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.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty