Sportswear Brand From Spain Opens First U.S. Store in Greenwich
By Michelle Moskowitz
Montepicaza, one of the most renowned luxury, classic sportswear brands from Spain, debuts its first ever U.S. boutique in Greenwich, located at 371 Greenwich Avenue.
The brand features both men’s and women’s stylish sportswear and accessories, crafted with an artisanal, European flair with an emphasis on expert tailoring and craftsmanship, designed to flatter a wide spectrum of shapes and sizes.
Local Ellen Christian-Reid is the visionary behind bringing the brand to Greenwich, which opened its doors here this past December.
Christian-Reid was first introduced to the brand by a close college friend (and now business partner in Spain) while studying at the Universidad de Valencia. She is fluent in Spanish and developed a passion for the culture while living there.
While growing up in Rhode Island and all throughout her college years, Christian-Reid had always worked in retail and had gained valuable experience with well-known brands such as Talbots and Benetton, which she credits for fostering her own personal style.
Christian-Reid spent more than 20 years in marketing and fundraising in the academic world, working for schools such as Hopkins School in New Haven and Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich. But during her years in academia, fashion was never far from her mind.
“In the back of my mind, I always knew I would open a store one day,” said Christian-Reid. “But I wanted it to be something special, something unique, which Montepicaza truly embodies. The brand is classic with a twist. It evokes a whimsical feel, and anyone can achieve a great silhouette with our fashions.”
Christian-Reid, who has had roots in the Greenwich area for some time and has a daughter attending Eagle Hill, said she is quite pleased with the launching of the first U.S. store. “I have tremendous respect for the Montepicaza brand and am so happy to bring this lifestyle brand to the Greenwich market,” she said.
The brand was founded in 1999 in Toledo, Spain, by Oscar Bermudez, a polo aficionado and sponsor of two polo teams outside Madrid.
Bermudez set out to create a stylish brand infused with an equestrian inspiration with a concentration on quality fabrics, superior cuts and classic detail.
Today, Montepicaza has become one of the most recognized contemporary fashion brands in Spain with more than 50 franchised boutiques, and is showcased in 120 department stores across the country.
While Christian-Reid has the exclusive distribution rights in the U.S., her goal is to deliver on that same path of success with her imminent expansion plans to include stores in Nantucket, Southampton, Newport, Palm Beach and Miami, all markets targeting what she calls an “aspirational luxury brand.”
In the few months that the store has been open in town, Christian-Reid says that her Greenwich customers have embraced the brand and sales have been steady, particularly the tailored tweed jackets, quilted coats and leather accessories.
She likens the Montepicaza brand to Polo’s Black Label, but at a more competitive price point.
In addition to a rollout plan for stores nationwide, Christian-Reid is in the process of developing an e-commerce strategy for the company, which will consist of a highly curated selection of merchandise to keep her inventory control in check.
She is also planning to leverage her knowledge and expertise of the U.S. customer to design some of her own pieces as well, such as cashmere sweaters.
Currently, the store has a sale offering up to 50 percent off on selected items, though stock is limited.
Store hours are Tues. through Sat., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sun., 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Visit montepicazausa.com for more information.