Slowear to Open U.S. Flagship in New York’s NoHo District

·3 min read

Slowear will open its third U.S. store — and first American flagship — in New York’s NoHo neighborhood on Tuesday.

Located in a landmarked building at 330 Lafayette Street on the corner of Bleecker Street, the 3,000-square-foot store features sheet metal ceilings, full-height cast iron columns and a bank of six windows. It was designed in collaboration with Studio Donati of Milan.

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The store offers a selection of product from all of Slowear’s brands — Incotex casual pants; Zanone high-end knitwear; Glanshirt casual shirts, and Montedoro outerwear — in addition to an assortment of third-party labels in categories not offered by Slowear. That includes hats, shoes, accessories and watches, according to Marco Bernardini, chief executive officer of the Venice-based company. “We wanted to have other things for our customers,” he said.

Bernardini said the new flagship will feature a cosmetics area with an assortment set to rotate every few months, as well as a lounge equipped with a bar and a smart TV connected to the newly created Slowear TV that will offer a selection of brand-related videos. The cosmetics assortment will include Biocol Labs, The Grey, Form Nutrition, Grown Alchemist, Jaxon Lane and Haeckels.

The store features a smart TV that will show brand-related programming. - Credit: lexie moreland
The store features a smart TV that will show brand-related programming. - Credit: lexie moreland

lexie moreland

Since 2015, Slowear has had a store on Prince Street in SoHo, which will remain open. At 338 square feet, it is a much smaller unit than the new Lafayette store.

“They are very close,” Bernardini acknowledged, “but Manhattan is very big so we are not afraid to have two stores so close to each other.” While both are in SoHo, he said they are could attract different customers, thanks in part to the new cosmetics offering.

And outside the U.S., Slowear also has more than one location in both London, where there are three stores, and Paris, where there are two. “It’s not a problem,” Bernardini said.

The U.S., according to Bernardini, is “a very important market” to the brand, with Incotex and Zanone performing best here. Overall, Slowear’s business has been exceeding pre-COVID-19 levels by around 15 percent to 20 percent, he said.

The new store on Lafayette is one of 20 the brand is planning to open over the next four to five years, which would double its retail footprint. Slowear currently operates 20 stores around the world.

“Slowear, which has never stood still even during the pandemic, has always believed in physical and experiential retail and, in the last two years, has opened a mixology bar integrated with a women’s store in Milan. We have also opened men’s stores in Paris, Hamburg, Germany, and Chicago, and soon a third store in Rome at Rinascente di Roma Fiume,” said Bernardini, who was appointed CEO last May after the death of Roberto Compagno. “With online growth in double figures, we continue to strongly believe in omnichannel retailing and in the presence of our stores in close proximity to our customers.”

The store includes a seating area and lounge. - Credit: lexie moreland
The store includes a seating area and lounge. - Credit: lexie moreland

lexie moreland

Between its store fleet and its online operation, the company views direct-to-consumer as “a way to communicate directly to our customer,” Bernardini said, and deliver the brand’s “message” directly.

But wholesale, which represents some 65 percent of sales, continues to be an important channel for the company. Bernardini said Slowear just exhibited at Pitti Uomo and it continues to view its wholesale partners as key to its business. Even so, he is expecting direct-to-consumer to grow to 50 percent of sales in the future.

In the U.S., the plan is to next seek locations on the West Coast, in Los Angeles and San Francisco, to add to its existing store in Chicago as well as the two in New York City.

The Lafayette Street store will have a grand-opening party Tuesday featuring cocktails from Temple Bar.

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