While many brands are taking this point in time to consolidate and conserve, Nancy Gonzalez is poising itself for growth.
The Cali, Colombia-based brand known for its luxurious array of exotic skin handbags has opened its first boutique in Seoul, South Korea, within Galleria department store, and plans to open other units in Korea and elsewhere. Stand-alone boutiques are in the works in Paris, Milan and Madrid, in addition to three in-store boutiques in South Korea by 2010.
Nancy Gonzalez accessories are carried in Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, and 65 specialty retailers in the U.S., including Capitol Clothing in Charlotte and Mario’s of Seattle. The firm’s bags are also sold in Harrods in London, Joyce in Hong Kong and 200 specialty doors worldwide.
“I’m not in the retail industry, nor do I want to be in it,” said Santiago Gonzalez, president of Nancy Gonzalez, and who strives for growth without over saturation. “I am solely interested in opening retail where I don’t feel like there’s a strong presence of department stores. Bergdorf Goodman is my home in New York City, Neiman Marcus is my homes in Los Angeles and Texas. It doesn’t make sense for Nancy Gonzalez to open a retail store where we have a presence.”
The brand’s partner in the Seoul venture is Commonwealth International, which also operates Manolo Blahnik stores in the country. The Gonzalez store’s neighbors in the Galleria include luxury brands such as Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent and Jil Sander.
Nancy Gonzalez has some distribution in Asia and is a vendor to high fashion doors such as Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and On Pedder in Singapore.
“We thought Korea would be the most interesting place to start in Asia because of the level of sophistication of the client,” said Gonzalez.
He anticipates first-year’s sales in the 500-square-foot Seoul store to hit $1.2 million, a modest expectation due to the economic malaise.
“Our participation in the Korean market was so small, and the market is so huge, that I think even under the current economic conditions there is still an opportunity,” he said.
Bags, belts and small leather goods in the John and Christopher Rawlins-designed Seoul store range in price from $700 for a clutch to $6,000 for a crocodile shopper. The space is a high design interpretation of a Colombian jungle. In true Nancy Gonzalez fashion, art by the likes of Demetrios Argyropoulos and Johannah Burke abound in the space. There is a an art installation dubbed “Paper Jungle” that has recycled paper cutouts of trees, leaves and the like harking back to the brand’s exotic pedigree, in addition to one of a kind furniture.
The store contains elements such as white oak, hammered bronze, mohair, Belgian linen and Calacatta marble. Bags reside in playfully stacked glass cubes.
“[The Seoul consumer] has a highly evolved style and is willing to experiment and try new brands and styles, and mix them in unexpected ways,” said chief executive officer and designer Nancy Gonzalez. “I design collections with the world in mind. I am sure that as we get to know the Korean market more, adjustments will be made to the collections accordingly, as we usually do for other markets.”
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye