Generra Plans First U.S. Store

Contemporary brand Generra plans to open a store in the Meatpacking District this fall.

A rendering of the planned Generra store.

Although some apparel firms launch stores stateside before expanding overseas, Public Clothing’s Generra brand will open its first freestanding retail space in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District this fall after establishing a presence in Japan.

This story first appeared in the June 15, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Dan Shamdasani, chief executive officer of Public Clothing, said the 1,800-square-foot store at 823 Washington Street will have 1,200 square feet for selling and the rest for storage. Thomas Juul-Hansen, who designed Generra’s Manhattan showroom, is designing the interior. Public also owns the French Cuff and Private Label brands.

Generra, a contemporary women’s and men’s sportswear brand, has five freestanding units and three shop-in-shops in Japan, which have operated under license since 2007.

Shamdasani, who has held talks with potential partners to expand in the Middle East and in China, India and Singapore, said he is also looking to grow Generra’s freestanding store count in other U.S. cities, but did not specify which ones. In addition, the brand is sold in 250 high-end specialty store doors.

Unlike many other apparel firms that seek outside investors for their expansion, Shamdasani said the company will be “funding the expansion internally.”

Generra hasn’t filled the post of creative director, vacated by Pina Ferlisi in December 2007. Instead, it is opting to work with Obedient Sons founder and designer Swaim Hutson as brand collaborator for the spring 2010 season. Obedient Sons closed last year.

“His cool, downtown fashion philosophy is a sensibility that aligns with our brand,” Shamdasani said.

Generra also hired Michael Kinnaman as its new vice president of sales and merchandising. Kinnaman, who began June 1, was director of sales and merchandising at Catherine Malandrino.