Eddie Miyoshi, the new CEO of the US street fashion brand HUF Worldwide, LLC ("HUF"), was interviewed for the first time less than two weeks after taking office, indicating the latest strategy for HUF to transform into a high-end, classic brand in the future.
On August 15, HUF announced the Newchic Coupon appointment of Eddie Miyoshi as its new CEO. Eddie Miyoshi is a veteran with many years of experience in the sportswear industry. Previously, Eddie Miyoshi worked for more than 20 years at Volcom, a California outdoor sports brand owned by Kaiyun Group. At first, Eddie Miyoshi worked at Volcom's Japanese distributor and was promoted by Volcom's founder, Richard Wolcott. He was responsible for the establishment of Volcom's international division and Volcom's management in Japan, which was established in other parts of Asia, Latin America, Dubai and Israel. The team. In 2011, Eddie Miyoshi was appointed President of Volcom Japan and also served as Volcom Global Culture Director.
The birth of HUF dates back to 1992, and founder Keith Hufnagel is a skateboarder who sees skateboarding as a way of life. Following this enthusiasm, he moved to New York to San Francisco and soon became a professional skater. During this time, he traveled to Europe and Asia with Supreme's skateboard team and experienced different cultural backgrounds from around the world.
In 2002, Keith Hufnagel returned to San Francisco. Inspired by the “do-it-yourself” approach to skateboarding, Keith Hufnagel opened a small boutique called HUF in the community, hoping to bring together all the famous skateboarding, streetwear and sneaker brands. As the popularity increased, they began to produce their own brand of clothing, and quickly evolved into a complete series, from which HUF was officially born.
In October 2014, San Francisco Private Equity Fund Altamont Capital Partners invested in HUF, and the HUF after the investment continued to operate independently. Keith Hufnagel said at the time that the investment in Altamont Capital Partners was mainly for the long-term growth of the brand and the introduction of partners to help the brand's infrastructure.
Last November, Japanese clothing group TSI Holdings acquired a 90% stake in HUF from Altamont Capital for $63 million.
Scale expansion is the first priority
“HUF has the elements to change the rules of the skateboarding and streetwear industry. It has a rich brand culture and can be transformed into a high-end classic brand,” Eddie Miyoshi said confidently.
“When I was working at Volcom, I saw the global influence of streetwear. As more and more street fashion brands get attention, many Western brands have exerted great influence in Japan, Korea and China. Eddie Miyoshi explained further.
Eddie Miyoshi believes that the first step in the transition to a high-end brand is the high demand for brand infrastructure, including focusing on improving product quality to ensure high price rationality, expanding distribution and improving brand operations. He revealed that HUF will prepare for improved brand infrastructure for the rest of the year, and will add more stores in San Francisco, Brooklyn, Chicago, Atlanta and West Los Angeles by 2019.
In addition to the US domestic market, Eddie Miyoshi also plans to lead HUF to expand the international market. The first step was to first enter the Japanese market and then use Japan as a platform to reach customers in other Asian markets for broader expansion.
Although HUF will pay more attention to the direct store business in the future, Eddie Miyoshi said that the wholesale Soufeel Coupons business is still very important to HUF. At present, HUF's retail retail customers include: Zumiez, PacSun, Urban Outfitters and other chain fashion retailers and skateboarding retailers such as Active Ride Shop, Val Surf, Program Skate, and Sound.
Stick to the brand gene
HUF has always focused on young consumers from 18 to 26 years old. Eddie Miyoshi revealed that this target group positioning will continue in the future and will not change as the brand positioning shifts to higher end.
In addition to the need for expansion in scale, Eddie Miyoshi also believes that “HUF needs to lay a strong foundation for its own brand culture, not just to promote brand influence through hype.”
Talking about the current challenges facing the extreme sports industry, Eddie Miyoshi's attitude is not optimistic: "Now the extreme sports market is weak because
skateboarding brands are beginning to separate from street fashion. Skateboarding is not just a sport, it is also a way of life. Today, The tide brand gradually evolved to simply print the brand logo on the clothing, and did not convey the story behind the brand's culture and brand to young consumers. Young people can't feel the same way of the skateboarding lifestyle. So we have to Establish a strong brand culture foundation to eliminate the existing weakness in the industry."
Find a balance between "scale expansion" and "gene inheritance"
In the current situation of cooperation between luxury goods and street fashion brands, Eddie Miyoshi said that HUF has not yet cooperated with luxury brands.
Eddie Miyoshi pointed out that as a "small and beautiful" tide brand, if HUF wants to expand its scale and want to maintain the brand's original skateboarding culture, it must find a balance between the two. “It’s a cool thing to have a lasting influence among young people. It’s a cool thing to start a street culture with a high-end classic brand, but the first thing a brand like HUF has to do is to take the lead in the streetwear market. Since then, HUF Working GeekBuying Coupons with luxury goods at a suitable point in time may be beneficial to my own development. I hope that after getting a certain grade, let the luxury brands take the initiative to come and cooperate with us,” explains Eddie Miyoshi.
Eddie Miyoshi also mentioned that HUF is not yet ready to enter large department stores such as Macy's (Mexico) and Nordstrom: "There are huge growth bubbles in these department stores, and discount stores like Marshalls and TJMaxx are already full. There are many street fashion products. The extreme sports market is now oversaturated, and the products produced by each brand are the same. Consumers are no longer excited about the extreme sports market."
The ultimate goal of Eddie Miyoshi is to preserve HUF as a classic brand that allows the children of existing employees of the brand to work while retaining the roots of the brand.