LOS ANGELES — Gucci is planting a flag on Melrose Place, bringing its blockbuster Adidas collaboration to the famed shopping stretch on June 7.
The Italian brand is taking over the now-shuttered Marc Jacobs space at the top of the street, which boasts an ever-evolving mix of luxury players including Balmain, Bottega Veneta, The Row, Chloé, Golden Goose, Oscar de la Renta and Marni; indie favorites Rachel Comey, Forte Forte, LoveShackFancy, Zimmerman and soon-to-open By Far accessories, and local Los Angeles brands Monique Lhuillier, Irene Neuwirth, Frame and Staud.
Alessandro Michele debuted the Adidas collection during his February Gucci runway show in Milan, telling WWD it would be sold through dedicated pop-up shops worldwide.
In addition to the 3,500-square-foot, ivy-covered L.A. space, which will have the largest assortment, the Adidas x Gucci collection will also pop-up at South Coast Plaza’s Jewel Court in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Adidas x Gucci installations will pop-in Gucci locations at New York’s Fifth Avenue, Wooster Street and East Hampton; Chicago’s Michigan Avenue; Houston’s Galleria, Atlanta’s Lenox mall; Miami’s Aventura mall, and Toronto’s Holt Renfrew Yorkdale store.
The luxury house has lots of plans for social as well, with a dedicated Adidas x Gucci Instagram filter, a TikTok challenge and TikTok Live.
The collaboration mashes up the red-hot streetwear category with Gucci’s Italian sartorial tradition to create elevated track dresses, tailored suits and more.
“The idea was to break the codes of sportswear,” Michele said.
Sneakerheads will find a special version of the Adidas Gazelle style, available in a wide range of colors, as well as flamboyant rainbow platforms. Gucci’s Horsebit loafers in leather or suede are enriched with both brands’ three stripes, while the Adidas Trefoil pops up on statement clogs and leather pumps. Terry-fabric slides are another fun addition in the footwear department.
Handbags come in sporty canvas with the brand’s signature equestrian-inspired hardware. Duffel bags in different sizes, as well as camera bags, display both brand names — with the Florentine house’s spelled backward — or rendered in the same geometric graphics that appear on ready-to-wear.
Gucci’s relationship to Melrose Place will not end with the Adidas pop-up. The brand will introduce a new concept for the space in the fall, signaling an intent to stay, and make the location the brand’s third in the L.A. area after Rodeo Drive and the Beverly Center.
Since 2005 when Marc Jacobs first opened, leafy Melrose Place has been second only to Rodeo Drive as the epicenter of high-end fashion and retail in L.A., driving rents from $120 a square foot annually in the early days to a high of $240 a square foot in 2019.
COVID-19 cooled the selfie and shopping scene, forcing several stores to close, including Jacobs’. But there has been new momentum building, and Gucci’s arrival should fuel even more luxury competition.
The street had been devoid restaurants, except for the Instagram-popular Alfred Tea Room, but the three-story Melroseplace restaurant was opened earlier this month in the former Allbright private club.
The 8,000-square-foot, all-day dining space (with free valet) was conceived by Sunset Collective, the hospitality group behind the nearby Offsunset, and counts the Sneaker Garden streetwear and collector kicks store founder Shyon Keoppel among its ranks.
Caviar Kaspia is also opening on Melrose Place as part of its U.S. expansion, as is Catch Steak, which should both help with foot traffic.
A Globe Trotter store and the first U.S. Biologique Recherche flagship spa are also in the works, adding to beauty offerings from L.A.-based Facile and Violet Grey, now owned by Farfetch.
Whether the street can regain its previous sales per square foot glory remains to be seen. Rothy’s cofounder Roth Martin said the Melrose Place outpost is the worst-performing store in his fleet, Maria Cornejo closed her Melrose Place store in 2020 and Carolina Herrera abandoned the street a few years ago in favor of a CH space on Rodeo Drive.