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Lamborghini opens its first stand-alone U.S. retail boutique

Car aficionados and their expensive toys were out in full force tonight, but no, it wasn’t at the L.A. Auto Show.IMG_9027

Branching out from its roots as an exotic car maker, Automobili Lamborghini unveiled its first U.S. stand-alone retail boutique with a grand opening party at Westfield Topanga shopping center.

Complete with a colorful caravan of Lamborghinis that snaked through the Malibu hills and an in-store runway show, the event drew crowds of car lovers who checked out the store’s fashion apparel, casual logo clothing and accessories. (Lamborghini umbrella, anyone?)

Lamborghini Chief Executive Stephan Winkelmann, who flew in from Italy to attend the opening, said the store would allow the company to move beyond its core business and reach out to admirers of the brand who couldn’t afford a supercar. If all goes well, the store could expand to more locations, he said.

Although he conceded that the economic downturn had affected Lamborghini’s business, Winkelmann said the company saw the retail store as an opportunity to be seized.

“We’ll see in the next week if this will fly,” he said. “It’s here that you’re buying into the brand.”IMG_9012

For Lamborghini owners such as Thomas Mao, the retail store provides another opportunity to experience the brand. 

“It’s always nice to fly the colors, so to speak,” said Mao, who owns a 1994 Lamborghini Diablo VT. “If you’re a Lamborghini fan you like to wear the clothes and represent the brand. It’s part of the package.”

Wondering how steep the store’s prices are? Thankfully, they’re nowhere near the almost $250,000 that the most basic Lamborghini will run you: A women’s pink T-shirt with silver rhinestones was $60, a black and yellow backpack was $162 and a puffy black leather jacket was $1,776.

-- Andrea Chang

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Photos, from top: A model wears some of the fashions available at Lamborghini's new retail store at Westfield Topanga; Lamborghini owners brought their cars to Santa Monica for a caravan-like drive to the store's opening party. Credit: Andrea Chang

 
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