Harry Rosen has had a partnership with Zegna brand for decades and the boutique expansion is a natural progression, according to Harry Rosen CEO Larry Rosen. "My father was the first retailer to introduce Ermenegildo Zegna to North America in the early 1970s," said Larry Rosen. "He recognized the inherent quality and craftsmanship that the Zegna family offered. Our families have been in business ever since. We're so honoured that the world's most prestigious menswear brand has the confidence in our organization to execute their vision for global retail in Canada on their behalf."
The 3,000 square foot Toronto flagship will be located at 100 Bloor Street West, in a retail space next to the Hermès flagship which opened in November of 2017. Zegna’s retail space will occupy an eastern portion of a retail space formerly occupied by Pottery Barn, which occupied a landmark site featuring a reproduction of the former University Theatre facade characterized by an undulating cut-marble base, cantilevered canopies, and two-story granite framed windows. CBRE Toronto negotiated the Toronto Zegna deal under the direction of Arlin Markowitz.
Harry Rosen’s 55,000 square foot multi-level flagship, located at the northeast corner of Bloor Street West and Bellair Street, is about 180 feet east of the new Zegna boutique. Harry Rosen’s second-level includes a recently renovated roster of some of the world’s top luxury brands for men, including an impressive Zegna boutique that will continue to operate after the standalone store opens. The shop-in-store was the first in the world to feature Zegna’s updated design and according to Larry Rosen, the new Bloor Street Zegna flagship will take the design “to the next level”.
Part of the strategy is to attract shoppers seeking the “pure” Zegna experience and the company is seeking to operate standalone stores in the world’s major cities — there are plenty of fans for Zegna, which is considered to be one of the world’s leading luxury brands for men. Rosen’s shop-in-stores offer “the Harry Rosen experience” which includes its exceptional customer service and Mr. Rosen says that in the case of Zegna, which is one of the world’s most popular men’s luxury brands, there’s room for both on the Mink Mile. Not to mention, Zegna is also the top selling brand in the Harry Rosen chain, which boasts seven Zegna shop-in-shops across the country.
Harry Rosen also operates a standalone Zegna boutique at Vancouver’s CF Pacific Centre. The 4,500 square foot store, which is located across the hall from Harry Rosen’s CF Pacific Centre flagship, will see an overhaul that will bring it in line with Zegna’s newest global flagships. Interiors of both the Vancouver and Toronto Zegna boutiques will be designed by Zegna, based on a design concept by internationally-acclaimed architect Peter Marino, who has designed some of the world’s most spectacular stores and is considered by many to be a genius.
The Bloor Street Zegna is now under construction, with completion expected late summer/early fall. The Vancouver renovation will be completed some time in the fall of 2018.
The partnership makes sense, according to Mr. Rosen. Harry Rosen has sold Zegna for years and given its knowledge of the brand as well as its established distribution channels makes the arrangement strategic.
More standalone Zegna boutiques could open in Canada, according to Mr. Rosen, though nothing is confirmed as of yet. Harry Rosen is also considering opening standalone boutiques for some of its other leading brands (including Dutch custom menswear brand Atelier Munro). Harry Rosen is considered to be one of the world’s top multi-brand menswear stores and some of its brands do very well — the Tom Ford boutique at its Bloor Street store competes for top sales globally with shop-in-stores at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City and at Harrod’s in London, according to Mr. Rosen.
We’ll update this article with new ones when both Zegna stores are completed, including showcasing photos of the new Peter Marino-designed retail spaces.