G-Shock is celebrating its 30th anniversary by opening its first freestanding store in the U.S.
The Casio-owned watch brand on Wednesday opened a 1,500-square-foot flagship at 454 West Broadway in the heart of New York’s SoHo district. The two-level store carries the full men’s and women’s collections as well as several limited-edition pieces, including commemorative items for the upcoming anniversary.
“SoHo is a fashion destination,” said Tadashi Shibuya, general manager of the timepiece division. “We have 300 stores around the world, but this is our first in the U.S. G-Shock is going to celebrate its 30th anniversary next May, so the timing is right.”
The store, with its streetwear-influenced design, is expected to appeal to its core customer: young men between 18 and 35 who are action sports enthusiasts. “G-Shock conveys toughness and this store has an industrial feeling,” Shibuya said, pointing to the cement blocks and metal I-beams used to hold display cases. “G-Shock is the toughest watch in the world; it’s unbreakable. The original concept is that you can drop it from 30 feet, it’s water-resistant and has a 10-year battery.”
The 800-square-foot first floor is devoted to selling space while the 700 square feet on the upper level is dedicated to a museum of the company’s watches over the years as well as a gallery space. “G-Shock supports up-and-coming artists,” he said, and has since its inception.
For the opening, the work of Brooklyn-based graffiti artist Eric Haze, who has collaborated with G-Shock since the late Nineties, is on display both in the gallery space as well as in a display case right inside the front door where Haze’s most recent watch and packaging designs are being showcased.
The second floor also features an elaborate G-Shock sculpture crafted from 1,200 watches that have been spray-painted gray as well as a company history video.
The majority of the watches retail for $130 to $150. The highest-priced offering in the store is a limited-edition titanium diving watch created for the anniversary that is priced at $1,700. The company’s best-selling model is the Mudman, which retails for $200 and features a compass, thermo sensor and moon phase graph. Nearly 40 percent of the brand’s sales are solar-powered watches, he said.
Although the majority of the offering is men’s, Baby-G, the company’s women’s collection, is also featured in the store.
Shibuya said there are no immediate plans to add other stores in the U.S., where the brand is carried in 1,000 department stores and about 2,000 jewelry stores. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t looking for other locations.
“We want to see how the customer responds,” he said. “We hope everyone will come to see what G-Shock is about. [Then if it’s successful] why not?” He said the first choice for a second location would be the Los Angeles area. “That’s a big, big market for us.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
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Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast