Robert Rodriguez

Cooper Design Space Suite 512 (213) 629-2800

Three years after launching his eponymous line of luxe staples for women, designer Robert Rodriguez opened his first showroom in October 2006. “Our business is expanding, so we wanted to expand our showroom,” he said. The line, which used to sell in the 10Eleven showroom at The New Mart, has grown about 20 percent since last season, he said.

Situated in a sunny corner of the Cooper Design Space, Rodriguez’s 3,000-squarefoot showroom is, like his clothes, a study in understated opulence. “I wanted a raw, sort of New York loft feel,” he said. To that end, Rodriguez had the walls of his space sandblasted to reveal rough concrete. White columns, bare walls, exposed pipes and a polished concrete floor keep the showroom feeling spare and clean. Rodriguez, who decorated the space himself, added understated elegance with vintage Dutch tables and a couch he had reupholstered in a steely fabric from the 1930s. A wall of slatted, handfinished cherry wood obscures the view into the showroom from the hallway outside, and three globe-shaped chandeliers feature hundreds of individually hung crystals.

The clean palate complements Rodriguez’s Spring 2007 collection, which features a silver sheath dress covered in sheer sequins, cream and black drop-waist pleated dresses, and gray beaded cropped pants. “We wanted to portray our own atmosphere. It is very different when you are surrounded by 20 other brands,” Rodriguez said.

The designer, who keeps his design studio on the Cooper’s ninth floor, said being so close to his showroom and sales team is an added convenience. “It gives me a chance to be involved with sales and merchandise with them. And if a buyer is here, I can just hop in the elevator and come down,” he said. So far, buyers have responded well to Rodriguez’s new space. “It has given us an identity in the market, and it’s important for buyers to have one destination when they come see us,” he said. —Erin Barajas