Hanro, a Swiss luxury brand celebrating over 120 years in quality attire, has finally decided to set up shop in the United States. The company has opened its first American shop in the fashion-packed Meatpacking District of New York City. This is only the fourth Hanro store outside of Switzerland – the other three being in Vienna, Munich and Beijing.
The new store is unique among the brand’s international efforts in that it borrows a great deal from the surrounding New York City culture. The Underwear Expert spoke with Jan Snodgrass, the president of Hanro USA, about the store’s recent opening.
“We felt that the time was right to build a store that shows the breadth of the brand in a way a consumer is rarely able to experience. Many people view us as a very traditional brand. The store allows us to show consumers that we have evolved and are also a modern brand,” said Snodgrass.
One of the ways Hanro is showing its dedication to in-store modern design elements is by having hired local artisans and craftsmen to decorate its store. Lower East Side lighting designer Lindsey Adelman created hand-blown chandeliers. Bolger Woodworking, an upstate New York cabinetmaker, crafted wood decor with Olive-ash veneer.
“We believed that the store should fit in and reflect the neighborhood it is located in,” commented Snodgrass. “The best way to do that is by working with local artisans and craftsmen.”
Snodgrass believes that these architectural and interior design choices will allow the Hanro store to be perceived as a fashion boutique rather than a lingerie shop. “The New York store was designed with its surroundings in mind,” he said. “It highlights the architectural details such as the open structure of the High Line above.”
The building itself is a 900-square-foot space with 26-foot ceilings and original exposed beams from the 1930’s. David Howell of DHD was commissioned to oversee architectural design.
Hanro’s women’s range is larger than the men’s range, but that doesn’t mean men won’t find what they need at the boutique. The New York Hanro store was designed to allow both men and women to comfortably shop for undergarments, resulting in evenly split sales to date. This could be due to the brand’s emphasis on fashion items, rather than basic undergarments. “While we carry a full range of the basics we are often known for, the focus of the merchandise on display is mostly on the current fashion range,” Snodgrass explains.
While the new store is a modernizing effort, Snodgrass believes that Hanro’s long history is still important to the brand’s identity, especially internally. “There is a lot of knowhow within the company. We have people working for the company in the third generation. Whether it be fabric, laces, design or fit, having that kind of experience in house is a great benefit. … The extensive experience also grounds us. We know what we are, what we can do best and what we’re not.”
For more information about this brand: Hanro
Photo Credit: Hanro