NEW YORK — Napapijri is bringing its rugged, outdoor appeal, Italian flair and aura of exotic travel to the U.S. with stores in SoHo here and South Beach, Fla.
Napapijri envisions 55 stores by 2010, expanding from the existing 17 stores in Paris and Chamonix, France, as well as Milan, Munich and Tokyo, among other cities.
"Retailing is extremely important for us," said Michele Colonna, director of marketing and visual merchandising of Napapijri. "Only through our own retail stores are we able to communicate the mind-set and portray the brand in all its essence. We want to be very relevant to the customer."
Regarding U.S. expansion, Colonna said: "We are looking at 10 stores in the next five years and we have a list of preferred locations for freestanding stores."
Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Portland, Ore., and Honolulu are on the list. Smaller resort-location stores also are being considered, such as in Vail and Aspen, Colo., and the Hamptons on New York's Long Island.
The initiative is part of a bigger strategy by parent VF Corp. to accelerate U.S. retail growth with several of its brands, including Vans, Nautica, John Varvatos, The North Face and Kipling. In three to five years, the $6.5 billion VF expects to be operating 900 to 1,000 retail stores representing 18 to 20 percent of total volume, compared with the existing 525 units that constituted 13 percent of volume last year. VF is in the market for additional brands to build its portfolio, which would make retailing an even bigger piece of the business. A major competitor, Liz Claiborne, also is accelerating retail growth.
VF bought Napapijri two years ago and has grown its sales to just under $100 million from $77 million, company officials said.
Napapijri products also are sold in more than 1,500 specialty and department stores in about 20 countries, but in only about 70 better specialty stores in the U.S. VF is pursuing a wider wholesale distribution in America and would consider a major upscale specialty chain, Colonna said.
The brand is better known in Europe, reflecting its origins. Napapijri (pronounced Napa-piri, as if there is no "j") was founded in Aosta, Italy, by the Rosset family. Napapijri means "Arctic Circle" in Finnish.The store in SoHo, at 149 Mercer Street, will be adjacent to a Marc Jacobs shop. It is to open in the first week in June with 2,795 square feet, including about 2,000 square feet for selling. "That's a comfortable size," said Colonna, explaining that it's sufficient room to present the full women's collection, which has about 250 stockkeeping units, as well as the men's collection and some children's wear.
The South Beach store will be at 1008 Lincoln Road and is to open by July. It will showcase men's and women's apparel and accessories, along with a small assortment of children's wear, in 1,500 square feet of selling space.
With its outerwear, knitwear, T-shirts, bottoms, skiwear and accessories, Napapijri has a reputation for being logo-driven, planting the Norwegian flag on its garments to honor the first explorers of the Arctic Circle who were Norwegians, and injecting style and fashion into performance products. Woven shirts are priced $98-$175; cargo pants, $125-$165; sweaters, $75-$295; outerwear ranges from around $175 in the summer to $695 in the winter, and T-Shirts are priced $80-$145.
To bolster sales and recognition, a media plan with advertising is on the agenda. "It's extremely important that we drive the customers to our stores," Colonna said. "We are identifying the consumers that we feel are our customers."
It's a group that includes many photographers, editors, art collectors, affluent individuals primarily 24 to 45 years old and those who are "very well versed in culture and travel," Colonna said. Photo exhibits, charity events and tie-ins to film festivals, publications and environmental concerns such as Global Green, are in the works.
"We will be very aggressive with store events," Colonna said.
@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