NEW YORK — G-Star is about to make its mark on the U.S.
The trendy high-end denim brand, which is based in Amsterdam and reported increasing sales in Europe, plans a major growth spurt in the U.S. this year. To kick it off, G-Star will hold its first U.S. fashion show at Gotham Hall here on Feb. 7.
“If you want to be an international brand, you have to be strong in the U.S. and Japan, which is what we are focusing on in 2007,” said Deepak Gayadin, North American director for G-Star.
The fashion show will also mark G-Star’s increased attention to women’s wear, since the brand has become known more for its men’s wear. In addition, the company has designed a collection of handmade, tailored denim pieces to show on the runway next month. Made from raw denim in The Netherlands, the jeans will be available to consumers upon request. Retail prices start at $1,000.
Gayadin said that women’s apparel accounted for 20 percent of the collection before and is now 40 percent of the brand’s offering.
“The women’s market is stronger in the U.S. than it is in Europe, so for us, this is a big change,” he said. “We’ve hired a women’s design team and realize the importance of the women’s collection, so the show in New York will be mostly women.”
The company’s retail strategy is ambitious, with plans to open about 60 more company-owned stores worldwide in 2007. The new shops will add to the 73 locations already open. Eight of the new units will be in the U.S., with the first in Union Square here on June 15. That location is 3,000 square feet, compared with the 2,200-square-foot G-Star store in SoHo. It also will have a wider assortment of women’s wear.
“It will look a lot like the other store, but a bit more updated and modern,” Gayadin said.
Other stores will be opening in cities that include Moscow, Bangkok and Kiev.
G-Star aims to increase its ad presence, with placements in trade and consumer publications like Rolling Stone and The New York Times Magazine.
Gayadin declined to give volume projections for 2007 but industry sources predicted the company would reach $60 million in retail volume in the U.S. by the end of this year, a 40 percent increase from a year ago.