After opening new retail locations for its Miss Sixty contemporary jeanswear brand in New York and Miami last fall, the company has inked leases for sites in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.
Its executives are still on the hunt for more sites, with the aim of having about 10 stores in operation in the U.S. by the end of next year, compared with its current four.
“It’s a major area of growth,” said Andrew Pollard, director of sales and marketing for the Italian company’s U.S. arm. “The stores are the most incredible marketing vehicle. They really educate the end consumer. People see our merchandise within our own world, with our own furniture, our own aesthetic.”
Last week, the company inked a lease for a 2,800-square-foot spot on the Third Street Promenade in Los Angeles, which Pollard said he expects to open for business next year. The company also has lined up an 8,000-square-foot site in San Francisco that it expects to open this year and a 4,000-square-foot space in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood.
Pollard said the firm is still hunting for the right locations for a Chicago store and a second Miami unit. Its current Miami store is in the Lincoln Road mall in South Beach. It also has a unit at South Coast Plaza in California’s Orange County and two in New York.
In addition to providing valuable exposure for the brand, Pollard said the stores serve as a laboratory for the company’s edgy fashion.
“Becoming retailers, we understand and get to know what product works and what doesn’t work very, very quickly,” he said. “We get into markets where many specialty stores can never afford to be present and we also get to run another part of the business that, in our minds, we obviously want to make produce revenue.”
Pollard declined to provide U.S. revenues for the privately owned company, but said that, worldwide, Miss Sixty is on track to do between $650 million and $700 million in sales this year. The U.S. business is the company’s fastest-growing arm, but still represents well under half of its total sales, he said.In addition to Miss Sixty, the company produces seven other brands. Its other women’s brand in the U.S. is Killah, for junior jeans and sportswear. It also produces the Energie and Sixty men’s lines in the U.S.
“We’re also opening stores for the other brands,” he said. “We’re looking for a stand-alone location for Energie and also plan in the next two years to open one for Killah, as well.”
Abroad, parent company Sixty SpA also produces the Dake 9, Decauville, Merci & Nie and Ayor brands. Pollard said the firm plans to slowly introduce those brands in the U.S. over the next few years.
First up is Decauville, which Sixty plans to begin shipping to U.S. retailers this fall.
Decauville takes its inspiration from problems that early gold miners faced, Pollard said. As the story goes, miners would wear out the seats of their pants while riding the mine train and have to patch the holes. So the Decauville jeans will feature leather patches on their rear.
“We’ve taken that concept and have it in various stages: one-year, two-years, three-years worn,” said Pollard, explaining that a wash process is used to create the appearance of age. “All three years have an authentic patch on the back, for men’s and women’s.”
The Decauville collection includes 25 pieces, with jeans wholesaling for about $95. Pollard said distribution is targeting better specialty stores.
Next fall, the company aims to import the Merci & Nie brand. Pollard said having a broad stable of high-end brands allows the company to grow revenues without risking overdistributing any one label.
“That’s one of our biggest advantages — we will continually bring in new brands from our Italian office and market them in a major way,” said Pollard. “We are by no means trying to limit any one brand. We want to maximize the growth of all our brands, but at the same time, we want to preserve the integrity and work toward the longevity of all brands.”
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast