Rails summer 2017

Surf’s up for Rails as the Los Angeles contemporary label takes its first steps toward brick-and-mortar with a two-day pop-up at The Surf Lodge in Montauk.

The company — which sells clothing for men, women and kids — is set to be part of a series of events tied to the hotel’s 10th anniversary. The Rails shop will be in operation June 3 and 4 and will have on hand a variety of pieces aimed at those vacationing at the hotel. The Surf Lodge staff will also don Rails as part of their summer uniforms with most of the styles — which include button-downs, linen tops and rompers — pulled from the company’s summer collection.

“This is our first entry into the retail space,” said Rails founder and creative director Jeff Abrams. “We’ve considered doing this before but we’ve been really focused on our wholesale. This seemed like the perfect opportunity….I think a lot of people who are weekending there are already the Rails customer.”

New York is also an important market for the business as one of the largest for the company, which has built a brand around Southern California casual chic.

The privately held company, which doesn’t disclose sales, has been working towards building itself out to be a full lifestyle brand after its initial successes as the go-to for the perfect button-down shirt. Celebrities photographed wearing the company’s shirts, such as Jessica Alba and Gisele Bündchen, have helped Rails gain traction in the market, where it now counts more than 1,000 retailers carrying the line.

Company-owned retail is seen as an attractive opportunity from Abrams’ perspective as his company looks to drive home the point that it’s now more than its hero product, the button-down shirt.

“[The pop-up will] be a nice opportunity for us to showcase a lot of the different categories,” Abrams said. “Sometimes at retail we’re limited to a certain amount of space and display.”

The company has started looking into its own retail stores, eyeing markets such as Los Angeles, New York and London with an opening as early as spring of next year.

In the meantime, the company is focused on building out its direct-to-consumer business online to capitalize on the recently released spring collections, which Abrams called a full launch of Rails. This included the release of a more well-rounded men’s collection that has since helped to land it in Harrods, Nordstrom and specialty accounts.

For More Los Angeles Coverage in WWD:

At S.M.N., Being a Premium Denim Brand Is Way to Disrupt

Made Gold Nabs Investment to Grow Wholesale, Custom Design Program

Made for L.A.: Billy Reid Sets Up Shop at Magasin

Mike Amiri to Bring His Version of Luxury Retail to Maxfield

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