TOKYO — Alexander Wang has just opened its first flagship here as the brand slows its rapid expansion efforts in favor of growing sales through its existing store network.
Alexander Wang president Rodrigo Bazan said he is happy with the company’s performance and sales growth but he is also cautious not to overexpose the brand and open too many stores too quickly. He declined to disclose sales figures but said the fashion firm is trading in line with expectations.
“We could be growing more if we decided to open more distribution,” he said of the business, which counts 16 stores globally. Of that total, 12 opened last year. Club 21 is the brand’s retail partner for Japan, as well as Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
The new 5,120-square-foot store in the trendy Aoyama district, which makes its home on a strip featuring newly opened Acne and Thom Browne flagships, is the brand’s first unit spanning three floors. Its ample size has given the company plenty of space for interiors featuring a mix of raw concrete, white Carrara marble and black Nero Marquina from China, polished bronze accents and floating shelving units.
The new store, which opened to the public on Saturday, dedicates a sizable section of the basement level to men’s apparel and accessories. Handbags and women’s wear occupy the ground and second floors, respectively. A zippered backpack featuring rose gold hardware is exclusive to the store, retailing for 136,500 yen, or $1,400 at current exchange.
Over the past two years, the brand has opened five shops-in-shop in Japan and the business is doing “extremely well” in the country, Bazan said, attributing the growth to a combination of its fashion-forward customer base and the brand’s competitive pricing and product assortment, particularly in accessories.
“It’s been a market that from the departure hasn’t had a distinction so much between European designers and new designers,” Bazan said, adding that the Aoyama store is “the perfect complement to the shop-in-shop business we have.”
Wang, who did not travel to Tokyo for the store opening, said he loves the Japanese capital and its people’s innovative approach to fashion.
“Tokyo’s Aoyama district feels like the right place to introduce our new retail concept. The Aoyama store gives us the space to house the largest men’s ready-to-wear and T by Alexander Wang collections in Japan,” the designer said.
Elsewhere in Asia, Bazan said the company is “fairly happy” with the performance of its Beijing flagship in the Sanlitun Village retail complex, which opened last year. The brand also has two stores in Shanghai that are performing “well” and in line with expectations.
The executive stressed that it’s still early days for the brand in China, a market that is rapidly evolving in terms of its taste level. Like in other markets, Wang is focusing on growing its business through its existing stores rather than rushing to open more units. Bazan said he senses that malls in China are requiring longer periods to really “warm-up” and attract customers.
“A new mall will take more time to get busier and busier and that’s across every single brand,” he said.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty