A former senior executive at Balmain, Valentino and Saks Fifth Avenue has debuted his own luxury menswear line that combines work and althleisure wear to capitalize on newly emerging workwear trends.
Called June79, the new line from Shawn Pean launched this week with modern suiting separates, all made in the United States. The goal is to target male consumers who want to combine casual wear with style.
“Men have moved away from a structured way of professional dressing and now comfort plays a larger role in their thought process,” Mr. Pean said. “They seek refinement and relaxed luxury in their daily lives.
“We are poised to speak to the young and mature in a very unique way,” he said.
Mr. Pean brings much experience to the table. In addition to founding Pean Group Six, a consultancy advising luxury brands and retailers, he also served as president and managing director of Balmain USA and vice president of wholesale at Valentino USA.
The executive also spent nine years at Saks, including as senior buyer for men’s accessories and footwear and outerwear, playing a key role in the designer sneaker trend.
Here is the dialogue with Mr. Pean on the plans for his brand and the market it serves:
What inspired you to start a clothing business?
I was inspired to launch June79 because I felt this is where menswear needed to evolve to.
We were seeing athleisure dominating the market and men suiting declining in some channels, yet more men needed to be professional now more than ever.
I spent so many years in the luxury world and when I started this, it was time for something new and innovative.
How would you describe the June79 man?
We speak to a broad demographic of professionals that traverse multiple industries, whether they conduct business from a home or office space.
Men have moved away from a structured way of professional dressing and now comfort plays a larger role in their thought process. They seek refinement and relaxed luxury in their daily lives.
We are poised to speak to the young and mature in a very unique way.
Our audience is comprised of both traditional and creatives but there is a shared desire for relatable luxury. We seek to make this experience enjoyable and in doing so, support their evolution of confidence and the ability to make them feel good through our products.
How has the luxury menswear business changed over the past few years?
In my opinion, the biggest change in luxury menswear is accessibility.
More men have been able to express themselves through fashion somewhat driven by this convergence of trends and collabs that opened a pathway more creativity.
Tell me about where the products are made?
Our garments are proudly made in New York City.
Where do you see the brand in 5 years?
We envision a global June79 base, shopping our multi-category lifestyle brand.
What challenges do startup fashion brands face today and how will you overcome those challenges?
Start-up brands will always face a plethora of challenges. The list is long and everyone will have different challenges they prioritize, but the common subject I hear from my peers are finance and operations.
Figuring out the supply chain, business operations and finance are the challenges that keep me up at night.
Most people will tell you to bootstrap it, but I have overcome these challenges by staying diligent and connecting with people in my network that are subject matter experts.
Most friends want to see you succeed and in the occasion you hear a no, it’s probably not the first and won’t be the last. Just searching until you get the answers you need.
Who do you look to for style inspiration?
Given the past year, after such an interesting and complicated time in history, I was inspired by breaking away from structural norms and creating a new playbook in fashion. This is the foundation of the June79 collection.
My designs reflect where we are going as a community. My product reflects the professionalism men require mixed with the comfort we desire.
How did your luxury retail experience better prepare you for this new venture?
My luxury retail and wholesale experience is the only reason I am here.
Taking the time to understand how the product relates to the consumer is where I started.
My corporate past instilled in me the discipline to ensure I was on task daily.
Plus, I have a little Brooklyn no-quit attitude to endure and figure out how to out strategize Murphy’s Law.
Three words to best describe this collection?
Thoughtful, evolutionary, inclusive.
What are your plans for marketing the brand?
Our focus is to launch customer acquisition through digital and social channels.
We have a well-thought-out marketing strategy that will allow us to stand out from the competitive landscape.
In addition, we have an excellent cultural marketing agency in Brand New: A Collective, who is running point on all our brand marketing tactics. us the images you want to share of yourself and the collection.