The designer will open his first flagship outside the U.S., a 4,500-square-foot store in the Minami-Aoyama district of Tokyo, in mid-March.
The store, whose neighbors will include Prada, Comme des Garçons, Undercover and Acne, will sell the brand’s full men’s and women’s collections and will include a special area for made-to-measure. The split-level store will be designed based on Browne’s concepts and ideas by the interior design firm of Wonderwall, led by Masamichi Katayama, who worked on Colette in Paris as well as several other high-profile retail stores and galleries.
“We’re really excited about the store both as a way to boost an already strong business in Asia and as an image statement,” Browne said Wednesday from Milan, where he was working on the Moncler Gamme Bleu collection that will be shown in January.
He said the design will be similar to the 2,500-square-foot Thom Browne store in TriBeCa in New York. “This will be a very significant flagship store and we wanted it to stand out and be important in the Toyko retail community,” the designer said.
He said Minami-Aoyama is one of the city’s higher-end retail districts and home to many of the city’s “cooler” brands, which is why he opted to open the store in that area.
He said the store will be operated in the same manner as the rest of the business, as a joint venture with Cross Co., the Japanese firm that bought a majority stake in the business three years ago.
Cross, which operates retail stores across Asia, will run the store, but the merchandise selection and the look of the store will be chosen by Browne. He and Cross will work together on staffing the unit. “This is a way to move the business forward,” he said.
This may be just the beginning of Browne’s retail presence in Asia. “Long-term, we’re hoping for a lot of stores,” Browne said, “but we’re just focusing on this one for now.”
The Thom Browne collection is also carried at Isetan department stores, Dover Street Market on the Ginza, United Arrows and Hankyu in Japan. It is also sold in Seoul and Hong Kong at Joyce and I.T, along with some smaller boutiques.
Since Cross purchased its stake in the brand, giving Browne the financial breathing room he needed to expand his label, he has launched a capsule collection called Thom Grey that is exclusive to Barneys New York’s Co-op stores in the States. It is also carried at Harrods, the Galleria in Seoul and I.T in Hong Kong and Beijing. Since being introduced this fall, Browne said the line is “selling really well and we’re thinking how to move it forward.”
In addition to his signature collection, Thom Grey and Moncler Gamme Bleu, Browne designs the Black Fleece collection for Brooks Brothers. There are two freestanding Black Fleece stores in the U.S., in New York and San Francisco, and Brooks is looking for an additional location in Miami.
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)
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@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
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@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
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)