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Image courtesy David Chines
Interview

David Chines

11.14.16

There’s no better place to learn the ins and outs of the retail business than at luxury giant LVMH. This is exactly where David Chines earned his experience working on brands like Givenchy, Fendi, and Pucci before he decided to open his first specialty retail concept store in Sag Harbor, and the just opened location in Greenwich. The name Copious Row pays homage to the specific experience one gets on Saville Row – Chines has channeled this one-of-a-kind experience into his brand for his customers looking for something unique and special at either of his stores. Sag Harbor is more seasonal and carries only accessories, the fashion forward Delfina Delettrez, Tonya Hawkes, and Maison Michel, while Greenwich introduces his clients to Copious Row’s ready-to-wear perspective. Brands like Ryan Roche, Sonia Rykiel, Sophie Theallet, and Mr&Mrs Italy are all featured in the new shop.

Interview

Why did you decide to open a retail store?

I decided to open a store because I saw a need for something different in the retail market with a unique edit and point of view. Copious Row was created to provide a platform for many national and international designers that are underrepresented in the US market. I knew there was a lot of great talent creating amazing product but they had limited points of sale and couldn’t always find the right retail partner. The store showcases these amazing brands and the most unique and limited offerings from their lines. I want the store to be a candy shop of beautiful items and a place to find something exceptional.

How does your background in digital marketing and PR influence your buying self?

During my time at LVMH I worked in marketing, PR, and Social Media for a few of different brands: Givenchy, Fendi, and Pucci. I really cut my teeth learning the ins and outs of the luxury market and how to create and mold a brand’s total DNA and all consumer-facing aspects of that brand. Understanding these elements allows me to create a full brand story within my retail environment and buy a cohesive selection from each designer I carry.  I understand what the customer responds to, what they need, and how they want to feel when they wear or buy something.

Why did you choose Sag Harbor as your first retail location for Copious Row?

I opened the first location in the Hamptons because of both my personal ties to the area as well as a great way to test the concept. It’s a place where I’ve spent a lot of time over the years and knew my customer would be there during the summer months. It’s an intimate environment and special place that lends itself well to the concept of Copious Row.

Do you live in the Hamptons full time? Is the store open year-round?

No, I live in Manhattan. The store is open from May through September as of now.

With your new Greenwich location – how are you translating Copious Row for this new market?

The major shift in the Greenwich location is the addition of ready to wear to the assortment. The Hamptons location is strictly accessory driven so this addition is a big change for the Greenwich location. The Greenwich location is also a year round store, meaning there are items for all aspects of one’s life and for all seasons. We have amazing pieces for special occasion, gifting, and everyday luxury essentials.

Will your stores share designers?

Yes, the stores do share some designers, but not all. Many of the same jewelry and accessory designers can be found at both locations. The Sag Harbor location also has some designers that are very targeted at a resort feeling and more of a beach lifestyle. Obviously, the addition of clothing to Greenwich means that there is a slew of designers that are exclusive to that location.

How do you manage the busy retail market and run multiple stores? How large is your team? Do you make all the buying decisions?

It’s a lot of work, but a labor of love. I’m lucky to have amazing managers at both locations that really take care of the stores as if it were their own. Outside of the retail sales team, I have people that work on digital and social media, store merchandising and creative display, as well as back-end finance. It takes a village!

Are you carrying any new brands for Fall?

We’re carrying a lot of new brands for fall. With the Greenwich location launching ready to wear, most of the clothing designers are new for us as well as some new jewelry brands are being added to the mix. For clothing we are thrilled to stock: Brock Collection, Sally Lapointe, Mr. & Mrs. Italy, Sophie Theallet, Monse, amongst many amazing others. For jewelry, we are adding Raphaele Canot and Neha Dani to our current range.

What are your bestselling brands?

They all do really well. We find that we have a customer for every designer. They all offer something so unique and special and there’s a client who is right for it.

You’ve described the new store as more dressed up than Sag Harbor – some might say that the Hamptons needs a more dressed up store as well – do you think this is true?

Absolutely. The Sag Harbor store is very dressed up for the area but Greenwich has taken it to new heights! Greenwich really feels like a luxurious, modern Parisian salon. Sag Harbor has more of cool Soho vibe which we created utilizing the original bones of the space being an 18th century carriage house with exposed beams and original detailing. They’re very different but still keep the Copious Row sophistication and core esthetic in both locations.

Are you doing e-commerce? Why or why not?

We are doing e-commerce via Farfetch. We want to be able to have some of our product available to people that might not live near either of the store locations.

What are your favorite designers to wear?

I’m loving Gucci right now. It’s so fun and innovative and I’m enjoying mixing it into my wardrobe. I’m also a big fan of Thom Browne for formalwear, Valentino for great sweaters and sneakers, and Balmain for that special piece with some edge.

What Fall trends are you selling this season?

This season there’s a big influence on luxury detailing and indulgent materials. In clothing, we are selling a lot of fur, suede, velvet, tweeds – decadent fabric and embroidery is everywhere. Great prints and pattern are strong for the season and vibrant jewel tones are also selling well. In jewelry, we are selling pieces that are great everyday additions that have a unique and fun edge to them. Women are really getting into rose gold as well, which continues to be the strong “it” metal of the moment.

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