Valentino expands in Dallas as it dumps NYC flagship

Italian brand’s newly expanded store will offer luxury menswear

47 Highland Park Village in Dallas, Texas and Valentino CEO Jacopo Venturini (Adam Stewart, Nick Hunt/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
47 Highland Park Village in Dallas, and Valentino CEO Jacopo Venturini (Adam Stewart, Nick Hunt/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

What does Dallas have that Fifth Avenue doesn’t? A Valentino, for one.

While the Italian luxury brand tries to escape its prestigious post in New York, it is expanding its presence in Dallas.

The ritzy retailer will add 690 square feet to its 2,505-square-foot boutique in Highland Park Village, a shopping center where it has had a presence since 2017. The Highland Park Village shopping center is also home to luxe standbys Chanel, Christian Louboutin and Cartier.

Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli and David Chipperfield Architects developed the store concept, which will include grey Venetian terrazzo, black metal, carrara marble and green velvet panels. Shoppers can spend their federal CARES Act relief checks on a fanny pack for $1,195 — or carry away two pairs of low-top sneakers for $595 each.

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Valentino was not able to provide details on the transaction.

According to Highland Park Village, Valentino’s expansion has been in the works since at least February. Despite the pandemic, the expansion will debut at the end of this month. Texas entered phase three of reopening June 3, and retailers have been allowed to operate at 50 percent of occupancy since early May.

Valentino’s Dallas spread comes as the Italian brand is aiming to escape Fifth Avenue, although it will keep its Madison Avenue location. Earlier this week, the brand sued its Fifth Avenue landlord to escape its pricey lease on the formerly coveted corridor, alleging that its difficulties there will outlast the Covid-19 crisis.

“In the current social and economic climate, filled with Covid-19-related restrictions, social distancing measures, a lack of consumer confidence and a prevailing fear of patronizing in-person, ‘non-essential’ luxury retail boutiques, Valentino’s business at the premises has been substantially hindered and rendered impractical, unfeasible and no longer workable,” its complaint said.

Before the pandemic, e-commerce had been chipping away at brick-and-mortar stores, but for three months has been gobbling up market share. Several large retailers — including J. Crew and Neiman Marcus — filed for bankruptcy this spring.