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.
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
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion