DJ Bennett, a new Web site for serious sports enthusiasts, offers luxury performance clothing, gadgets and gear for 20 sports and counting, including golf, equestrian, triathlon, running, yoga and surfing.
Dawn Bennett, a financial adviser and DJ Bennett’s founder and chief executive officer, said the difficulty of finding high-quality apparel for her sport, triathlons, led her to create the concept.
“It is a unique white space in the luxury market,” Bennett said. “We’re blazing a new trail.”
Chief merchant Bonnie Pressman hunted down 130 hard-to-find brands such as Louis Garneau, Ron Hill, Galvin Green and Isurus. “I’d been a buyer before [at Barneys New York],” she said. “Even though I engage in a lot of sports and watch a lot of sports, that whole world was a new spin for me.”
Pressman was able to use some of her old Barneys’ contacts at brands such as Moncler. She found a line in France with beautiful colors called Breuer. But the job is testing her knowledge of sports such as fly fishing, which she’s never done. “I went to the outdoor retail fly fishing show,” she said. “The reps are very helpful in establishing a base order of reels and rods.”
For horseback riding, Pressman chose Ariat, a California-based maker of English and Western performance footwear and apparel. A show jacket is $500 and knit show shirt with moisture wicking, $500. Boots range from $112 to $500.
“We’re looking at unique surfboards that could be one-offs,” Pressman said. “Paddleboard has become huge this year. It had a 40 percent increase. Body surfing is coming back. We’re definitely going to do that.”
The site has National Geographic-worthy images of kayaking, boating, fly fishing, scuba diving and surfing. A Places to Be section recommends sites such as Kona, Hawaii, for serious surfing and marlin fishing, and Salzburg, Austria for snowshoeing, cross country skiing and tobogganing.
While Bennett believes in the efficiency and flexibility of the Internet, she’s brought old school values to the business. A DJ Bennett by-appointment salon opened in Chevy Chase, Md., to offer customers a high level of hands-on service. “Opening more salons in other cities is a strong possibility,” Bennett said. “Opening stores these days doesn’t pay off unless it’s in an emerging market.
“Our focus in 2013 will be expanding into China and getting Internet exposure, and going to Singapore,” Bennett said. “They’ve got 1.3 billion people in China alone. They’re into sports such as golfing and yachting. In Singapore, there’s wealth beyond the imagination.”
China’s sales combined with U.S. sales will be $7 million to $8 million in 2013, said Bennett, adding, “My big belief is that China is going to be quite large for us.”
An Authentics tab on the Web site features interviews with professional athletes, while a user-generated Adventure Journal demonstrates an impressive level of physical fitness among DJ Bennett’s adventuresome audience.
“An IPO is an option,” Bennett admitted. “We’re very open to talking to people. At this point, it’s being self-financed by me. The problem is that you have to dance to Wall Street’s music and Wall Street wants growth every quarter. I want to keep us on a three-year plan or a five-year plan.”
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)