Stephen Milstein, whose family turned Burlington Coat Factory into a nationwide chain, has gotten back in the outerwear industry with Best Coat Factory, a Paramus, N.J., pop-up store that specializes in deeply discounted designer labels.
The recession has furthered the surge in savvy shoppers whom Milstein could not resist pursuing. “I kept getting solicited by friends in the outerwear industry that there was a need for our family to get back in the coat business. There is also a void for value-priced outerwear. Consumers are responding to that kind of merchandise now. Stores like TJ Maxx and Costco are the ones that are doing well now,” he said.
At this point, 18,000 square feet of the store’s 40,000-square-foot space is being used for selling, with the average markdown being 60 to 70 percent off manufacturers’ suggested retail prices. Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole, Tahari, Nine West and Weatherproof are among the nearly 30 fall-winter 2009 labels being sold. Shoes and boots are also offered since “women love a pair of shoes or boots to go with a new coat,” Milstein said.
Knowing “it is very hard to sell coats year-round,” Milstein plans to keep the store at 150 Route 17N open until the end of February. Since opening Friday, many shoppers have been looking for short wool coats, fake fur jackets and “young and trendy” looks, Milstein said.
He declined to comment on projected volume or best-selling labels. If all goes well, he may open 10 to 20 year-round stores that would offer an assortment of merchandise — not just coats — including sportswear, children’s wear and men’s wear in the next 12 months. “This is my test in the market to see if I still have it,” he said.
Milstein’s father, Monroe, is serving on Best Coat Factory’s board of advisers, but he is not involved with the new company’s day-to-day operations. Under the elder Milstein’s direction, Burlington Coat Factory developed into a $3.5 billion operation. In 2006, the retailer was sold to Bain Capital for nearly $2.1 billion, with the Milstein family reaping $1.1 billion from the sale.
Having abided by his one-year noncompete contract and a three-year no-poaching Burlington Coat Factory employees edict, Milstein said he spent the past few years managing his portfolio. But his unemployment and retirement did not sit well with him. “I decided I needed more,”Milstein said.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@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