Todd Snyder wants to reinvent retail. And with the blessing of his new parent company, American Eagle Outfitters Inc., the designer will showcase his vision at his first permanent U.S. store, which will open this fall in New York.
Snyder said he has signed a lease for just over 5,000 square feet at 23 East 26th Street, right off Fifth Avenue in the Madison Park district of Manhattan. The store is expected to open in late September.
“Because of the merger with American Eagle, it gave us a great opportunity to open a real store in New York, not just a pop-up,” Snyder told WWD. Snyder had partnered with Champion on City Gym, a temporary retail store in NoLIta that showcased the collaboration between the two brands in a location with an old-school sporting goods feel.
The designer said he searched in SoHo, on Bleecker Street, on upper Fifth Avenue and on Madison Avenue before deciding on a spot he walks by every day on his way to his office.
“I don’t just want to open a store and hope it does well,” he said. “Rather, this is meant to be the store of the future. The way guys shop today is changing and we want the space to reflect that.”
He said the store will be reminiscent of The Townhouse, a three-level, 3,000-square-foot flagship in Tokyo that opened in the spring of 2014. That store includes a barber shop, a coffee shop/bar, a tailor and a City Gym shop in the basement.
“We’re building on what we did in Japan,” Snyder said, revealing that he designed that store with the idea that he would be able to replicate it in New York.
In terms of merchandise, the New York store will be a “snapshot of what the brand is,” and include everything from his runway collection to the Champion line to his Cole Haan shoe offerings. It will also include some merchandise that has not previously been available in the U.S., including Snyder’s collaborations with Globetrotter luggage, Macintosh trenches, John Smedley knits and Superior Labor bags.
He said there will be a smattering of third-party brands, “but most of what we’re offering I will have designed or collaborated on.” He said there will be an apothecary and other items chosen specifically to appeal to today’s man.
Snyder said the store is expected to appeal to guys who shop Todd Snyder online as well as fans who often beg to come to his showroom to shop. “Sixty percent of our business is on the Web,” he said. “This store will be an outpost to convey my vision and a place the customer can come and hang out.”
Snyder said he is hoping to “reinvent retail. I feel like it’s a broken model,” he said. Snyder was the mastermind behind the J. Crew Liquor Store men’s store in TriBeCa when he worked for the brand as its men’s wear designer before branching out on his own.
In addition to the Tokyo Townhouse store, Snyder has three other stores in Japan with his Asian partner, Anglobal Ltd.
In November, American Eagle Outfitters bought Todd Snyder for $11 million in cash and stock. The appeal was primarily his collegiate campus concept called Tailgate, which American Eagle expects to roll out. Snyder said none of the Tailgate product will be carried in the Todd Snyder New York City store.
Snyder said although no other locations have been identified at this point, he hopes to open additional stores in the U.S. in the future. “Hopefully this will be the start of many,” he said.