Q&A: Scoop NYC’s CEO dishes on the forthcoming Buckhead Atlanta location

Susan Davidson shares how the brand views the Atlanta market, Southern style, and fall trends
Susan Davidson at one of Scoop's NYC locations
Susan Davidson at one of Scoop’s NYC locations

Photograph bu Julia Robbs

Next month, retailers are scheduled to start opening their doors at the long-awaited $1 billion Buckhead Atlanta development. Among luxury stores like Etro and Moncler is Scoop NYC, a one-stop shop with shoes, accessories, and designer and contemporary labels for men and women. Founded in New York in 1996, Scoop is aimed at a young, fashion-forward crowd, and this will be its seventeenth store in the U.S.—but its first in the Southeast. We got the scoop from CEO Susan Davidson (who is also CEO of Zac Posen) on how the brand views the Atlanta market, Southern style, and fall trends.

Why open a store in Atlanta? The demographic of Buckhead is similar to two of our very successful markets, Highland Park Village in Dallas and Greenwich, Connecticut. We always hold focus groups when we’re going into a market. There was a lot of feedback on open-air shopping areas versus a mall. We are not in malls, so this location was perfect for our DNA.

How do you feel about the retailers you’ll be alongside? Well, let’s start with Hermès. [Laughs] It’s a very upscale project, so we’re very happy about that.

Will you adapt this store at all to align with Southern style? Some of the things we’ll do differently in this market: There will be more color in this store than perhaps some of our Northern stores. There will be more feminine styling in women’s. And it’s a warm-weather market, so the assortments are lighter in feel, not as heavy in fabrics. Climate certainly was a determining factor. We also like to focus on designers who are perhaps not as broadly distributed in Atlanta.

For example? Well, we’ll carry our core assortment, like AG Jeans, Helmut Lang, Rag & Bone, Alice Olivia. We will also carry John Varvatos and Hartford in men’s, and Alexander Wang, Missoni, Burberry, Zac Posen, and Temperley in women’s. There’s Iro, which is a fun French contemporary brand. In shoes: Aquazzura, Brian Atwood. And then some other brands that we think will be special in Atlanta: Cushnie et Ochs, Tamara Mellon, Veronica Beard. And in men’s: Dsquared2, Etro, Paul Smith, Belstaff, Puma by Alexander McQueen sneakers, Ghurka.

What makes Scoop NYC different from other retailers in Atlanta? We curate every collection that we buy—we don’t just go in and buy an entire collection. We’re a specialty store; we’re only 2,500 square feet, and the department stores are generally 100,000 square feet. They have shops for each designer, and they’ll buy the entire assortment, so we choose what we perceive to be the best of the best that is consistent with our customer base. Our target consumer is twenty-five to thirty-five.

What fall trends can we look forward to seeing? There’s been a big shift to skirts, all kinds of two-piece matching separates. It almost looks like a dress but is a skirt and top—that’s a very important trend that’s new. There’s a continuing trend toward athletic wear and sportswear. We’re seeing sneakers on women, bomber jackets, pants in a soft fabric with side stripe. Outerwear is a trend we do very well. There’s a trend of finishing an outfit with a fashionable coat.

What else is coming to Buckhead Atlanta?
Starting in September, expect openings from retailers such as Moncler, Etro, Hermès, Christian Louboutin, Helmut Lang, Theory, Canali, Akris, Bella Bag, Tod’s, Jimmy Choo, Brunello Cucinelli, L’Occitane, and Diptyque. Spanx, which just launched its denim line, will move its headquarters to Buckhead Atlanta.

This article originally appeared in our August 2014 issue.