Gary Friedman, the chairman and CEO of Restoration Hardware, thinks the time has come for customers to enjoy the RH experience when they are shopping for clothes.
And so clothes (and accessories) — with the brand’s signature focus on minimalist styling, clean lines and high-end materials — are coming to RH
There is no formal launch date for expansion yet, but, according to Women’s Wear Daily, Friedman says it’s coming soon and with the hope to disrupt fashion in much the same way the firm disrupted interior design (and its mark-up heavy practices of the past).
“There’s a disruptive opportunity that exists in apparel, especially in the luxury market that we’ll exploit,” he said. “Every luxury apparel brand started as a wholesale brand, so by its very nature there’s this extra markup. Whether you’re Brunello Cucinelli, who I love, or Prada or Gucci, you’ve got this extra markup. Even when they have their own stores, they have to have the same prices as the department stores.”
RH apparel will come via RH Atelier and will tap into the infrastructure of the former apparel brand Hierarchy that RH acquired in 2013. The chain will focus on luxury apparel, footwear, jewelry and accessories.
“We’re building these amazing [stores],” Friedman said. “You could go into a bedroom and the armoire would have clothes in it — and you can buy them. It would be done in a voyeuristic way, almost like you’re in someone’s beautiful home.”
“I’m not under pressure to make that much money on apparel. The operating margin of many luxury brands is 25 to 30 percent, but I only have to make 15 percent,” Friedman added.
RH’s long-term operating margin target is in the midteens.
“Ours is made in the same factories as brands like Pratesi,” Friedman said. “We can have the same quality of cashmere and leather and be half the price. I want to create a vehicle to allow people to have beautiful clothes at cost.”