The British brand Reiss is seeking to make a bold statement by placing its new flagship in the heart of Robertson Boulevard.
"We have never been one to do big advertising campaigns, but the whole world is celebrity-driven," said David Reiss, founder and chief executive officer. "If we are going to go to L.A. and open this flagship, and we are linked to celebrities, let the world know about it."
The 12,000-square-foot Reiss space in West Hollywood, a few doors from The Ivy, the famed celebrity hangout, opened May 10 and should attract its share of attention with its two-story, window-paneled exterior covered in large polkadots.
"Robertson is a very cool street, but it is also a transient street," the ceo said. "We wanted to make a storefront that was powerful, to make people stop and notice."
Walking into the store, women's clothes — a variety of dresses, including the sequined Castor at $395, the scoopneck Lilly at $385 and the beaded Fitzgerald at $375, punctuate the spring-summer offerings — greet shoppers and fill almost half of the first floor. The other half is dedicated to men's clothes, which the company started with in 1970 before launching a women's collection in 2000.
All pieces in the stores in West Hollywood and New York, where the brand began retailing in the U.S. about two years ago, have U.K. and U.S. sizes on their tags. "We try to give newness once a week,'' said Laurie Marco, director of retail operations. "In New York, people come in every Friday because they know there will be some new things."
Accessories and the women's fitting room section are up a short staircase in the rear of the West Hollywood store. Shoes average about $325; sunglasses, $150, and belts, $110. Reiss is building the accessories assortment to stock an accessories-only retail concept that will launch in London in September and is expected to eventually come to the U.S.
The second floor houses a large showroom and a spacious, private fitting room for VIPs. Reiss said that, among the celebrities who have worn the clothes are Katie Holmes, Hilary Duff, Eva Longoria, Heidi Klum and Nicole Kidman.Throughout much of the store, designed by D-Raw design firm for "over a few million," Reiss said, there are long silver chains to symbolize the London rain and floral-pattern wallpaper that appears to have been drawn with black crayon. The men's fitting room has a Scottish thistle pattern. The floors are wood and concrete, a leftover material from the site's previous incarnation as a Reebok shop, and are broken up by a number of bespoke rugs.
Reiss has 55 stores around the world and plans to open 250 units in about five years. The brand is aiming for 50 U.S. stores, ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 square feet each. Reiss said he has signed leases for 11 more U.S. locations, including a store to open in Miami in the fall.
"We want to be very selective to make sure where we open is conducive for the brand," he said.
Reiss estimated the West Hollywood store would generate $6 million in sales the first year, on par with the performance of the three Reiss stores in New York. Overall, Reiss said U.S. sales would constitute 10 percent of the brand's total this year.
The ceo certainly seems to be getting the hang of the West Coast lifestyle. On a sunny Friday afternoon, he worked on the patio atop the five-star Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel. And what about The Ivy? "It is my second home," he quipped.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion