Jack Wills, the British brand playing to the preppy college crowd, has a new wrinkle in its U.S. expansion — shopping centers.
Not the big enclosed kind, at least for now. Instead, the company has opted for Suburban Square, an outdoor shopping center in Ardmore, Pa., housing Macy’s, Trader Joe’s, a farmer’s market, Apple and J. Crew, among other stores. “This is not at all a push to open in malls, but we think this a smart move,” Jim Hardy, president of Jack Wills Inc., told WWD.
Ardmore is a Mainline suburb of Philadelphia, and not far from Villanova University and Bryn Mawr College, which should provide the audiences Jack Wills targets. Suburban Square is one of the nation’s oldest shopping centers, built in the Thirties, Deco-style, with outdoor gardens and seating. It’s also close to King of Prussia, one of the nation’s largest malls, which Hardy says, is “not our cup of tea at this point in time. We are still concentrated in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic but we know as we continue to push further south and west, the shopping center of some kind, call it a mall, or an outdoor center, is part of the American landscape.” In some locations, an enclosed mall might be the “only game in town” and the right play for Jack Wills, Hardy acknowledged. But currently, “There’s nothing on our radar that is big and enclosed.”
Still, Ardmore marks a shift in the real estate strategy, which generally has opted for quaint and historical buildings. The 1,300-square-foot Ardmore shop will open in late May. Even before, on April 26, Jack Wills will open a 1,000-square-foot unit in Princeton, N.J., in a location that seems typical to the brand. Hardy called it “perfect,” noting that it’s at 46 Nassau Street, in the Palmer Square complex adjacent to Princeton University.
For character, the Princeton and Ardmore stores will be designed with fireplaces, repurposed flooring from old schools, vintage fixtures from the United Kingdom and the signature pink and navy striped cash wraps. The Princeton shop will mount moose antlers above its entrance. Both locations will carry the full assortment of women’s and men’s apparel and home products. Jack Wills currently owns and operates 77 stores in the U.K., Ireland, Hong Kong, the Middle East and the U.S. With Princeton and Ardmore, the U.S. count grows to 15 stores.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)