By  on July 16, 2010

Saks Fifth Avenue wants to attract a more fashion-forward men’s customer.

For holiday, the luxury retailer will debut an offshoot of its successful Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Collection, a complete line that is targeted to a modern shopper.

“We realized we had an opportunity,” said Tom Ott, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s wear.

The SFA Men’s Collection, which launched last August, has been rooted in a classic sensibility. The line, known as the Crown Collection, is more of a “modern fashion collection,” Ott said.

There will be velvet blazers, paisley shirts and pin-striped pants. In contrast, the regular collection has cashmere sweaters, classic wool blazers with leather elbow patches and rep ties. Ott said it will be a complete collection, and include trousers, woven shirts, knit shirts, sweaters, tailored clothing and outerwear. Shoes will be added for spring.

We felt it was important to show it as a total collection,” he said. “If we did it as classifications, it wouldn’t get the recognition it deserves.”

Ott said the modern collection will launch in 25 doors — the SFA Men’s Collection is in all doors — and will represent around 12 to 13 percent of the line’s total mix.

In addition, the store is beefing up its branded contemporary assortment. Ott said Saks has “worked on exclusive items with a handful of contemporary resources” to offer “key items” such as blazers, woven shirts and nondenim bottoms beginning this fall. Vendors will include BD Baggies, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Elizabeth & James and AG.

“They’re items that many guys with a contemporary point of view would consider essential in their wardrobe,” he said.

This initiative, which is being called Saks Essentials, is intended to attract a younger customer, Ott said, and is not necessarily targeted to the same shopper as the Crown Collection.

“Crown is more mainstream and the contemporary lines are geared more to the customer who is willing to experiment,” he said.

Overall, Ott said, “This whole area is growing for us. And these initiatives will allow us to capture market share. It will also let us be a little more casual and not so serious.”

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