Ron Dorff had already caught the attention of Puma, which had invested 4 million euros in the brand through its private equity arm at the end of last year. Today, the trendy Swedish menswear brand is investing some of that money in opening its first store in the United States.
Dorff, which was co-founded by Claus Lindorff in 2012 as a men’s swimwear brand, has since expanded into sportswear, loungewear and underwear. His collection combines Swedish functionality with classic French style. The logo is a pair of black lacquered eyelets, a nod to the two O’s in the brand’s name. The brand operates five stores in Europe – two in Paris, two in London and one in Berlin – but this marks its first entry into the US retail market for the brand, which includes Michael Fassbender, Orlando Bloom and Alexander Skarsgård, among others, as Brand Ambassadors.
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Lindorff said the 4,800-square-foot store at 475 Broome Street is intended to “help attack the US market,” which currently accounts for 35% of sales, even though the brand’s presence is exclusively online at this point. In addition to his own e-commerce site, which accounts for 85% of global sales, the Ron Dorff label is offered on the Equinox website in the United States as well as in some of its club shops in New York, LA and Miami. . “It went really well,” he said of the launch to Equinox.
“Now we’re going to focus on wholesale, online and in our own stores and it’s important that everything works together,” he added. “For us, wholesaling is a great marketing tool, so getting to the right places is important.
The brand is present in approximately 75 high-end accounts, including resorts in St. Barts, Mykonos and Ibiza, where high-end Americans often vacation, creating additional visibility for the brand in the United States.
In addition to being a sales engine, Lindorff said the New York store will serve as a press showroom and distribution center from which the brand can ship and manage returns. In the past, all orders were shipped from Paris overnight to New York or 48 hours to Los Angeles, Ron Dorff’s two main markets in the United States, Lindorff said.
The strength of the New York market was one of the main reasons the brand decided to open its first store there. “American fans of the brand have been asking for a store for some time and as New York has become our number one city in the world in terms of online sales – [representing] 12% of global sales – opening our first US flagship store here was the obvious choice. “
In fact, New York is even bigger than Paris and London, he said. The brand is sold in 90 countries around the world.
But this is only the first of three stores the brand plans to open in America in the near term. Lindorff said the plan was to open in Los Angeles in April, followed by Miami in fall 2022. “We have completely sold out at Equinox in West Hollywood, so we’re going to be going,” he said. declared. The Miami unit will most likely be in the Arts District.
He also plans to open long-term pop-ups in places where the brand has a strong online presence like Provincetown, Mass., Dallas and Houston, and if they are successful, the brand may seek permanent spaces in these. cities.
But for now, New York is in the lead. The SoHo store is located in a space that once housed Isabel Marant but has been vacant for over a year, he said. The unit was originally scheduled to open just after Labor Day, but shipping delays delayed product arrival, which delayed opening, Lindorff said.
The space features wrought iron pillars in the center and floor tiles that are meant to speak to the location’s SoHo heritage. The store will carry the entire product line, including swimwear, which still accounts for 45% of overall sales in the United States. Underwear has also become popular, accounting for an additional 45%. Sportswear, which includes shorts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants and jackets, make up the rest. On Thursday, the brand will launch its first fragrance with a morning event at the new store.
Lindorff worked in an advertising agency in Paris and was frustrated that he couldn’t find classic sportswear like the popular ones from Lacoste and Champion in the 80s. So he teamed up with Jérôme Touron to create Ron Dorff and used a mixture of their last names to create the brand name. Touron left the company in 2016.
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