Speculation has run rampant over where wunderkind designer Alexander Wang would open his first store, but we hear Wang will be taking over the massive 103 Grand Street space formerly occupied by Yohji Yamamoto.
The fact that Wang -- whose star has skyrocketed in the past couple of years with the rise in popularity of his main collection, as well as his fast-selling line of basics, called "T" -- has been planning to open his own store has been something of an open secret in the industry, but the news formally broke in WWD June 1, when the designer said the first-ever shop would open "sometime this year" in New York.
We confirmed with Jane McVerry from the Lansco Corporation that the lease on 103 Grand was actually signed over a month ago, though McVerry couldn't disclose the name of the new tenant, since said tenant was still keeping the news under wraps. Thus far, there's been no response to our inquiry from Wang's PR.
There have been more than a few guesses about where clamored-over designer would choose to open, from the Lower East Side to the Meatpacking District, and if this rumor is right, the 103 Grand Street space will give Wang a significant chunk of real estate in Soho. The epic space has stood empty since Yohji Yamamoto abruptly shuttered both of his New York outposts back in January, and the square footage of the store would be more than enough for Wang's multitude of offerings -- from bags to shoes to dresses to t-shirts.
Soho makes sense for several reasons: Firstly, it's been having a bit of a renaissance in terms of designer stores -- from the recently-opened Isabel Marant store to the soon-to-open Diane von Furstenberg store (DVF being one of Wang's main mentors through the CFDA). Second, Wang himself recently moved into the area, saying he was sick of being in the Lower East Side because it seemed too obvious a match for him. "I'm going to prove them wrong," he told Style.com. Chances are, he's thinking similarly in terms of his retail outpost.