National Jean Co. is making its first foray into the big city. The denim-based retail chain will celebrate the opening of a store on New York's Upper East Side tonight, its first in the heart of a major city.
NEW YORK — National Jean Co. is making its first foray into the big city.
The denim-based retail chain will celebrate the opening of a store on New York's Upper East Side tonight, its first in the heart of a major city.
"This is our first metropolitan effort and it's definitely been good so far," said Helen Kim, National Jean Co.'s director of operations, referring to a soft opening in the last week or so.
The 15-year-old chain got its start in 1992 with a store in Albertson, N.Y., on Long Island. Since then, the company has steadily expanded to suburban areas. Today, it has 12 stores throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, with a 13th store slated to open in West Hartford, Conn., in the next month.
A move into Manhattan and a more urban environment was a natural progression in National Jean's development, according to Kim.
"We've always wanted to do a store in the city," said Kim. "It was more about waiting for the right location."
But the right location wasn't necessarily the most obvious. Opening a store on the Upper East Side rather than in one of the city's more flashy or trendy shopping districts was a calculated move designed to build on the firm's heritage. Kim noted many of the customers who frequented the chain's Long Island stores have grown up and moved into the city and have tended to end up on Manhattan's East Side.
"They migrated here so what we do translates really easily," said Kim.
And just like those transplants, the move from the suburbs has forced the company to deal with one of New York's perennial problems — lack of space. Other retail locations have had the benefit of having large footprints. For instance, the chain's main Long Island location is 10,000 square feet. The new store has just 2,700 square feet. As a result, the assortment has been significantly narrowed in an effort to put the focus on quality rather than quantity.
"For this location, we definitely wanted to keep it as clean and as edited as possible," said Kim. "It's a completely different animal and you want it to be easy to shop."Kim said that with a suburban store the company might be willing to buy eight different colors or washes of the same style of jean. With the city store, buyers will edit that down to just two or three selections. Still, the store will carry up to 3,000 pairs of jeans from brands like Brown Label, Hudson, Paper Denim & Cloth and Seven For All Mankind.
The store's rectangular shape also presented challenges. Kim said the unit's design was intended to draw shoppers through to the back. The entrance will be home to contemporary apparel and tops, the middle section will house T-shirts and sweatshirts and the "denim library" will be located in the back.
"Each area brings a little something different to the mix," said Kim.
The store will only carry women's apparel and Kim said the firm will continue to look at opening more units in New York and other cities. However, the company isn't setting specific expansion targets.
"It's about getting the formula right before moving on," said Kim.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews