Worldly and wired. Expressing personal style and identity through fashion. Shopping categories never shopped before.
That’s a snapshot of the archetypal Bergdorf Goodman Men customer, according to Joshua Schulman, the president of Bergdorf Goodman. “Today’s men’s luxury customer is no longer one-lifestyle-fits-all,” said Schulman. “The captain of industry — he is still our core customer — is thankfully more discrete and chic than the late Eighties. He still wears a suit and tie ever day and requires ultimate sartorial expression. But affluence no longer equals formality.”
Increasingly, men are digging shoes and accessories, and men’s bags are particularly of the moment. “Bags are interesting. There is a definite function,” Schulman said. “Ten years ago, men carried file folders or a note pad. You may still carry that, but today everybody I know carries at least three devices — two phones, an iPad,” motivating men to stow the technology in stylish bags that transcend the functional. “It’s really interesting to watch how guys are interacting with leather goods and buying them often as a symbol of their identity. This has been going on with women for many, many decades.”
In addition, with jewelry, watches, cuff links and belt buckles: Men want it all. “Our men’s jewelry business is very strong right now and it’s very strong at the top of the pyramid,” Schulman said. “When he comes to us, he wants something that he can’t find anywhere else.” Schulman sees men as “collectors,” meaning when they find a new category to shop, “they research it, learn about it and want to collect different versions. Some guys collect watches, some guys collect cars. Now we are starting to see men collect shoes, bags, jewelry and cuff links. That’s very good for business, obviously.”
As men’s shopping habits evolve, Bergdorf’s works hard to keep up. Two decades ago, when the men’s store launched, the presentation was monolithic, formal and focused on pinstripe suits and bold ties. “Frankly speaking, the primary job was just to clear out space for the more productive women’s merchandise” in Bergdorf’s women’s store on the other side of Fifth Avenue, Schulman noted. “The front of the men’s store had this whole feeling of formality, with the best shirtmakers surrounded with the best ties and best cuff links,” including Charvet and Turnbull & Asser.
Eventually, Bergdorf’s got experimental. Artisanal finds from Pitti Uomo and authentic heritage brands were added to the mix up front. A “Euro prep” look with items from brands such as Brunello Cucinelli and Moncler made a statement. “It started just as a sweater or a puffer jacket mixed in with different discoveries in a space lovingly known as ‘the pit’ where we continue to curate brands today. During the 2000s, the team was constantly seeking innovation” and introduced Thom Browne in 2002 and Tom Ford in 2007.
Soon, “we started wondering if we hadn’t evolved enough with the customer” as celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Daniel Craig were pulling off a cool, confident and elegant image as they dressed more casually. “Instead of just one type of customer, we had to think about all of these different types of customers, each one shopping at the pinnacle of luxury and how is he living, how is he shopping today and how have his needs evolved.”
Bergdorf’s created a luxury leather goods and sportswear showcase, putting leather goods up front with a selection of exclusives such as Berluti and the first Goyard men’s shop in America. The original assortment of men’s bags, limited to a few briefcases in black or brown, was transformed into a range of messenger bags, portfolios, backpacks, briefcases — leather goods with lots of style and purposes and designed to carry different devices. “What you put at your front door says a lot about what’s inside the store,” Schulman observed.
Also on the main floor, sportswear expanded, with some artisanal brands like Cucinelli growing up to command shops of their own. “And we didn’t forget the cuff links, the final phase of our main-floor store renovation will be the men’s furnishings complex,” Schulman added.
Among other upgrades seen in the men’s store: a shoe library with exclusives from Berluti and Tom Ford and a full range of lifestyles from John Fluevog to Christian Louboutin, Churches and Jimmy Choo; the second-floor tailored-clothing complex, with the only Berluti and Tom Ford shops-in-shop in New York, along with boutiques for Brioni, Zegna, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani and others, and a third floor for contemporary labels designed like a residential loft. Marketing evolved, too, by introducing the “Goodman’s” subbrand via new and traditional media. Still ahead, the Goodman’s bar anchoring the second-floor rotunda, which will be evocative of famous hotel bars like the one in Claridge’s in London.
Overall, the store makeover is “inspired by iconic men’s haberdashery stores, but updated for today’s wired and worldly lifestyle...while retaining its sartorial heritage. There’s nowhere else in America where you can find Charvet, Hermès and Tom Ford ties all under one roof. Certainly, we are not forgetting the guy who wants to or has to wear a tie every day.”
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)