J BRAND EYEING RETAIL: J Brand, the Los Angeles-based company which earlier this year expanded into ready-to-wear from its enviable base in women’s and men’s premium denim, is preparing for its next move. Jeff Rudes, chief executive officer, told WWD that the company is looking to open its first stores, flagships in New York and London, within 15 months and has begun the process of exploring particulars such as store design and site location. Pressed to identify what other additions might be ahead, Rudes quickly pinpointed shoes and handbags, the latter perhaps not surprising considering the investment of Coach Inc. ceo Lew Frankfort in the denim-centric company. “We got into ready-to-wear after six years in jeans,” Rudes said. “Retail wasn’t in our five-year plan. We move slowly. We aim for consistency.”

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