Canadian retailer Aritzia broke U.S. ground back in 2007, with a 13,000-square-foot New York flagship opening in 2012 and 17 locations (including this one) throughout the states as of 2016. Boston (and New England) will get its first flagship location on Feb. 18, with 6,000 square feet of retail space with raked stucco walls and marble floors in the renovated Boylston Street wing of the Prudential Center. The store joins the recently re-opened, re-imagined mega high-tech Sephora and Mario Batali’s 40,000-square-foot Eataly food emporium, set to open this fall.
“We have been looking at opening in Boston for quite a few years, but the right space wasn't available,” says Aritzia CMO Oliver Walsh. “When the renovated space within the Shops at Prudential Center became available, we were thrilled. It’s located in what we believe to be the best run of real estate within Boston.”
It’s hard to pinpoint the America equivalent to the Canadian womenswear retailer, but a crass conceptual comparison to fellow International mega import, Zara, might come to mind — though they shudder at the term, "fast fashion" — but aesthetically it's more similar to Newbury Street newcomer/H&M upscale, minimalistic offspring, COS. The clothes are trend-driven with an emphasis on basics and staples in rich Merino wool or their own blend of silky, drapey jersey knit called Reposa. Color options are neutral and the like, and patterns are sparse, appeasing fans of Marie Kondo and the Karashians alike.
Each store carries a range of in-house brands — like the office friendly Babaton, barre class-friendly Parklife or slick cool girl basics from Talula — as well as pieces from labels you already like (think: J Brand and Mackage). Price point ranges, but settles somewhere in the middle of the contemporary market — a faux suede pencil skirt setting you back $95; a luxe chunky knit cardigan, $225 — putting itself on par with its Newbury Street and Prudential neighbors.
Walsh says the company is seeing Boston as an “essential market” in their U.S. growth and plan to target their “existing loyal following,” as well as the bounty of college and young pros who call the Hub home.
Aritzia at the Shops at the Prudential Center (800 Boylston St., Boston) officially opens doors on Feb. 18 at 10 a.m.