Christian Siriano is making it work. The colorful "Project Runway" Season 4 winner just opened his first retail location in SoHo.
The 1,000-square foot boutique, located at 252 Elizabeth St., isn't just filled with over-the top ruffled gowns -- there's a little something for everyone, insists the designer.
"The whole idea is to have a place existing customers can shop, while getting new customers," Siriano says. "I want to familiarize different people with the brand."
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In order to do so, the 26-year-old is featuring a mix of price points. Shelves display pieces from Siriano's luxurious main line, shoes from his affordable collection for Payless, exclusive accessories such as clutches and wallets, and home decor the antique lover designed himself.
A welcoming environment also was key for the designer, who included a cozy fireplace and seating area in the back of the boutique.
"Designer stores can be intimidating. I want everyone to feel comfortable going in. I didn't want it to be too stuffy," he says.
That's not to say there isn't panache.
A wall painted stark black features large framed photos of looks from Siriano's collections he's most proud of -- including the skirt Sarah Jessica Parker recently wore in a photo shoot for Marie Claire. A dramatic chandelier hangs in the fitting room, and a fake zebra skin rug greets customers.
"I wanted it to feel like home," Siriano says. "Glamorous, sexy and elegant."
Siriano's three fall must-haves
1. LBD -- with a twist
"If you're going to have a great black dress, the fabric should be interesting," Siriano says. "Things to look for include textures and shine."
2. A leather jacket
"It's important. It's a staple."
3. Red, red wine
"I'm really into this beautiful burgundy wine color," says the designer. He gives his stamp of approval to party dresses, day dresses and blouses in the color.
Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant