NEW YORK — Club Monaco wants to dress up more than its customers.
The company, which is owned by Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., has designs on their homes with a new collection of pillows, books, vases and electronics. The products are created in-house or sourced from other manufacturers.
The home collection, which occupies a 200-square-foot area in the center of Club Monaco’s 57th Street store here, is being tested in six New York stores. If the test succeeds, it will be rolled out to the company’s 71 units in the U.S. and in Canada.
Club Monaco’s mantra is “well-edited,” and executives use it when referring to fashion, accessories and home items. While the collection is small, it’s merchandised for major impact.
“Hopefully, it adds a layer to the shopping experience,” said Michael Fisher, senior vice president of creative services. “Styling your home is just like accessorizing your body. It’s a reflection of who you are. We are offering a deeper connection between the brand and our clients.”
Fisher said the home items provide a surprise for customers who aren’t expecting to find candles, nesting tables and picture frames.
“It gives the store a sense of adventure,” he said. “You walk into the store and you see clean, modern fashion. You think it’s just fashion and then there’s a discovery.”
Prices range from $5 for a bag of river rocks to $199 for the nesting table set.
There was a time when every designer and specialty chain wanted a home collection. A decade ago, consumer spending moved away from the heavy investment in apparel of the Eighties toward home products. In the last three years, the trend has been moving in the other direction as fashion stakes a greater claim to consumers’ wallets.
Banana Republic discontinued its home collection, although a spokeswoman said the company offers items such as cashmere throws in select stores during the holiday season. Eddie Bauer has seen weak demand for its home products.
“If you accept the fact that your purse or wallet is finite, then it’s almost a trade-off between home fashion and buying fashion for the body,” said Richard Jaffe, a retail analyst at Legg Mason Wood Walker. “For a while we saw a market share shift toward home fashion, and today I would argue we’re seeing a shift back to apparel.”But some chains have made dressing the body and home so affordable that consumers are able to do both. Isaac Mizrahi, for example, recently launched a home collection at Target, where his fashion is sold.
“For the last three or four years as interest rates fell and everyone refinanced their home, people had a big cash windfall,” Jaffe said. “When you get a big check you tend to do big things with it. What the consumer is seeing now is good cash flow. They’re feeling good but the focus is on the little luxury.”
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia