By Gabriela Resto-Montero
UPPER EAST SIDE — International labels, including Carolina Herrera, Ralph Lauren and Lanvin, could give Madison Avenue retail a boost as they open up new stores in the Upper East Side within the year.
Upper East Side residents with deep pockets walk from shop to shop and develop store loyalty, making Madison Avenue a big draw to retailers looking for a steady clientele in a shaky economy, said Matthew Bauer, president of the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District.
"They have established ties to the neighborhood, they're not going anywhere," Bauer said of Madison Avenue shoppers.
"That's why Madison Avenue evolved into what it is, because of the residential neighborhood that surrounds it," he added.
An enviable address alone, however, cannot carry a designer boutique. Emanuel Ungaro closed its store at 792 Madison Avenue in March, just one of several stores to shut down over the last year.
The fashion house struggled with the lease on the property and a dwindling brand that included Lindsay Lohan's brief stint as artistic adviser, according to published reports.
Fashion boutique Issey Miyaki also shuttered its 802 Madison Avenue shop last year. Carolina Herrera will use the storefront vacated by Miyaki between E. 67th and E. 68th Streets for her CH by Carolina Herrera brand. Herrera already has a store at 954 Madison Ave.
French design label Lanvin will open its flagship store at 815 Madison Ave., between E. 68th and E. 69th Sts., Bauer said. The store is expected to open in July.
Down the street, between E. 63rd and E. 64th Sts., Kimaya, an Indian haute couture house, will open its first U.S. store at 717 Madison Ave. in autumn.
Smaller businesses on the mile and a half corridor welcome the new additions.
"These stores are solid," said Frank Rey, who manages the Galo Shoes and Accessories store on E. 72nd Street and Madison Avenue.
"It's prestigious to be in New York on Madison Avenue," Rey said.
Also this fall, American designer Reed Krakoff is set to open a boutique at 831 Madison Ave. between E. 69th and E. 70th Streets.
The Ralph Lauren label is ubiquitous on the block between E. 71st and E. 72nd Streets where the designer has three separate boutiques for men, women and children.
Construction of a brand-new building to house Ralph Lauren's women's collection on the south west corner of E. 72nd Street and Madison was scheduled to be completed this spring.
The only street-level property not bearing Lauren's logo is St. James Church.