Although it has been open for months, The Plaza retail space has not received a lot of media attention or foot traffic. In fact, nearly every time I’ve been there, the sprawling space has been empty.
That said, the 240-square-foot Kenneth Jay Lane shop – which is actually more of a counter – is reason enough to check-out the underground mall.
The Lane counter was feted at an event this past week, despite already being open for over half a year. Attendees included Henry and Nancy Kissinger, Oscar de la Renta and H.R.H. Countess Arco.
The famed costume jewelry designer noted that he wanted to wait until the store was up and running, and until they got some decent signage so that people could find the store. “Now it’s starting to do nicely. It’s a great atmosphere, but it definitely took some time for shoppers to be aware of this area…running a store is not easy. In fact, running one store can be the same aggravation as running a dozen stores. It’s nice to have a showcase for your pieces, but I sell to such big stores that I have multiple showcases. I have New York City covered.”
The last store KJL owned was opened in 1982, located in the Trump Tower on upper Fifth Avenue. It lasted 10 years, and while the designer’s own boutiques have opened and closed over the years – including ones in New York, California and Charleston, S.C. — he has been selling to major department and specialty stores (Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor), continuously for years. The designer has also partnered with Avon and QVC on more affordable lines.
The new KJL store is a franchised partnership with Daniel Johnson and it sells both classic as well as the latest Kenneth Jay lane pieces. These are priced between $50 and $750.