The retailer will open two stores in the city in May, its first locations in Asia-Pacific. “Opening in Hong Kong is an easy decision for us. It’s one of the world’s greatest cities with great energy and great appreciation of style, design and creativity,” said Millard “Mickey” Drexler, chairman and chief executive officer of J. Crew Group Inc.
These two locations follow J. Crew’s three openings in the U.K. in the fall, and just last week, a J. Crew Collection women’s store that includes a men’s shop carrying Ludlow’s men’s suits opened in Toronto at 110 Bloor Street West. The store is J. Crew’s 10th location in Canada, and fifth in Toronto. All of J. Crew’s freestanding stores are company-owned, domestic and abroad.
In Hong Kong, a 3,200-square-foot J. Crew Collection women’s store will open in the International Finance Centre, also known as the IFC mall. It will feature a “carefully edited selection of the most exclusive and special fabrics and prints, limited-edition designs, Italian cashmere and a dedicated shoe and handbag salon,” the company said.
The retailer will also open a 2,100-square-foot men’s store on a street called On Lan Street in the Central neighborhood of Hong Kong. The shop will offer the full collection of Ludlow suits, shirtings and shoes alongside items from J. Crew’s In Good Company collection of brands selected by the design team, including Ebbets Field Flannels, Barbour, New Balance and Vans.
Drexler has been on the road, often continuing to explore other countries around the world, but he’s emphasized that there’s no aggressive international rollout in the works, and that there’s no rush to build up the overseas store count.
J. Crew is viewed as a Johnny-come-lately to the world of international expansion, but for good reason. Years ago, Drexler felt expansion outside North America was not appropriate for the brand because there was still plenty of work to be done inside J. Crew to bolster the product, pricing and brand positioning, and to develop new concepts such as Madewell, J. Crew Collection and freestanding men’s stores.
It’s been only in the last few years that overseas expansion has been considered a good investment for the company. The process has been a slow, steady progression that began in May 2010 with a partnership with Net-a-porter. J. Crew is sold on the Net-a-porter site, as well as Net-a-porter’s men’s wear site, Mr Porter.
J. Crew’s first international store opened in August 2011, in the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto. The company launched jcrew.com in more than 100 countries in late March 2012 and J. Crew made its Hong Kong debut in October 2012 with a partnership with Lane Crawford, which carries J. Crew products in six stores and on its Web site.
The international expansion could help drive an initial public offering of J. Crew by owners TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners. Some sources believe an IPO or sale of J. Crew to another private owner could happen as soon as this year.
Aside from the increasing international awareness, interest in taking J. Crew public or selling the business is also being driven by the company’s expansion with its J. Crew and Madewell brands in the U.S., and because TPG and Leonard Green will be going into their fourth year of ownership in March. Typically, private equity has a three- to five-year horizon of ownership.
TPG and Leonard Green took J. Crew private in early 2011 for $2.86 billion.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews