The new location on Newport Boulevard at the corner of 18th Street will include a Closet boutique, cafe, art gallery and book store. It will also serve as the corporate headquarters for the four-store chain, known for carrying a mix of upscale surf lines mixed with other fashion brands.
Billy, 37, has another new project. He and Ambiguous Industries founder and president Frank Delgadillo teamed up on a new "aristocratic surf line," The Smooth Co. A story I wrote about Smooth Co. is out today in the Orange County Business Journal, www.ocbj.com
Billy said he's investing in these new projects even though it's been a tough year for specialty retail.
"The luxury stores are doing good and the H & Ms and Forever 21s are doing good," he said. The sector in between is having a harder time, he said.
At The Closet, same-store sales are down but he's "holding tough." At Fashion Island, his store was hurt by the opening of American Rag, which caters to the same customer. In Santa Monica, The Closet's first store outside Orange County, people aren't as familiar with the brand.
"It's all survivable," he said. "We just have to ride it out."
And it's not stopping him from launching new projects like the expanded retail and corporate headquarter space in Costa Mesa and the new clothing line.
"I've got to go for it and try to be a hero," Billy said.