Mamas & Papas executive chairman Derek Lovelock and Mexx co-founder Adu Advaney have backed men’s sportswear brand Ron Dorff for its launch in the UK and overseas expansion.
Ron Dorff in London
The retailer opened its first international store in London last month and will be exhibiting at Pitti Uomo in Florence next month in a bid to attract UK stockists. It is planning a second UK store in west London next year, as well as expansion in Germany, the US and Japan.
The brand, co-founded by Jérôme Touron and Claus Lindorff, launched with its first store in the 3rd arrondissement in Paris in January 2013 and is stocked in concept stores including Colette in Paris, Artemis in Beijing and Happy Shop in Berlin.
Lovelock and Advaney have worked with the brand since late 2014 and planning the UK launch for the last year. Lovelock was previously executive chairman at Aurora Fashions and non-executive chairman at Jacques Vert Group. Advaney is vice-chairman of swimwear brand Vilebrequin.
Lindorff told Drapers the UK was an obvious next step for expansion outside of its home country of France.
The brand features sportswear, swimwear, underwear and bodycare for men, priced from £15 for a pair of socks up to £105 for a sweatshirt. A capsule collection called His for Her is also available.
“Our core customer is an active, urban male who is happy to invest in the right product and is style conscious but not a fashionista,” he said. “It is someone who doesn’t want to dress like their father in Ralph Lauren and Lacoste, but doesn’t want to dress like a 17-year-old skateboarder either.”
He said the UK is closer to the US in terms of an “athleisure lifestyle” than France, and that UK debut will pave the way for a US launch in 2018, which will be initially focused around stores in LA, Miami and New York.
“In the UK people buy the product to go to the gym and do sports in, in Paris it is more of a style thing. Girls will buy an oversized jumper and wear it with heels and a Chanel bag to go out at night in and men will wear it for everyday rather than to work out.
“The early response has been fantastic in London,” he added.