LAS VEGAS — Fast Retailing Co.’s acquisition of J Brand is bearing fruit in a more detailed strategy to open the premium denim brand’s first stand-alone retail stores in Los Angeles and New York in the coming year.
Eight months after Japan’s Fast Retailing, which also owns Uniqlo, Theory and Helmut Lang, purchased a majority stake in J Brand for $290 million, the company is negotiating to secure a location for its Los Angeles store that will open by next summer. The second outpost will bow in New York by the end of 2014.
Both units represent more than vanity plays in retail. “Profitability is very important to the equation,” said Jeff Rudes, J Brand’s chief executive officer, while presenting the company’s new collections at the apparel trade shows here. “We’re about profits. We’re a very profitable company. Our partners at Fast Retailing are very profitable.”
Moreover, he noted that the Los Angeles address for the company’s first store isn’t found on a trendy street.
“It’s a little bit off the beaten path,” he said. “We’re around very cool brands that have profitable stores. We don’t believe you have to be on a cool street like Melrose Place to create an image and make money.”
In describing the design edict for the stores, Rudes cited “contemporary and clean with a modern touch [and] spacious.” As for stocking the shelves, he said J Brand isn’t rushing to expand into new product categories before the stores launch. Indeed, he said the first brand extension won’t come before 2015.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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