The Room With a New View

David Moin
·4 mins read

The Hudson’s Bay flagship in Vancouver has renovated and recast “The Room,” the high-end, most fashion-forward side of the Canadian department store.

At 13,700 square feet, The Room’s square footage remains the same. Yet the attitude has dramatically changed with a broader spectrum of offerings.

“Discovery is at the core of The Room,” said Tyler Franch, Hudson’s Bay’s vice president and fashion director. “We have curated the collections to appeal specifically to the Vancouver market, while still highlighting The Room’s unique point of view; one that’s more forward-thinking and conceptual, with a strong representation of each designer’s brand DNA.”

The approach, Franch added, “is to showcase emerging contemporary brands all the way up to pillar designer brands like Balmain. We’re offering a greater breadth of price points, and we’re playing with different adjacencies more, because we know customers are mixing price points and the high and low. That’s what feels really new.”

Among The Room’s innovations and introductions:

• Thirty-four apparel labels not sold before in The Room.

• Luxury men’s wear.

• Advanced women’s contemporary labels including Brigitte Herskind, Ganni, Isabel Marant, Nunushka and Remain Birger Christensen.

• Korean brands.

• Concept shops.

• A localized point of view to reflect the Vancouver lifestyle.

Among the apparel brands in The Room are Ann Demeulemeester, Area, Attico, Azzedine ​Alaïa​, Balmain, Chepova, Christopher Kane, JW Anderson, Kassl, Lanvin, Maison Margiela, Peter Do, Rejina Pyo, Rokh, Simone Rocha, Versace Jean Couture and Vetements.

One section of The Room is designed floor-to-ceiling in silver to segment emerging men’s and women’s designers from around the world. Aside from conveying that sense of discovery, the area captures “a nurturing ethos,” said Franch.

Elsewhere on the floor, there’s a grouping of 10 Korean men’s, women’s, footwear and accessory designer​s including emerging labels ​Kuho, Low Classic, Andersson Bell ​and ​Yuul Yie. “It’s a micro popup,” said Franch. “What we love about Korean styling is that it tends to be bit more oversized, and all about great fabric, cozy textures and comfort. That’s what’s resonating with customers now.”

There’s also a concept shop designed as a big blue cage that conveys Hudson’s Bay’s perspective on a particular important trend, look or category for the season. Currently there’s an array of T-shirts. Outerwear could be next.

With the move to localize the assortment to better cater to the Vancouver audience, the assortment compared to The Room in Hudson’s Bay’s Toronto flagship, across many of the same designers, looks much different, Franch said. Vancouver’s climate is milder than Toronto’s and the lifestyle tends to be more casual, active and outdoors, though there has been growing interest in designers, partly due to the large Asian population in the city.

In addition, the pandemic, Franch noted, “has encouraged us to rethink the way we buy product.” The Room made its finishing touches at the end of August.

Within The Room, prices range from the advanced contemporary designers at the low end, to Azzedine Alaïa and Balmain, the most expensive lines. The women’s designer lineup also includes ​Thom Browne and Jacquemus.

Men’s wear includes ​Marni​, ​Maison​ ​Margiela​, ​1017 Alyx 9SM, Haider Ackermann, Y/Project, Lanvin​ and JW Anderson. Men’s luxury designers are new for The Room Vancouver and have never before been sold elsewhere in the store.

Among the brands sold by Hudson’s Bay exclusively in the Vancouver market, in apparel, are Awake Mode, Gauge81, Les Coyotes de Paris and Yuul Yie.

Footwear exclusives include Chloe Gosselin, Kalda, Magda Butrym, Nicole Saldana and Rejina Pyo.

Handbag exclusives are from Ganni, Osoi, Rejina Pyo and The Volon.

The Room’s designer selection made its debut on thebay.com in the middle of the summer, but the assortment online is growing and the shopping experience will be enhanced next year, with improved service, visuals and storytelling, according to Franch. “It will still be part of the bay.com, but will have its own top navigation, a different experience and our more important designers for sure,” he said.

The Room first opened in Hudson’s Bay Vancouver in 2011. At the Toronto flagship, The Room concept made its debut in 2009. Changes there are also being contemplated.

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