The men’s shirt brand has opened a 900-square-foot store on Bleecker and Grove Streets in Greenwich Village here, just steps away from the J. Press York Street boutique. It marks the first foray into retail for the label, which got its start in 2008 as Just a Cheap Shirt.
Founder Hayati Banastey launched the label as an inexpensive alternative to the classic button-down, with washed plaids and flannels inspired by vintage Americana, and quickly found fans at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and dozens of independents. “We hit the trend — probably by mistake,” Banastey said with a chuckle.
Since then, Jachs has expanded into bottoms and knitwear and also offers a women’s collection under the name Jachs’ Girlfriend.
The store, which will have its grand opening next month, speaks to the brand’s aesthetic with antique wood accents, vintage trunks and hand-painted front windows.
“We’d been looking for a location for a while,” Banastey said, saying that he had visited sites in SoHo and other parts of the city before deciding on this location. “For the money and for our customer, we felt this was the correct match.”
Banastey is no stranger to the New York retail scene. A 30-year apparel industry veteran, his other ventures have included Everything $10, Atmosphere and Work in Progress. As he was preparing to close Work in Progress a few years ago, he designed 50 shirts in the basement of the store, took a booth at Project New York and sold $500,000 worth of merchandise. “I said, ‘Well, I think I’m in business,’” he said. Originally, he had a partner who owned a manufacturing facility in Turkey, but since then Banastey bought his shares and is now the sole owner of Jachs.
The shirts are designed in New York and manufactured in China and India. They retail for $59 to $89, although some items can inch up to $129 or $159 if they have special washes or fabrics. Pants and shorts are $69 to $99, jackets and blazers are $149, knits are $39 to $59 and sweaters retail for $79 to $99. The denim is manufactured in New York.
The women’s collection, which was launched three years ago, has the same vintage American workwear sensibility. The store also includes some third-party brands for merchandise that the company does not produce. That includes Filson, Will Leather Goods and M. Cohen for bags and accessories, and Banastey is talking to Red Wing and New Balance about providing shoes. For spring 2014, he will add a Jachs kids line.
Banastey said he still considers Jachs a wholesale business and looks at the store as a prototype. He does hope to open additional stores in New York as well as Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles. He’s also close to finalizing a deal with a licensee in China to franchise and open 100 stores in that country and eventually Korea.
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