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To Russia With Love: J.Lo to Fly In for Moscow Opening

NEW YORK — J.Lo does Moscow.In what could be the ultimate personal appearance — at least in the burgeoning Russian market for Western...

The store, which is designed by Robin Kramer of The Kramer Group, is owned by Russian real estate developers Crocus. It will be in an upscale shopping mall called the Crocus Mall, which houses such other boutiques as Calvin Klein and Ungaro. Chip Rosen, vice president of licensing and international operations at Sweetface Fashion, said he could not give a first-year sales projection for the Russian unit because the idea of selling a status Western brand in Russia was “entirely new.” However, he did say, “If you look at a store like this in the U.S., it would probably do $300 per square foot.”

The unit will emulate Lopez’s lifestyle and design philosophy of the “JLo girl —fun, sexy, sweet and sassy,” said Hilfiger. In addition to a front-and-center portrait of Lopez in her Glow by JLo fragrance ad, custom-made cascading chandeliers and dusty pink marble and plush carpeted floors, the store will encompass “signature Lopez” areas, such as a club-style VIP lounge with velvet ropes, which Hilfiger described as a glamorous “girls’ night out” scenario.

“Everything will reflect Jennifer’s lifestyle with video screens and a DJ booth,” continued Hilfiger, noting there will be “continuous loops of creative stuff,” including fashion shoots featuring Lopez, as well as her music videos. Other areas will include dressing rooms that have a feminine, girly look of an upscale powder room with a contemporary settee. Two front windows facing the mall will be rendered in the shape of the JLo logo.

The overall image of the Russian store will be translated into JLo by Jennifer Lopez in-store shops this fall, which will open at Federated Department stores beginning with Burdine’s, he said. The launch will include two to three “hard shops,” said Hilfiger, noting plans for additional shop concepts with retailers have not been finalized. The lingerie ships to stores in the U.S. on Lopez’s birthday, July 24, and will be officially launched to consumers on Aug. 10. Plans also are being considered to expand shop concepts and freestanding units in Europe, but Hilfiger would not elaborate.

Meanwhile, Tom Wyatt, president and ceo of Warnaco’s Intimate Apparel Division, said sales for the JLo by Jennifer Lopez lingerie have been “significantly higher” than initial projections. Originally planned to be distributed to between 400 and 500 major store doors, due to an “extremely positive response” by retailers, Warnaco has shifted its plans for an increased launch to around 800 doors. Wyatt would not give a sales projection for the lingerie line, but industry sources place first-year wholesale revenues in excess of $40 million.
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