Fivestory Relocates to Madison Avenue – WWD


Fivestory, the luxury women’s store, has left its original location on 69th Street in favor of a site on Madison Avenue.

The retailer has taken a street-level spot at 1020 Madison Avenue at 79th Street, in a space that once housed a Lilly Pulitzer store. The plan is to reopen later this week by appointment only, according to Karen Murray, who purchased the business at the end of last year.

Murray said she finalized the negotiations to relocate the store right as the coronavirus hit and Fivestory was forced to close. Since that time, she’s been renovating the space and bringing in merchandise in anticipation of reopening. Because the site was boarded up and there were “For Rent” signs on the exterior, it was not impacted by the looting that hit many other stores on Madison Avenue last week, she said.

Murray said she is encouraging customers to take a virtual tour of the store and then book one-on-one appointments to shop. “We’re not opening to the public,” she said.

The first floor of the location will house “new and emerging designers,” she said, including some brands that will be exclusive to Fivestory as a result of the closure of both Barneys New York and Jeffrey. The top floor will be devoted to “vintage/pre-loved” pieces as well as artwork, jewelry and home goods.

Murray, the former chief executive officer of Sequential Brands Group, said after a chance meeting with Fivestory’s cofounder, Claire Olshan, last year, she decided to leave the corporate world and rework the specialty store into an experiential, curated concept with an updated business model intended to address how women shop today that includes a continued focus on emerging brands, exclusives and a new iteration of couture rental. Olshan had conceived and opened Fivestory with her father, Fred Distenfeld, in 2012.





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