Leases  ·  Retail

Japanese Fashion Designer Yohji Yamamoto Returns to SoHo in US Reentry

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The Japanese luxury fashion brand Yohji Yamamoto is back stateside — in SoHo to be exact — more than a decade after it left, Commercial Observer has learned. 

Yohji Yamamoto snagged 2,300 square feet for 10 years at 52 Wooster Street at the southeast corner of Broome Street, just a few blocks from its former SoHo shop at 103 Grand Street, according to Sinvin Real Estate’s Christopher Owles and Sarah Shannon, who brokered the deal for the tenant and the landlord, respectively. 

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“It’s such an iconic brand,” said Shannon. “[It’s] so exciting after the pandemic to have this brand have a renewed interest in SoHo.”

The deal, which closed at the end of last year, represents Yohji Yamamoto’s first foray into the U.S. market after its two SoHo stores abruptly closed in 2010 following the designer filing for bankruptcy and the fashion company restructuring. 

Yohji Yamamoto was drawn back to SoHo by the more affordable rents brought on by the pandemic, and a desire to serve its New York City customer base that had been relying on online ordering, Owles said. While its original SoHo outpost is now home to luxury designer Alexander Wang, the Japanese fashion company was excited to return to its old neighborhood haunts, Owles said.

“They were a popular brand back when Barneys was around and as you’re losing stores like that, I think it becomes more important for brands to have their own presence,” Owles said. “After such a long time out of this market, they really wanted the prominence of a corner location and some big windows so that they could create a very strong presence.”

The designer will move into 1,800 square feet on the ground floor and 500 square feet of basement space at the base of the six-story condominium between Broome and Grand streets in May, Owles said. The retail space was previously occupied by Hive & Colony, which relocated to a smaller space at 109 Mercer Street owned by the same landlord, Continental Ventures, during the pandemic.

Owles represented Yohji Yamamoto along with the brand’s Japan-based broker, Japan Asset AdvisorsKazuhiro Minami

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.