In what could be the ultimate personal appearance — at least in the burgeoning Russian market for Western designers — Jennifer Lopez will jet (no doubt privately) into Moscow for Memorial Day weekend to unveil the first JLo by Jennifer Lopez store. And while La Lopez is used to screaming throngs, her visit is likely to raise the bar for any future designer treks to the Russian capital.
For now, though, it simply is the latest in what is becoming a must-trip for any global brand. The opening of the JLo store follows on the heels of Burberry’s opening last month of its Moscow flagship and on Bulgari’s launch of its latest line, Astrale, in St. Petersburg, also in April. Luxury and designer brands continue to salivate over the potential of the Russian market, with industry executives reporting that a new, younger clientele has discovered fashion, prefers to buy locally rather than in London, Paris or Milan and, most importantly, has begun to pay by credit cards rather than with suitcases of cash.
Andy Hilfiger, co-founder and director of Sweetface Fashion Co., the masterbrand company for JLo, whose products are expected to drum up retail sales of $375 million this year, said the 4,500-square-foot “lifestyle” store will feature sportswear, swimwear, sunglasses, fashion jewelry, hats, handbags and fragrance as well as the first licensed collection of JLo by Jennifer Lopez lingerie. That line is produced under license by The Warnaco Group. The only category that won’t be merchandised in the store is children’s wear, he said.
“We’ll be doing a fashion show for the Memorial Day weekend opening, which will feature lingerie, swimwear and sportswear. And Jennifer will be there. Her manager and I are going over to Russia on the 15th of May to make sure the store looks beautiful,” said Hilfiger. “She did personal appearances for her model search, and the Glow by JLo fragrance launch at Macy’s, but this will be her first JLo by Jennifer Lopez store opening.”
He added there will be a number of “top-level Russian dignitaries” attending the grand-opening festivities. A film crew also will be on hand to tape the event, which will most likely be used as a marketing tool. Hilfiger said the reason he chose Moscow for the first store was because “it is a new, happening city, and we have a terrific partner with Crocus International.”