PARIS — Location is key to the international rollout of destination flagships for Abercrombie & Fitch, which today opens its first French store on the tourist-packed Avenue des Champs-Elysées here.
Customers enter through a gilded wrought iron gate, a tree-lined path and manicured garden to reach the four-story unit, which is hidden from the street.
Abercrombie has been drumming up hype via social media platforms, such as its Facebook page. The brand also recruited 101 buff male models from across its store network to greet customers, shirtless, at the new Paris store.
A hop away from prestigious Avenue Montaigne, the store measures around 33,000 square feet.
Eric M. Cerny, the brand’s head of investor relations, declined to give sales projections or reveal Abercrombie’s investment, but said the aim by 2015 is to reach $1 billion in total revenues for international flagships, versus around $200 million today.
Abercrombie & Fitch already has flagships in London, Milan, Copenhagen, Tokyo and Fukuoka. Openings planned for this year include Madrid, Düsseldorf, Brussels, Dublin and Singapore.
“I think we are overstored in the U.S., we’ve been very candid about that, and we don’t want to do the same in Europe. It’s more about exclusivity, like a club,” said Cerny.
The brand is using its younger Hollister brand to expand in Europe’s malls. Hollister counts 31 stores outside of the U.S., 19 of which are based in the U.K. The brand opened 20 Hollister stores internationally last year, with plans to open 40 more this year.
As reported, the specialty retailer now sees global sales reaching at least $7.5 billion by 2015, and split roughly even between domestic and foreign operations as it spreads its sexy, youthful, casual appeal worldwide.
The firm sees big opportunity for development in Europe and Asia where, according to Cerny, Abercrombie & Fitch has a unique positioning.
“We’re the only [premium] brand going after the teen customer with an all-American lifestyle concept, there really aren’t too many players over here, there aren’t a lot of similar concepts out there,” he said. “We’re seeing as we expand internationally that there’s a fascination with the American lifestyle.”
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