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Todd Snyder is getting back into the retail business.
This story first appeared in the July 18, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The designer, who was senior vice president of men’s design for J. Crew before launching his namesake label two years ago, has signed a retail licensing deal with Anglobal Ltd. to open stores in Asia. A flagship is expected to make its debut in early spring in the Aoyama district of Tokyo, followed by another two to three units over the next three years.
The publicly held Anglobal was founded in 1964 and counts Margaret Howell Ltd. as a wholly owned subsidiary. The company currently operates 103 Margaret Howell stores in Japan and Europe.
“This has been brewing for a while,” Snyder said. “Two years ago we did a pop-up store in Japan, and we’ve always had a huge following there. The Japanese have always embraced us — 50 percent of our business is over there. They love America and Americana.”
He said Anglobal approached him with the idea to open stores in Asia and they struck a deal. In addition to the 1,200-square-foot space the partners are searching for in Aoyama, Snyder said he hopes to open another unit in Tokyo, as well as two in the surrounding area.
Snyder said he will design the store and it will be “modeled after a tailor shop.” The designer’s co-branded tailored clothing with Southwick will be the “major anchor” of the store, he said, and it will be mixed with sportswear items and pieces from Snyder’s other collaborations, including Champion and Bates Hats.
Snyder was with J. Crew when the retailer opened its first men’s-specific store, The Liquor Store, in New York’s TriBeCa, a space that is wildly popular with the Japanese, he said. “They came to me because of the Liquor Store,” Snyder said of Anglobal.
The licensing deal covers all of Asia, and Snyder believes there is potential for opening Todd Snyder stores in South Korea as well. “It’s such a modern country, and it’s growing faster than Japan,” he said.
And would he ever open a store in the U.S.? “That’s the dream,” he said, saying he would like to ultimately have stores in New York, Tokyo and London. “But I’m looking for the right partner. I just don’t have the capital to do it myself.”