NEW YORK — Sweden’s Happy Socks will open its first U.S. store in SoHo here Friday. The 200-square-foot shop at 436 West Broadway, between Prince and Spring streets, is owned and operated by United Legwear Co., the North American licensee and distributor for Happy Socks since 2011.
The jewel box space, on a heavily trafficked stretch in SoHo, was conceived as an all-white showcase for the colorfully patterned Happy Socks designs. “We wanted an empty canvas where the socks speak for themselves. It’s like a candy store,” said Mikael Soderlindh, who cofounded Happy Socks with creative director Viktor Tell in 2008.
The SoHo store is the brand’s sixth retail unit worldwide. The company operates directly owned stores in Stockholm and Malmö, Sweden, as well as one unit in Tokyo. Local distribution partners operate retail locations in Hong Kong and Taipei.
Later this year a flagship will open in London, as well as additional units in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. Next year a store is planned for Paris.
Happy Socks is now in about 70 markets around the world, with 60 distribution partners. United Legwear has grown the U.S. into the brand’s largest market, followed by Europe and Japan.
Happy Socks, which retail on average for $12 a pair, has helped fuel the trend of attention-grabbing fashion socks for both men and women. The brand will sell 10 million pairs of socks this year, worth about $120 million at retail, double that of 2012, according to the company.
The brand offers 80 to 100 different unisex sock styles per season. Designs come in two sizes, which are split relatively evenly in sales, indicating a solidly dual-gender customer base. “The fashion sock category has exploded, and Happy Socks is the best-known brand in the category,” said Rita Polidori O’Brien, vice president of licensing and marketing at New York-based United Legwear Co.
The brand is wholesaled to Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Madewell, Crewcuts by J. Crew, Kitson and Opening Ceremony, and has grown into United Legwear’s third-biggest business, behind Puma and Skechers.
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
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion