Bonobos proved to be a brand on the move this week, kicking off a retail partnership with Belk and making some fresh additions to its shirt business, a category coming into its own at a company built on bottoms.
Belk opened seven shops-in-shop dedicated to the brand, including a 550-square-foot space adjacent to Vineyard Vines and across from Ralph Lauren at its Southpark Mall store in Charlotte, N.C. Bonobos’ other Belk outposts are in Raleigh, N.C.; Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Huntsville, Ala., and Nashville. Another shop will open in Dallas in April.
“We were thoughtful in terms of distribution — it’s the eight best locations,” brand president Brad Andrews told WWD. “It’s a chance to work with a great partner, but it gives us exposure to a region that we’re a little underpenetrated in, which is the South.” He said the shops-in-shop would help the brand bring in new customers and provide insight into where the company might someday open its own stores.
On a national scale, Nordstrom is still Bonobos’ largest wholesale account. The retailer invested in the company in 2012 and will carry it in all of its 117 full-line stores by this summer.
The two department stores carry different assortments of the brand. Nordstrom is more item-focused and started with a few key pieces such as the chino and Weekday Warrior pants and has since added woven shirts. Belk carries more of a “collection,” and Andrews likens the variety available to consumers as a mini version of bonobos.com or one of its Guideshops.
The company also launched the Dress Code marketing campaign on Thursday, adding “slim tailored” shirts to its offerings, which already included standard and slim fits. Each of the three cuts has three collar options — the point, the semi-spread and the spread — as well as two fabrications, the $98 wrinkle-free Daily Grind and the $138 Americano (all fabric from the latter comes from Italian mills).
“We had a wild year in tops [in 2013],” said chief executive officer Andy Dunn.
He pointed out that the category went from 10 percent of the overall business in 2010 to 25 percent in 2013, and projected that shirts will become a third of the business this year. Pants, the foundation of the company, went from 70 percent of sales in 2010 to 45 percent last year as the shirt business grew. Last year, casual woven shirts, sweaters and dress shirts saw sales growth of 180 percent, 170 percent and 130 percent, respectively.
Dress shirts accounted for a relatively small portion of the business last year — just a quarter of the size of casual shirts — but Dunn and Andrews expect that to change. The company estimates sales for dress shirts will multiply three-and-a-half times in 2014, while the suiting and blazer business doubles, with an emphasis on slim suiting. The brand declined to comment on projected sales overall.
“From a strategy standpoint, you can count the powerful men’s wear brands that are relevant for casual and tailored [clothing],” Andrews said. “This is the year we ‘show up.’ It’s been a good business for us, [but we’re] trying to make it a great business.”
@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
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)