NEW YORK — Andrew Buckler, designer of the Buckler men’s wear label, is about to expand retail operations beyond his subterranean store and showroom in the Meatpacking District with a second store in Soho and another in London.
“We’ve had the Meatpacking store for nearly three years and we’ve managed underground,” said Buckler. “If we can survive that, we can survive anything. It’s going to be a lot easier growing above ground.”
The Soho store, 2,500 square feet at 93 Grand Street, will open Dec. 13. Architect Ronald Castellano of Castellano Studios took a minimal approach with an almost monastic, ecclesiastical flavor. The store will house the full Buckler collection, which recently expanded into shoes and swimwear.
The London store, on the other hand, was designed by the Buckler team, and incorporates more historical features like old brickwork and vintage subway tiles. Armor will be displayed as a nod to the area’s past as the entrance to Henry VIII’s artillery grounds.
The London store will also open in December, but will celebrate its grand opening during London Fashion Week in February. Set on Artillery Lane in London’s East End, close to the landmark Spitalfields market, both the location and design echo the original New York store. “It reminded me so much of New York’s meat market in terms of both historical context and the current renaissance Spitalfields is enjoying,” the designer said.
The space’s 3,000 square feet are on two floors that will be evenly split between retail and wholesale operations.
Buckler, a Royal College of Art–trained, independent designer, combines American and British influences in his work. “I see the design as fashion-oriented in the sense that as trends come and go, we adapt to what’s going on, which in men’s wear can be a rare thing. Men’s doesn’t necessarily move at the pace women’s does,” he said.
The Buckler brand started as a denim label in 2001.
“Denim is still the backbone of what we do, but now we do the whole of a man’s wardrobe. We have the full casual wardrobe and suiting as well. We have more and more customers wanting to buy the whole thing, not just jeans,” he said. Jeans sell for $155 and up. Suits are $500 for the jacket, $200 to $300 for the pants, and $150 for a vest. Though the items are priced accessibly, the fabrics are from Italy and the pieces are finished with handworked detail.
In other recent developments, Buckler has designed a private label collection for the Turkish retailer Vakko