Downtown clothier heads north to UWS

By Patrick Egan | November 01, 2010 04:00PM

At left: Rag & Bone’s newest location at 182 Columbus Avenue. At right: Rag & Bone at 100 Christopher Street in the West Village

Rag & Bone, the downtown clothier with Kentucky roots, opened an 1,100-square-foot store this past weekend at 182 Columbus Avenue, between 68th and 69th streets, enhancing the area’s fashion sensibility. The upscale brand signed a 10-year lease for half of the ground-floor retail space in this five-story landmarked building. Brokers representing the property owners declined to disclose the final rent but said the asking rent was $315 per foot.

The arrival of Rag & Bone and its award-winning designers demonstrates the continuing transformation of the area. The two-block stretch, between 67th and 69th streets along Columbus Avenue, is gradually reinventing itself as a fashionista destination. The process required some pioneers and good fortune.

“It’s become a North Soho,” said Henry Goldfarb, vice chairman at Grub & Ellis, who represented AIMCO, the landlord. “It started about five years ago when Reiss opened.”

The UK-based men’s and women’s fashion label was soon joined by Burberry and Wink, according to Goldfarb, who added that the relocation of Fashion Week activities to Lincoln Center has added to the Upper West Side’s sartorial profile.

Rag & Bone, which sells high-end everyday clothes, including T-shirts ($80), ballet flats ($290) and mittens ($195), will split the ground-floor space with the French label Comptoir des Contonniers. Four floors with 16 rental apartments sit above the retail space, according to city records.  

AIMCO is better known for its national multi-family portfolio, but Goldfarb said the real estate investment trust owns more than a dozen assets like this — retail on the bottom, apartments above — across Manhattan. 

The new store represents Rag & Bone’s first foray north of the West Village, where they have two stores, along with a pair of stores in Soho. The company also recently opened a store in Tokyo. Neither Rag & Bone nor its brokers at Robert K. Futterman returned calls for comment.