NEW YORK — General Pants Co., the Australian multibrand retailer known for translating emerging youth culture into fashion, will open in March a 1,944-square-foot unit, the Local NY, at 29 Howard Street here.
The company’s wholesale office and showrooms will be located at the same address. General Pants Co.’s 4,200-square-foot Los Angeles flagship, The Local 132, at 132 S. La Brea Ave., has a similar setup. Once the New York store has opened, the company plans to launch e-commerce and roll out social media.
Ksubi, Insight, Zanerobe, Fallen Broken Street, Spencer Project, Standard, The People Vs., Rolla’s, Neuw and Epokhe are among the General Pants Co. labels that align with music, art and urban subcultures such as skate. The 54 stores Down Under sell domestic brands as well as Nike, Converse and Stüssy. Australian brands are exclusively sold in the U.S.
“Our retail expansion came from a desire to wholesale our products in the U.S.,” said Craig King, chief executive officer of General Pants, adding that the New York store will appeal to professional buyers, expats and the public. “We’ll seed a lot of products with influencers in New York. We expect a lot of celebrities coming through.”
Endorsements are important, especially to Ksubi, said King, noting that the company is taking to several artists about limited edition items that could be sold exclusively in a number of stores around the world, including New York and L.A.
General Pants owns a 50 percent stake in Insight and Ksubi. The latter “has a great cult following but has always been poorly funded,” King said. “The founders were guys, so the profile of women’s was never as high as the men’s. We’ve got female designers now and we’re changing that. Our women’s denim business is being picked up by Kith in the U.S., and Harrods, Liberty of London, Selfridges and Browns in the U.K.”
The demise of Kitson and Scoop has created a void, but not one so large that has King is planning a retail rollout. “We have a view to open more stores, but not for 18 months,” he said. “We want to understand what products are selling and form a blueprint. If it all goes well, we’d explore rolling out more stores.”