LOS ANGELES — The Kardashians are eyeing global expansion of their fashion business via Sir Philip Green’s retail empire.
With their licensee, Jupi Corp., and Green’s Arcadia Group, Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian are launching Kardashian Kollection this fall in 13 countries, stretching from the U.K. to Turkey, Kuwait to Singapore. The line will be offered in some 250 of Dorothy Perkins’ 600 units located throughout the U.K. and on the high-street retailer’s Web site. The department store BHS, which also is owned by Green, will open eight shops-in-shop for it. Franchise stores in Thailand, Israel, Qatar, Malaysia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and the Philippines will round out the retail base.
The wave of store openings marks the second phase of growth for Kardashian Kollection, which bowed last September at Sears in the U.S. and a month later at David Jones, Strandbags and various boutiques in Australia, where Jupi is based. Brazil, Russia and China are targeted for the third phase, in 2013.
Despite concerns across the globe of a weak economy and cash-strapped consumers, Bruno Schiavi, Jupi’s founder and president, is banking on the commercial formula derived from the Kardashians’ fame and retail prices that are capped at $100.
“Retail is tough everywhere,” he said. “The consumer is savvy. You have to be price-driven. Customers always want a variety. It’s about providing the whole package to the consumer, not about the garment.”
The Kardashians’ line was personally approved by Green, owner of U.K.-based Arcadia Group, who previously collaborated with Kate Moss at his other trendy retail chain, Topshop.
“Having reviewed the product with Bruno and the team a few weeks ago, I felt that there was an excellent fit for Dorothy Perkins,” Green said. “I believe our customers will love the fashion looks. They passionately follow celebrity lifestyle, and the Kardashian sisters rank top when it comes to whom they relate to in the fashion stakes.”
The Kardashians are taking their business overseas at a time when their home-turf popularity shows signs of waning. In its seventh season, the premiere of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” averaged 2.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen. That figure exploded from the first season’s premiere that averaged 898,000 viewers but fell short of the peak in 2010, when the series’ fifth season debut was watched by 4.7 million people on average, Nielsen said.
On newsstands, the Kardashian sisters’ January cover for Glamour was the magazine’s second-worst-selling issue in the first half of this year, as previously reported by WWD. Kim’s solo turn for Allure’s March issue measured 7 percent below the glossy’s six-month average.
Kim reeled from backlash when she filed for divorce from professional basketball player Kris Humphries last October, only 72 days after filming an extravagant wedding for her TV show. She is now dating Kanye West.
Schiavi still counts on the Kardashians. He said Kardashian Kollection is on track to generate sales of $200 million to $300 million in its first year at Sears, which launched apparel, accessories, footwear, jewelry and lingerie at 700 stores. Home decor was recently added to Sears’ portfolio, and a plus-size subbrand called Kardashian Kurvy is introducing denim in the U.S. this month, then sportswear in sizes 18 to 24 in October. The plus-size styles will be offered to the U.K., Middle East and Asia next spring. Schiavi said he couldn’t provide sales estimates for the new foreign markets because the expansion is in its early stages.
Like many things associated with the Kardashians, the marketing program will be an aggressive one. Ads depicting what Schiavi dubs “Kardashian heaven” will be plastered on outdoor billboards and in magazines and windows for Dorothy Perkins stores, which appeal to women between the ages of 25 and 35. To be unveiled in the U.K. and other territories in early November, before the retail launch, the ad campaign will display “what the girls are known about — glitz and glamour. It gives people a little bit of stardom and keeping it real at the same time,” he said.
Adopting the same formula used in the U.S. and Australia, Schiavi said some tweaks were done for the new regions.
“We create new styles for different markets because of climate change, as you can imagine from the Middle East to Singapore, which is a hot climate,” he said.
While the Kardashians lead a tabloid lifestyle, Schiavi said the sisters’ image will resonate, even in the socially conservative countries of the Middle East.
“The girls are larger than life, but they’re not party girls,” he said. “They’re not out at 3 in the morning, drinking and partying. Their sense of fashion is a classic sense of fashion. It’s timeless in what they wear. They’re not crazy with feathers in their hair.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)