Kit Jo Horgan zoned in on the uptown end of the Australian beauty market with her hit chain of Mecca Cosmetica emporiums. Now she is tackling the downtown end with the new concept Kit.
Designed as Mecca Cosmetica’s hip little sister in collaboration with Robyn Coe-Hutshing, the founder of The Studio at Fred Segal, Kit’s highly accessible price points range from 3.95 Australian dollars, or $3.10 at current exchange, for a Natural Products Skincare Tablet up to just 120 Australian dollars, or $94, for a pH Advantage Effective OEC Serum.
The concept was launched as a single stand-alone store in the trendy Sydney suburb of Paddington in May 2005. But although it took nine years to open 16 Mecca Cosmeticas, in just 18 months, Kit is already a six-strong chain. A second stand-alone opened in Chapel Street Melbourne, along with four concept Kit stores within Myer department stores in three states (Mecca Cosmetica has two similar concepts within Myer’s upscale rival, David Jones).
In skin and body care, Kit’s brands include Mario Badescu, Korres, Hei Poa, Cowshed, L’Annine, Pré de Provence and Davies Gate. Color lines include Scott Barnes, Pop, Delux and Jemma Kidd Makeup School, along with Fresh Scents and Stacked Style fragrances, Archipelago Milk soy candles, Mudlark soaps and Mystic Lips lip balms.
Already embracing a range of lip glosses, Kit’s rapidly developing house brand got its first international airing this Christmas, when the new Kit Fragranced Series arrived at Fred Segal. The range’s three fragrances were created by Kit creative director Coe-Hutshing and ingredients include Australian native Kakadu plum, lilly pilly and quandong. There’s a Body Wash, Body Lotion and Body Oil (all 250 ml., ranging from 20 Australian dollars, or $15, to 35 Australian dollars, or $27.
The shop interiors were designed by the same firm behind Mecca Cosmetica, which is Melbourne’s Meacham, Nockles & McQualter. By contrast to Mecca’s futuristic stainless steel and white interiors, however, the Kit stores are deliberately designed down, with an art-studio, jumble-sale vibe: bare concrete walls and ceilings, wooden floorboards, an eclectic, mismatched mix of stainless steel and wooden cabinetry and merchandising units, and quirky lamp shades fashioned from plastic kitchen colanders.
“This is unisex and item-driven, so you can build your own kit,” says Horgan. “Mecca is more cosmeceutical care, blockbuster color, with high levels of service. Kit is like a self-service candy shop or a cult beauty deli.” —Patty Huntington
Universe Tim Swart and Mirko Mangum, two employees of New York skate apparel brand Zoo York, launched Univ, an action sports specialty store in Encinitas, Calif., in October with the goal of connecting the dots between action and lifestyle apparel. The 850-square-foot shop, located roughly 30 miles north of San Diego and just one block from the beach, is the first in what could be a handful of global locations.
Mangum, who is vice president of sales for Zoo York, and Swart, a freelance marketing consultant for the brand, already have signed distribution deals for their existing line of jeans and graphic T-shirts and hoodies—also dubbed Univ—with manufacturing companies in Germany and Australia. Deals with companies in Japan and Australia are in the works. “We have a vintage California aesthetic,” says Swart. “We’ll use the store as a launching pad to broadcast that further….We’ll probably have an international store before we have another domestic one.”
In the meantime, the partners will double the size of the shop in February, expanding their women’s offerings to encompass a full half of the store.
“Right now, women’s [apparel] is half of our business in sales, but only takes up about a sixth of the store,” says Swart. Best-selling women’s brands include the store’s private label, Stüssy; Soda, and 80%20 footwear.
Despite plans for worldwide domination, the shop is loyal to its small-town roots. Miss Wax, the shop’s best-selling accessories brand, is handcrafted by “a local girl who works at a nearby cafe,” says Swart. “There’s this small-town creativity here, and it’s fun to be a part of it and harness it.”
The store’s decor is classic California seaside—with an edge. Wood floors and display pieces are charmingly rough-hewn, lending the shop an easy, unpretentious vibe. “In the Fifties and Sixties, a lot of California places were either midcentury or ski lodge [in design],” says Swart. “This store looks like your grandma’s attic…if your grandma happened to be a Hell’s Angel.” —Emili Vesilind
Acervobenjamin São Paulo’s hottest new fashion venue is acervoBenjamin, or “Benjamin’s Stockroom,” a multibrand store with forward apparel from dozens of new local designers. Just over a year old, the 3,767-square-foot store, in the chic Jardins shopping district, opened with a wide variety of less-conventional apparel at affordable prices. As such, it’s a big draw for the 20- to 35-year-old set.
“Other São Paulo boutiques don’t have our array of forward designers, which, along with our prices, is why we mainly cater to young women wanting a more cutting-edge look,” says owner Patricia Ruas.
The store’s glass façade makes its interior seem transparent and inviting. Its white-painted wood floor and gray walls are intentionally minimal so that clothes provide color and decoration. They are displayed on counters, racks, mannequins and hangers suspended from nylon cords, dangling at different lengths from the ceiling. Looks on hangers and mannequins are rotated weekly, to change the decor and guarantee all 46 designers equal visibility.
For the moment, acervoBenjamin features just one established designer, Lorenzo Merlino, and four who had runway shows during São Paulo Fashion Week: Merlino, Neon, Jefferson Kulig and Karlla Girotto. The others are newcomers.
The highest-ticket items are from Neon, a maker of vibrant silk kaftans ($500), dresses ($925) and skirts ($800). Its current collection features stylized peacock or cityscape prints. One forward Merlino piece is a voluminous, orange knit blouse ($125) with metal-chain shoulder straps and backstitching that creates a vertical-striped look.
Other items in the store include a sleeveless, high-neck Fifties-style black serge dress with white side snaps ($100) by Nina Becker; a voluminous, navy-blue viscose dungaree dress ($160) by Juliana Jabour, and a blue-and-white-striped nautical-themed polyester strapless dress ($90) by Adriana Degreas.
The store’s only imports are $300 APC jeans from France and $1,000 Botkier handbags from the U.S. First-year sales for the store were at just less than $500,000, say market sources, and are expected to pick up. —Mike Kepp
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)