DALLAS — Men’s wear designer Edo Popken opened his first U.S. boutique here this month as a fashion pioneer in the Design District, a growing neighborhood of interior design showrooms and art galleries next to downtown.
Popken, who has done catalogue and e-commerce business in the U.S. since 2009, chose Texas for his first store because it had the highest average orders and a slightly lower return rate than other American markets.
“Texas ended up number one,” he noted. “My plan is to open three of our own retail stores in Texas, and once they are successful then franchises all over the country in 25 to 30 cities.”
Born in Oldenburg, Germany, Popken is a fourth-generation fashion merchant who is meticulous about “every detail, every fabric, every thread.” He designs his own textiles, favoring bright, bold colors like pink, yellow, orange and turquoise.
“I feel like I have a positive attitude, and if you don’t have it in the morning, you will feel better when you put [color] on,” he said. “It’s also more individualistic.”
The embroidered logo on his popular $128 polo shirts is a large seated lion, the symbol of Zurich, where his company is based and his only other store operates. Popken also does high unit volume in dress shirts, which are produced in numbered limited editions of 111, and does well with detailed tailored jackets retailing from $1,600 to $2,000, he said. Jeans, outerwear, ties and leather accessories round out the men’s collection.
Company sales volume is in low- to mid-seven-figures, he said, declining to be more specific.
Popken’s clothes are designed for the bon vivant life he lives himself. A descendent of German nobility, Popken keeps a chateau and champagne winery in France and collects limited-edition cars. He first visited Dallas in 2011 as a donor to DIFFA Dallas’ flamboyant annual benefit runway show.
“It was a greater show than I expected and a good introduction to this market,” he said.