Oliver Peoples’ chief executive officer Rocco Basilico is settling into his role at the top, having spent his first year in office beefing up the brand’s retail operations.For this, the 28-year-old executive has earned acclaim in business media at large, this year being named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list.Whilst in New York to attend the list’s celebratory mixer, as well as mark the opening of Oliver Peoples’ newest store in Brookfield Place — its fourth retail location in Manhattan — Basilico spoke with WWD about the state of the eyewear industry and the continued importance of brick-and-mortar.WWD: Oliver Peoples’ has made strides in the last year to expand its brick-and-mortar presence. Why focus on retail stores, when there is so much buzz about e-commerce?Rocco Basilico: Right now we have about 30 stores in the world, and the idea is to double that at some point. I mean, for us, we have a very different product for sure. I really still believe in physical stores, I think it’s a way to get brand awareness out there. Look at the visibility of this [Brookfield Place] store, there are thousands of people walking through here everyday.WWD: Why is there a focus on New York?R.B.: In New York we have a stronger following than in Los Angeles, and the brand was founded in L.A. In New York now we’ve covered all of the city from top to bottom, we have a store uptown, in Midtown, SoHo and now Brookfield Place. There is an allure around the brand that when you become an Oliver Peoples’ customer, you always go back. We are doing a lot to try to improve service this year, developing unique prescription lenses that are branded also.WWD: How has the retail expansion plan taken effect?R.B.: I think what we have done, we’ve begun seeing the effects in the last six months. We’ve been seeing significant growth in sales. We started this process of opening the stores and there is a point when you say, "Is this going to work or not?" Now I can definitely tell it’s working, I can tell from this quarter’s sales. We are growing double digits in the U.S., comp-store sales have grown 15 percent. Sales in general have grown 40 percent because we have more stores now. We will ideally close the year at 30 to 40 percent growth, no comp.WWD: What is next in the retail expansion plan?R.B.: We will open in Hong Kong in 2018, and after this would be in Shanghai. We are also looking in Paris, that city is a bigger market for us than New York.WWD: Do you see any opportunity in licensed goods?R.B.: We do collaborations, not licenses. We have a few more in development right now — for both Oliver Peoples and Alain Mikli. But I do not see us ever doing licensed goods.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)