The newly opened Hanro of Switzerland flagship in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan is a precursor of additional Hanro boutiques to open in the U.S. in the next several years.
Nestled between high-end retail neighbors that include Christian Louboutin, Jay Godfrey and Intermix, the 875-square-foot Hanro shop opened in January and is proving to be a “laboratory” of merchandising and display concepts for the heritage brand, said Jan Snodgrass, president of Hanro USA.
“The neighborhood is taking to us very well, whether its local residents or visitors. Our emphasis has been to focus on fashion product and that’s become the overwhelming part of our business at the store,” said Snodgrass.
He pointed out that while the men’s luxury underwear market has limited distribution in the U.S., the brand has seen a doubling of men’s sales in the past four years, which currently comprise 17 percent of total U.S. sales. As a result, Hanro decided to dedicate more real estate to men’s underwear and loungewear in the New York flagship. Over the past month, the first retail unit in the U.S. has seen a 50-50 breakdown between men’s and women’s sales, said Snodgrass.
The boutique is also gaining exposure for the 129-year-old brand in the U.S. market, where it is sold at select department and specialty stores as well as at hanroUSA.com.
“We are getting a mix of people who have never heard of the Hanro name before, and we now have a lot of repeat customers,” said Jane Joyce, national retail services manager for Hanro. “A lot of customers are also saying, ‘I buy your underwear in Italy, France or Switzerland, but now I know you’re here.’”
Best-selling items for men include loungewear pieces of soft polyester and viscose that are brushed on the inside for added comfort, such as a robe which retails for $350, and an unconstructed shirt and pants for $145 and $155, respectively. The key color is solid gray.
Lounge separates are also top-selling items for women in solid gray and black in blends of silk and wool. Top styles are a jumpsuit priced at $375, an active-inspired top selling for $150, and coordinating pants for $225.
Meanwhile, business at the boutique is mainly conducted digitally with a sales associate scanning items as a customer selects merchandise. A counter at the back of the store is reserved for cash purchases. Joyce said customer service has become an essential commodity in conducting business and includes perks such as hand-delivering merchandise and keeping a stash of dog biscuits for neighborhood residents who often shop with their pooches.
The store, which is located in a landmark building from the Thirties with soaring 26-foot ceilings and exposed beams was designed by David Howell of DHD. Hand-blown chandeliers were created by Lindsey Adelman, and bronze display fixtures with a rich patina gloss were designed by DHD and produced by Face Design. Wood fixtures in warm hues of olive-ash by Bolger Woodworking add a clean, organic accent to the industrial setting for which Hanro invested $540,000.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast