Unknwn is looking to boost its private-label offering in a big push this year to grow its own brand.
The Miami retailer — known for its assortment of clothing and sneakers for the streetwear customer — has always had its own branded apparel, although it was largely T-shirts and sweatshirts. It’s now looking at more cut-and-sew and a tiered approach via its Unknwn Sport line of casual pieces, Unknwn Hotel for luxury travel basics and the more trendy Unknwn Collection.
“The value of private label for a retailer has changed and grown as far as how important it is for a retailer to build its brand and establish its brand,” said Unknwn chief executive officer and cofounder Jaron Kanfer. “Back when we first opened, we always had T-shirts, hoodies in the store, and merch and logo-driven product has been very successful over the past years. Now, for us, with the expansion of the Unknwn brand, we see a good opportunity to take it a little more seriously and start to develop more cut-and-sew for who the Unknwn customer really is.”
That shopper, generally speaking, is between the ages of 15 and 45 and well-traveled, Kanfer described. It’s also a diverse clientele who visit the store, which carries everything from Comme des Garçons and Fear of God to Adidas, Bape and Born x Raised.
Kanfer started the business in 2011 with friends Frankie Walker and LeBron James.
Creating three tiers for Unknwn-branded apparel, which is made in Los Angeles, aims to reflect the mix of sportswear and luxury designer pieces the store already carries.
“It allows us to identify the Unknwn customer and hit them in different categories or hit them at different moments in their life,” Kanfer said.
Unknwn Sport, which launched last year, retails from $40 to $100 and will likely account for the bulk of private-label sales; Unknwn Hotel, which is set for a mid-June release, retails from $90 to $300, and Unknwn Collection, expected for a release around Art Basel in December, will be priced from $200 to $600.
The company’s apparel is sold exclusively through its store and online shop, with no plans to build a wholesale business.
The company inked a deal earlier this year for a 10,000-square-foot store in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood on 26th Street. Kanfer declined to provide details on the store or any future retail growth plans, and while he sees the merits in pop-ups, he said the company is eyeing long-term leases domestically.