South Korea’s Hyundai Department Store is about to make a splash in Paris with its subsidiary brand Handsome fashion.
It says its casual-clothing brands System for women and System Homme for men will set up stores inside Galeries Lafayette department store in the French capital.
System Homme will have a dedicated shop on the second floor of Lafayette’s men’s building, which the company says is unprecedented for an Asian menswear brand.
“It is very rare for a homegrown menswear brand that has not even participated in famous fashion shows to open its own shop in Lafayette,” says a Hyundai Department Store spokesman. “It didn’t even go through a preliminary process such as opening a pop-up store or being introduced in select shops.”
System for women will have a month-long pop-up store on the second floor of the main building from tomorrow. A spokesman says that if the pop-up has a positive response, System could potentially have its own store as well. The brand is already being sold at a select shop, L’oeil Des Galeries, which accommodates brands like MM6 and The Kooples.
Handsome says System was one of the top three brands at the select shop in terms of sales.
The System Homme shop will sit next to premium brands Cos, Sandro Homme and Zadig & Voltaire, while System will be positioned against Carvan, Isabel Marant and Kenzo.
Handsome says it expects shoppers to become more familiar with the brand after it completes an exterior show window at Lafayette on Saturday. It will be up for one month to coincide with Fall-Winter Paris Fashion Week.
“The first-floor show window has long been secured by luxury brands such as Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton,” says a Handsome spokesman.
A Hyundai Department Store spokesman says it is time for Korean culture to be transformed from the pop songs and food trend into fashion, with several homegrown brands that can represent Korea.
Handsome has been aggressively expanding overseas this year, with both brands entering the Chinese last month after signing an exclusive partnership with Hangzhou Zhiheng Industrial in October. It has pledged to secure 50 retail channels in China and generate 150 billion won (US$130.76 million) in total sales by 2020.
It plans to start opening 10 System and System Homme stores in Hangzhou, then expand to Beijing and Shanghai within this year.
“This year will be a turning point for Handsome to go global,” says the company.