BEHIND THE UPCOMING U.S. LAUNCH OF FRENCH UNDERWEAR BRAND HOM
Premium French underwear brand HOM will launch in the United States at Saks Fifth Avenue in August for the fall/winter season. The company, which has a large presence across Europe and Asia, will offer its classic underwear silhouettes, T-shirts, pajama sets, robes, performance apparel and swim trunks. At retail prices from $26 – $49 for underwear; $49 – $158 for activewear, sleep sets and lounge separates; and $72 – $120 for swimwear, HOM is positioned to sell within Saks’ well-established innerwear department.
To learn more about this new endeavor, we recently caught with Regine Weimar, general manager of HOM, to discuss more about the brand, why now for the U.S. launch and what can we expect from the Saks debut.
Q: Why did you choose to launch in the U.S. now?
A: HOM was founded in 1968 in France. Since then, it has grown continuously throughout Europe and the rest of the globe. With over 3,000 points of sale in 20 countries and 50 HOM shops throughout Asia, it made sense for the brand to expand further. The U.S. offers an untapped market of fashion-forward men, making it a very exciting opportunity for HOM to reach new consumers.
Q: How is the French market different from the U.S, and how are you addressing these differences?
A: The objective for HOM is to propose a range of products that’s different from what’s currently being offered in the US where the market is largely dominated by woven boxers. Our key product called HO1 (which stands for horizontal opening number one) with its unique horizontal opening and material that provides unparalleled fit and feel. In that respect, it perfectly epitomizes what HOM stands for, while meeting the need for more stylish undergarments. This iconic product, as well as our other available lines, will enable HOM to give U.S. consumers a new perspective on men’s underwear, and to be seen as a fashion item in its own right.
Q: Is Saks picking up the whole line, or are there specific items that the buyers chose for this debut?
A: The range that will be available at Saks Fifth Avenue at the beginning of August will mainly consist of HOM’s permanent lines as well as the HO1 boxers in plain colors and prints.
Q: What are you most excited about for the new market launch?
A: It’s a great opportunity for the brand to export its know-how and French heritage. Today, an increasing number of men buy their own underwear and they’ve become more meticulous about the quality of design and materials used. Between “fast fashion” and standardized collections, there is a place for expertise and innovation in underwear, which HOM is now claiming.
Q: Do you have any special events or marketing planned to get the word out?
A: As we position HOM as a lifestyle brand, we would like to showcase the brand environment in a concept store in Paris soon. For the launch in the U.S., we are planning smaller events as well as unique marketing opportunities in the digital and social arenas that will help get the word out in an exciting way.