Brett Johnson is taking the plunge into retail.
The designer, who launched his eponymous men’s wear collection in 2013, will open his first store in SoHo on Thursday.
The unit at 109 Mercer Street between Prince and Spring Streets, will have 1,600 square feet of selling space and around 1,400 square feet devoted to showrooms and offices. There will be a soft opening this week and a grand-opening party is scheduled for Oct. 12.
Johnson, who was formerly based in Virginia, has relocated to New York to be closer to the business.
“For us, it’s just easier to control everything from out of the store,” he said. “Our clientele is primarily based in New York, so it just made sense.”
Johnson, the son of Black Entertainment Television founders Robert and Sheila Johnson, got his start designing his own interpretation of the Nike Air Force One sneakers and then branched out into apparel. The Brett Johnson line of outerwear, knitwear, woven shirts and trousers are all manufactured in Florence.
The collection has been sold at Neiman Marcus as well as a handful of specialty stores in the U.S. He said the best-selling items are outerwear and knitwear, but the store will also offer made-to-measure, a category that he expanded into last season.
Although Johnson realizes that operating a retail store in such challenging times is not going to be easy, he’s confident that he will be successful. “With all the struggles in the luxury segment, we haven’t been hit too much,” he said.
Johnson is known for his sartorial-infused collection of modern men’s wear classics.