlyle hotel is certainly my favorite place for drinks. 

What's the biggest surprise in Vince's decade-plus trajectory?
As we've elevated the product to a more luxury level by introducing higher price points and more expensive categories, the Vince customer has been so receptive. That's the most rewarding thing! 

So who's Vince, anyway?
You know, I always try and think of a clever story, like that Vince was my dog or my uncle. My business partner, Rea Laccone, and I searched and searched; every time we thought we came up with a genius name, we'd go to the trademark bureau, and we kept getting no as an answer. We got to the end of the alphabet and tried Vince. It was really the first thing we were able to trademark! 

Who's your favorite Vince?
Many people think I'm Vince! But there are certainly a lot of good Vinces; Vincent Van Gogh, Vince Vaughn... 

Who's the Vince woman?
It's a woman who probably owns a few homes. It's always nice when a customer comes into Vince and buys the same item in multiples, because she wants to have one in her New York home, and one in the Hamptons, and another in Aspen! That's the customer we love; one who appreciates quiet luxury and subtle nuances. 

Do the prototypical Vince man and woman differ at all?
The Vince man is a bit more casual and slightly younger than the Vince woman. We've elevated the womens' product; it's more more sophisticated. 

What's your style like? 
I am the ultimate creature of habit! I am a man who wears a Vince navy blue cardigan, a white Vince shirt, and a pair of Vince jeans. I don't wear Vince shoes, because we don't do them yet; I wear Church's wingtipped shoes every day! It’s sad. I also own six cardigans, so it's almost like a uniform. I'm around creativity and inspiration all day, which makes it easy for me to just grab clothes in the morning without thinking about it. 

Which item would you have trouble functioning without?
A navy blue cardigan. Guys are really funny about cardigans. I think our design team makes its navy blue cardigans with me in mind!

How many cardi's are in your closet?
I own three different cardigans, with multiples of each one; I have three of the lightweight merino fine-gauge cardigan, for example. I might actually wear three different cardigans in a day. I’m not comparing myself to Steve Jobs, but think about how he dressed; he wore a black turtleneck and a pair of jeans every day. There are just people that are comfortable in a uniform. I'm one of them!  

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