Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is testing a store design concept that aims to update existing units to give consumers a better shopping experience.The in-store refresh is separate from the rollout of prototypes of the brand’s new concept store that began with the test site at the Polaris Fashion Center in Columbus, Ohio in February. The two tests are related, however, since the in-store refresh uses some ideas from the new prototype.The new in-store refresh test store was opened last weekend at Memorial City Mall in Houston. Among the elements from the prototype used are the refurbished logo from 1892, the open concept layout and the runway area in the store for customers to have better visibility to the product. [caption id="attachment_10956890" align="alignnone" width="347"] The storefront of the Memorial City test store.[/caption]An Abercrombie spokeswoman said some refreshed stores might include the runway, while other sites might include other features not found in the Memorial City store. That’s because the company is working with each individual store’s layout to determine what would work best within the existing footprint, while still giving customers a better store-shopping environment.The company so far has opened three new prototype concept stores. In addition to Polaris, these are in Atlanta, Ga., at Lenox Square, and in Troy, Mich. at Somerset North.A new prototype store in Scottsdale, Ariz., at Fashion Square is set to open Friday, and that will be followed on Saturday by a new store in Tysons, Va., at Tysons Corner Center. A Century City, Calif., store featuring the prototype is slated to open later this year, although the exact date hasn’t been finalized. And by the end of the year, Abercrombie will have re-entered the Hong Kong market with a new store at Harbour City, the largest mall in Hong Kong. The Harbour City site will be the first to showcase the new test prototype overseas.Other features of the prototype, which tends toward a smaller footprint, include omnichannel capabilities and fitting rooms that have amenities such as separate controls for light and music, as well as a phone charging dock. The gender-neutral fitting rooms also include two individual rooms, each one within larger private suites. Cash wraps are placed throughout the space, and consumers can place orders in the store, or head into the stores to pick-up orders already placed online.The specialty retailer said the “evolved experience is designed to be an inviting space that facilitates brand engagement and encourages product trial.”
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.