TOKYO — J Brand founder and chief executive officer Jeff Rudes was in town Tuesday to tout the denim and sportswear brand’s new Osaka store and “record-breaking sales.”
“Our business is growing and our fall season is one of the best — if not the best season — of retail we’ve ever seen,” said the executive, who hosted a dinner for Japanese fashion editors.
Rudes declined to give sales figures and said it was too soon to talk about the brand’s retail expansion plans beyond the Osaka store. He told WWD in August that the firm was negotiating for a location in Los Angeles, to open by next summer, and a New York site expected to bow by the end of next year. He provided no further details on plans for the brand’s retail rollout during his visit here.
“Nothing has changed. We’re on the same health plan as Theory,” he said with a laugh. “[Fast Retailing is] letting us do what we do best.”
The 215-square-foot Osaka store, located in the Hankyu Umeda department store, opens today and complements the brand’s 120 wholesale points of sale in Japan, where the company recently set up its own subsidiary to manage the business.
Rudes said the store gives the Japanese consumer a sense of the brand’s “breadth” in terms of its denim and ready-to-wear.
“For denim, it’s known as a very up-to-date, forward market, especially in the fashion sense,” he said, adding that the brand’s slim-fitting jeans and apparel work particularly well with Asian consumers. The average Japanese retail price for a pair of jeans is 19,000 yen, or $195, in line with that in the U.S.
Elsewhere, Rudes said the brand is doing brisk business in China, where it has a presence in Beijing through Lane Crawford and seven stores in Shanghai through denim retailer O’Blu.
“We do a very nice business at very high prices,” he said, noting that J Brand’s jeans generally retail for between $400 and $500 a pair in China, due to high retailing costs and a generous mark-up.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews