NEW YORK — Ted has taken up residence on Fifth Avenue.
Quirky British brand Ted Baker London on Thursday will open a three-story, 7,000-square-foot flagship at 595 Fifth Avenue at 48th Street in Midtown Manhattan. The store, which is the brand’s largest unit in the U.S., has been designed to replicate a traditional London townhouse of the Twenties. It features Art Deco design details including an elaborate metal staircase with messages written on the steps and bespoke printed wallpaper, along with exposed brick walls, a three-story glass chandelier and an elaborate digital window installation that includes a huge clock with pendulums and moving cogs and a screen that will display movies, photos and animation.
“This is quite a big thing for us,” said Ray Kelvin, founder and chief executive officer. “I started this business in my kitchen 25 years ago and to now have a store on Fifth Avenue is unbelievable. [It] puts us in the heart of one of the world’s premier shopping districts. The location will give those new to the brand a healthy dose of the retail theater and rich detailing that we have become known for, and our regulars the sense of place that they have become accustomed to with Ted.”
The Fifth Avenue flagship marks the 18th store for the brand in America and its third in Manhattan, following the Meatpacking District and SoHo. Each store is unique and designed to fit into the neighborhood in which it is located.
This store brings to life the company’s interpretation of “Ted’s Grand House.” Shoppers enter the grand hall where men’s and women’s apparel and accessories share the space. Vintage-looking portraits with a twist hang from the walls and include images of women with moustaches or tea cakes on their heads and a young child with a Mohawk.
“It’s not just a shop fit,” Kelvin said. “It’s a home. We want people to come in and feel comfortable.”
Men’s wear has its own home on the lower level in a space designed to mimic a scullery, complete with dozens of butler’s bells on the walls, pots and pans at the bottom of display racks, upside down jelly molds hanging from the ceiling and a silver service at the cash wrap. The store is opening with the company’s fall collection of tailored clothing and sportswear in heritage fabrics that recall the great English outdoors.
The women’s department is upstairs and is reminiscent of a lady’s boudoir with fans on the walls and a cash wrap that looks like a vanity table. Fitting rooms feature floor to ceiling velvet curtains. The fall women’s collection features a “town meets country” theme and includes everything from the Working Title tailored pieces to eveningwear.
Although Ted Baker has a strong men’s business, Kelvin expects women’s merchandise to account for about 60 percent of sales at the store. “But both will perform admirably,” he said. “There are more women walking by, but the men’s wear is breathtaking.”
The store also features some exclusive products, such as lace bodice ballgowns for $790 to $1,840; high-collar wool heritage jackets for $405, and an oversize crocodile-print handbag for $600. Exclusive men’s products include a heritage wool jacket with patch pockets and a Flying Scotsman train lining for $550; tweed and herringbone jackets with built-in pocket squares for $460 to $550; jersey cardigans with built-in pocket squares for $199; a suit with built-in silk pocket squares for $920, and cotton jackets with British boxing linings and assorted vintage sport club badges for $460.
Kelvin declined to provide a volume projection for the store, but said it is expected to be profitable. “It was a big investment,” he said. “But we have a plan that is achievable.” He said the company is “not big enough” to support a showcase store that doesn’t carry its weight. “If it doesn’t deliver, it will have a material effect on the company,” he said.
Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the Retail Group of Prudential Douglas Elliman, estimated the rent for that location would be between $4 million and $5 million a year, and “to make a profit, the benchmark is 10 times the rent.”
For the year ended Jan. 28, profits at Ted Baker plc rose 11.7 percent to 27.1 million pounds, or $42.3 million at current exchange, on a 14.9 percent rise in sales to 215.6 million pounds, or $336.5 million.
Kelvin said opening on Fifth Avenue “sets a global scene” for the brand and positions it “on a world stage. We never advertise, and our p.r. is very controlled, but the footfall here is incredible. It’s not just America, it’s the world.”
For the opening weekend, 30 maids and butlers will walk the streets of Midtown handing out keys to Ted’s home and helping passersby by shining their shoes, hailing cabs and using feather dusters on their packages.
Ted Baker has more than 300 locations on five continents and recently opened stores in Singapore and Hong Kong. Additional units will be added in Toronto, Beijing, Shanghai and Kuwait by the end of the year.
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