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2009 October 20

Retail Growth for Rag & Bone

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Marcus Wainwright, Sienna Miller and David Neville Marcus Wainwright, Sienna Miller and David Neville
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(NEW YORK) Rag & Bone’s David Neville and Marcus Wainwright may already have two shops--a men’s and a women’s--on Christopher Street in the West Village, but the brand’s growth is showing no signs of slowing. Last night, the designers fêted the opening of their latest retail venture: a new boutique on Mercer Street in Soho. Today, The Daily caught up with one half of the design duo, David Neville, to chat about the company’s newest home, their potential next spots, and the future of Rag & Bone’s retail presence.
EMILY GYBEN

Congratulations on the new store! How was the party?
It was really fun. We’re really excited to have a store in Soho, and right smack in the heart of Soho. We like the street, we like the adjacencies--we like APC and Phillip Lim--it could be a nice little promenade of stores. We’ve also enjoyed doing it up. It has a gallery feel to it, but we want to make sure it’s consistent with our aesthetic. We’re going to be having revolving artists in residence; we started with Todd DiCiurcio, and last night we coordinated it with a new artist, a photographer called Joseph Holmes. We have a few more planned through the end of the year.

Why open your next shop so close to the other two?
It’s not so far, but it s a totally different part of town. The West Village is very residential--it’s a loyal Rag & Bone customer that shops that store. We were attracted to the opportunity in Soho because it does seem that the customer is quite different. There’s a lot more tourist traffic, the customer is a little younger, a little more trendy--where our Christopher Street stores are in the West Village world and, slightly more professional.

Will you carry different merchandise in the different stores?
We’re looking at carrying diff merchandise. Right now we’re just seeing a few of the different trends.

You have a huge retail presence already in department stores and boutiques. How important are your standalone stores to you?
That was really the exciting thing about Soho. We enjoy telling our story directly to the consumer, and we don’t get to do that so much with our bigger partners. The success of the Christopher Street store has given us confidence to continue. We want to continue, go on to outside of New York next. A lot of people go for the New York-L.A. thing, but I’m not sure that will be our model--we do well in colder climates, so maybe we’ll go further north along the coast of California.

You’re British, but you’ve presented yourself as an all-American brand. Is U.S. retail expansion more important to you than international?
We have a really good business in Japan, and our business in the U.K. is growing very quickly, but America has been our focus. Someone told us when we were starting out that if we couldn’t make our business work in New York, then we didn’t really have a chance, so we’ve been focusing on our relationships here. We have the potential to grow internationally, but focusing on New York has benefitted us.

Do you think in the future you’d like to open a lot of standalone stores internationally, or focus on a few strong flagships?
It’s too soon to say, I think. Right now, we’re just excited about our opportunity. We have a lot of ambition and energy. We shall see.




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