NEW YORK — From its classic Old World appeal and bridge prices, the Façonnable collection has been easing into updated, feminine styling, accessories and higher prices with its new Façonnable Platine luxury line.
And come Friday, Façonnable will really be able to show off its traditional and modern sides with the opening of a world flagship in Rockefeller Center.
“We are offering something new, while maintaining our heritage,” said Kenzel Wilson, vice president and U.S. brand manager for Façonnable, during an interview at the upcoming store, located on the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and 51st Street.
The site was formerly occupied by Sephora. It has been completely remade for the 52-year-old Façonnable, with a rich, traditional look in herringbone hardwood floors; French doors over the second-floor windows for a diffused lighting effect; broad, molded structural columns that help segment the store, rather than having a wide-open floor, and mohair-lined dressing rooms. All the furnishings are custom-made, and even the escalators were removed and replaced by an elegant staircase with ornamental metals for a traditional touch and less commercial feel.
But make no mistake, Façonnable wants to do some serious business, particularly after being constrained at its former Fifth Avenue location. “We’ll do 2 1/2 times the business we did in the old boutique,” said Wilson, but he declined to project a volume at the new site. However, real estate sources estimated that the former Façonnable store on Fifth Avenue did $11 million to $12 million in sales, depending on the year.
The women’s merchandise, located on the second floor, will represent just over 50 percent of Façonnable’s volume this year for the first time, according to Wilson. “That’s come from customer demand, not a strategy from us,” he said.
The percentage has shifted not so much because of the difficulties experienced in men’s wear across retailing, but more due to the updated approach that women want and Façonnable has recently decided to offer, without nixing its old standbys. For example, while still offering a classic cotton blouse with a fuller fit for $98, Façonnable has added blouses that are more shaped, with double-faced fabrics and cuff details, priced at $150, or those with elongated French cuffs, called “poker” shirts, priced at $125. Also, while classic and predictable men’s inspired wool pinstriped suitings remain part of the mix, there are updated suitings with fabric pieced so the patterns run in different directions.“For us, design starts with the fabric many times,” Wilson noted. Aside from fabrics, Façonnable is also known for its fine construction.
The 21,555-square-foot flagship has 11,185 square feet of selling space over two levels and a concourse level used for storage. The store was designed by Façonnable and Nordstrom, the brand’s parent company, as well as retail architect Scott A. Huntley.
The company’s former store, located between 54th and 55th Streets, had a total of 10,000 square feet, with just 3,000 square feet for selling. It displayed all the men’s wear, but only a small selection of women’s. Reportedly, Zara, the Spanish retailer, is considering taking the site. Inside Nordstrom department stores, Façonnable merchandise gets relegated to separate 800-square-foot shops for men’s and women’s wear.
However, there is ample space at the new Rockefeller Center flagship, which has separate areas for Façonnable Platine, women’s sportswear and suitings, casual sportswear and outerwear, blouses (which represent a third of the business), jeans and leather, and accessories and shoes.
While Façonnable targets customers from ages 25 to 65, Platine is designed to appeal to women 35 and older, emphasizes fitted waists and offers over 25 silhouettes. Platine, which is French for platinum, was launched at the spring collections in Paris earlier this year and bowed in June at Nordstrom stores. With the Rockefeller Center flagship opening, it marks its debut in the metropolitan New York area. The line is European-inspired and incorporates lots of couture-type details like embroidered linings with signature patterns and custom-designed buttons. Suit prices start at $1,400, suede coats at $2,000, cashmere coats at $2,200 and knits and blouses, $600.
The flagship also offers footwear, a relative newcomer to the assortment, including antique-finished full-length boots, priced at $295, and suede loafers for $125. Handbags, including dressy scratched leather bags priced up to $575, as well as a sport group for $295, are also sold.
Men’s wear, located on the main floor, offers suits starting at $995, neckwear priced at $79.50, dress and sportshirts from $98.50 to $125 and trousers from $69.50 to $225, as well as coats and shoes.Nordstrom started selling the Nice, France-based Façonnable brand exclusively in the U.S. in 1989 and bought the brand in the fall of 2000 for $170 million. At that time, Nordstrom was generating about $100 million in retail sales of Façonnable clothes at its stores, plus some small additional volume through the three Façonnable boutiques operating then in New York, Beverly Hills and South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, Calif. Since then, units in North Park Center in Dallas and at the Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, Fla., have been opened. While the company is exploring sites for more stores in the U.S., no additional units are currently planned, Wilson said. Façonnable also operates 28 international boutiques, primarily in Europe.
Façonnable, which comes from the word “façonner,” meaning “to create,” was founded by Albert Goldberg in 1961, after he took over his father’s tailor shop in the south of France.
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