The William Rast brand is slated to hit all 90 Hudson’s Bay doors, including e-commerce, this fall.
Founded in 2005 by friends Justin Timberlake and Trace Ayala, Rast is positioned as a contemporary brand featuring a denim heritage and biker lifestyle along with a rock ’n’ roll influence. Key sportswear and outerwear items for men and women are part of the fall collection. Hudson’s Bay is building out the in-store shops — with 30 doors to feature William Rast in its store windows — set to be ready by the first week in September.
Liz Rodbell, executive vice president and chief merchant at Hudson’s, said, “The brand targets both men and women in a younger demographic who are fashion-conscious and appreciate style. The customer is drawn to a rock ’n’ roll glam aesthetic and looks for modern, edgy details in the clothing.”
She noted that the brand’s collection for fall also “represents a resurgence of blue denim focused on washes and fit, as opposed to the colored denim trend” that’s been abundant in the category.
The Rast brand was sold at Hudson’s in the spring as well, but only for selected items such as shorts and T-shirts as an in-store test.
Rodbell noted, “It was really an opportunity to start getting the customer familiar with the fits and they responded very quickly to the limited styles we offered.”
While the brand’s fall presence will be centered on sportswear, Hudson’s will continue to add categories to build Rast’s lifestyle options for its younger demographic, according to Rodbell.
Yehuda Shmidman, chief executive officer of brand management firm Sequential Brands Group, said those discussions are already in place and hinted that footwear could be the next category for expansion.
William Rast is majority-owned by Sequential. The cofounders still have a stake in the label.
Shmidman has big plans for the brand. In addition to Hudson’s, Rast has a smaller presence in men’s at J.C. Penney. The Sequential ceo wants to go big, eyeing a global department store presence for the brand. “The next region is Europe. The team last week was working with several different retailers about [the Rast brand] in women’s and men’s around the world.”
As for Timberlake and Ayala, Shmidman said the two are very involved with the business. “William Rast is their style. I love the fact that it really is them. They look at everything. Trace is super on the day-to-day stuff for us. Justin has input on the aesthetic.…It’s a true partnership,” Shmidman said.
According to Rodbell, Rast men’s and women’s jeans start at 60 Canadian dollars, or $57.66, while a vegan leather motorcycle jacket, either men’s or women’s, starts at 130 Canadian dollars, or $124.93. All conversions are at current exchange.
Helping to showcase the new fall offering at Hudson’s on Tuesday were Timberlake and Ayala, who were at the chain’s store on Toronto’s Queen Street. Included was a short fashion show and afterward, a giveaway of concert tickets to Timberlake’s concert tonight at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, in which he is appearing with Jay-Z as part of the Legends of Summer tour.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews