Preppy clothing brand Vineyard Vines will open its first Twin Cities store at Galleria. It’s an announcement sure to endear the Edina shopping center to suburban tweens and teens, who currently hold Vineyard Vines’ smiling whale logo right up there with the alligator and pony of generations’ past.
Gingham, plaid, tennis rackets, golf clubs—symbols of the good life—are essential to Vineyard Vines. Over the past decade, it's been adopted on college campuses as the modern alternative to the L.L. Bean and Lands' End polos and khakis today's students grew up wearing. And that popularity has trickled down to high schools and middle schools.
Now a collection for the whole family, Vineyard Vines started out selling neckties. The Connecticut-based brand was founded in 1998 by brothers Shep and Ian Murray, who grew up summering on Martha’s Vineyard, and followed the expected trajectory to office jobs in Manhattan. Except, they were miserable. They like to say they traded their business suits for bathing suits—selling ties, so they wouldn’t have to wear them. The privately held company has grown steadily. Vineyard Vines has more than 50 stores across the country and is sold in major department stores including Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom. There are plans for another 10 to 15 stores this year, according to Bloomberg.
The preppy brand will be in good company at Galleria, where resort wear is always in season, from Melly’s Lilly Pulitzer to the Hamptons-inspired J. McLaughlin. “We are extremely excited that Vineyard Vines chose the Edina Galleria for their only retail location in the Twin Cities,” said Jennifer Smith, Galleria’s Director of Leasing.
Emphasis on “only.”
The pressure to land first-to-market retailers has intensified for Galleria, as Mall of America turns its focus to upscale fashion—rubbing some of the shine off Edina’s luxury mall. While Mall of America has an abundance of available space to woo the likes of Zara and Anthropologie, Galleria is locked in (thus a recent proposal to build up four levels). The Galleria’s announcement glossed over the fact that Vineyard Vines is taking over a space vacated just last weekend by BCBG. A Galleria spokesperson says BCBG’s exit was a “corporate decision.” The popular contemporary fashion brand has a large department store presence in town as well as a freestanding store at Mall of America.
Vineyard Vines will spill into the guest services area next to BCBG’s storefront for a total of 4,000 square feet. (Guest services is moving to the Pottery Barn atrium.)
The store is scheduled to open Oct. 1.