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How Claire Distenfeld Opened Fivestory with the Help of her Dad

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Inside Fivestory
Inside Fivestory

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This week's New York magazine tries to answer the question "What's the deal with Fivestory?" The short version: the deal is that 26-year-old Claire Distenfeld was able to open a much-hyped boutique in an Upper East Side townhouse and stock it with Lanvin and Christopher Kane because her father is bankrolling the whole thing.

The longer story is a little more complicated. Claire seems to have a real partnership with her dad, Fred Distenfeld. He spent years running Luxury ­Accessories International, an exotic skin importer he inherited from his own father—not a fashion company, exactly, but certainly a place to learn the rules of retail.

And for all her obvious privilege, Claire seems like she's taking the business seriously. The article plays things both ways, calling her "the Lena Dunham of high-end retail" in the headline (flattering!) but also noting that she listens to her dad's advice "in the same studious way she might have once let him help with her homework."

Of course, fashion is a business as well as an art/leisure activity/bloodsport, so there's a quick metric to see if Fivestory is working out. Reports the magazine: "Three months in, the store is on track to meets its goal, according to Fred, of becoming profitable within its first year of business. It recently did almost $30,000 of sales in one day." In the end, that's a better measure of success than all the hype in the world.
· Is Fivestory's Claire Distenfeld the Lena Dunham of High-End Retail? [Cut]
· Shop Balmain, Thakoon at Fivestory's Two Story Townhouse [Racked NY]
· Fivestory [Official Site]


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