In the borough of Manhattan in New York City lies a passage to paradise and it’s called Fifth Avenue, one of the world’s most expensive and elegant streets. It’s a place where the biggest luxury brand names compete to get space; it’s almost like a validation of your value as a luxury brand and you really haven’t made it big if you haven’t made it to Fifth Avenue, New York. I wish the above stood true even today as COVID-19 has rendered even the biggest names in the luxury market helpless and on the contrary, these big names are now fighting to get out of the posh spot where rents start at $2,513 per square foot. The latest brand wanting an out from the hot-spot location is Italian designer brand Valentino; the high-end brand is suing the landlord of its flagship store on New York City’s Fifth Avenue, claiming the location is no longer considered prime real estate amid the coronavirus pandemic. Valentino leases four levels at the Fifth Avenue location and wants to break the lease with landlord 693 Fifth Owner, LLC by the end of the year, despite a contract that is slated to run through July 2029. A lawyer representing the landlord sent a letter on Friday disagreeing that Valentino has a right to surrender the lease. Valentino isn’t the first high-fashion brand to have taken this step; not too long ago Victoria’s Secret has sued its landlord to get out of its Herald Square lease also brands like J.Crew, which filed bankruptcy, and Pier 17 have also suspended payments.
The Valentino boutique on 54th street is two blocks south of Trump Tower and with elite neighbors that include Versace, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. I’m sure the brand would hate to lose a spot here but by their own admission, ‘business at the premises has been substantially hindered and rendered impractical, unfeasible and no longer workable’. The section between 49th and 60th streets, where Valentino resides is the priciest of the lot and considering the terrible impact on businesses during the pandemic it’s understandable they want to exit the lease agreement. Difficult to pick sides, don’t you agree?
[Via: New York Post]