Words and photography by Rand Niederhoffer
Jennie Arnau is the successful owner of Peregrine Showroom, a boutique men's showroom that houses brands like Oliver Spencer, Wolf vs Goat, and Universal Works. We caught up with her recently to get to know a little more about her aesthetic, her background in the industry, and what to expect from buyers for AW13.
Can you speak to the Peregrine Showroom aesthetic?
What we try to do here is curate the showroom like a retail space, so people can see how things actually hang together. Buyers like to come into a place and feel like they can relax and take their time looking through the racks.
When you select labels for your showroom, whats your primary criteria?
Im looking to differentiate our labels, but also stay true to a certain type of store. In menswear, there can often be crossovers, so you really have to look at the big picture. Does it look the same? Does it feel the same? I try and create a balance. Its important to have everything sit well together but not compete.
Did you have a background in wholesale before opening Peregrine?
I was, for years, at Helmut Lang in retail. I also worked for Giorgio Armani and Miu Miu. After Helmut left, retail was starting to wear a little thin. I knew Paul from Odin and he really helped me go into wholesale and pushed me in that direction.
Were heading into market now, what are some of your market pet-peeves?
My only pet peeve is if a buyers not in a good mood when they come into the showroom. Its not rocket science. Were not trying to save lives. Buying should be fun and I know its tiring, I get it. But if youre not having a good time, you should probably rethink your career choices. It shouldnt be a labor. It should be a labor of love.
Whats your favorite part about the buying process?
When a buyer comes in and they know who their clientele is. When theyve established themselves long enough to know their clientele, they teach me about what works and what doesnt. It helps me understand the territory.
Any early tips for FW13 trends?
Ive heard from our buyers that jersey is really hot, especially those pieces that have a little bit of a twist to them: a hoodie that combines sweatshirt material and fleece, for example. Suiting is also another trend that people are starting to look for, as well as larger bulkier sweaters.
Creep: New to Peregrine this season. This designer is not afraid to be bold. The collection is composed of signature outerwear pieces with mix and matched fabrics.
Obsetto: A beautiful color palette from an Italian company that specializes in molded leathers.
Oliver Spencer: Inspired by the 1960s era movement and art. The FW13 collection incorporates subtle colorblocking, flannels, felt, and one indigo dyed denim suiting option.
Universal Works.: David is from Nottingham England. He worked for Paul Smith for many years. I love the aesthetic here. Its a little workwear and it has a slightly looser fit than most of the things in the showroom.
Wolf Vs Goat: Filled with beautiful suiting, FW13 is inspired by English football hooligans.