Robert Graham, best known for whimsical men’s shirts, is pursuing two potential sweet spots — women’s and the Web.
The eight-year-old brand has hired Michael Blume to head its women’s division and unveiled plans for a new Web site featuring e-commerce that is to launch Aug. 15.
Blume, a former vice president of sales for bridge resources Magaschoni and Due per Due, will seek to grow market share and develop product for Robert Graham women’s.
Launched in 2005, the collection has taken a backseat as the men’s business thrived, but company president Neal Kusnetz said it’s time to dedicate resources to the women’s line.
“There is clear demand from women for this product,” he said. “They love Robert Graham for their guy and they love it for themselves. We are known for color and details and feel there is an easy crossover to the women’s side.”
Sold in 250 doors worldwide, Robert Graham women’s generates $3 million at retail and accounts for some 15 percent of the company’s total volume.
Kusnetz said revenues for the division could easily top $25 million as the collection adds product — knits, for example, will bow this spring — and the company allocates additional resources for marketing and promotion such as in-store appearances and trunk shows.
“Just as Robert Graham has become a major influence in the men’s market, I see a similar opportunity for women,” said Blume, who starts his new job today. “It’s all about translating our signature product.”
Like the men’s collection, the women’s core program is based on boldly printed woven shirts with rich detail, but also includes tunics and dresses.
In two weeks, select pieces from the women’s core collection as well as men’s shirts and licensed products will be available for sale on the company’s Web site for the first time. The move is part of a larger revamp of robertgraham.us, which the company hopes to use as a product and communication laboratory.
“The Web site is a reflection of who you are as a brand,” Kusnetz said. “We wanted to have a window into how people are reacting to our brand and what they buy.”
He added that product will go live on the site 60 days after it hits stores, giving wholesale partners a “jump” on new merchandise.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye