From Seoul to Solil: Surfer-Chic Retailer WHO.A.U. Takes 12K Feet on 34th
Tom Acitelli Dec. 14, 2009, 5:29 p.m.
22 West 34th Street
You know the resurgence of the California dreamin’ ethos (more Hollister and The O.C. than the Mamas and the Papas) has become something larger than a trend when even South Korea is joining the sun-fueled surf party. WHO.A.U. is a new brand by the South Korean fashion conglomerate E-Land that debuted in the U.S. last year. With the brand’s sepia-tinged advertisements lending a sun-bleached, slightly ’70s feel to their uniformly white cast of scantily clad teenagers, it’s hard to see just how it intends to differentiate itself from the Abercrombies and Hollisters selling similarly distressed $70 jeans.
But having already won the hearts and dollars of at least a few suburban teens in New Jersey and Connecticut, the brand is opening its flagship New York store at 22 West 34th Street. The asking rent for the ground-floor portion of the store’s 12,000 square feet was, according to Crain’s, near $400 a square foot.
Faith Hope Consolo and Joseph Aquino of Prudential Douglas Elliman represented the tenant for the 10-year lease. Landlord Solil Management Corp. was represented in-house.