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Bloomingdale’s Men’s Fashion Director Justin Berkowitz Joins NN.07 as Strategic Partner

The Copenhagen–based brand is aiming to gain a bigger foothold in the U.S.

Bloomingdale’s Men’s Fashion Director Justin Berkowitz Joins NN.07 as Strategic Partner

Looks from the NN.07 collection.

NN.07 is hoping to take the American market by storm and has tasked a well-known menswear executive to help it gain a bigger foothold.

The Copenhagen-based men’s brand has named Justin Berkowitz, the former men’s fashion director of Bloomingdale’s, to be its strategic partner in the U.S. and to oversee the opening of its first flagship in the American market. The store will be located at 276 Lafayette Street and is set to open in the late summer. The space was formerly an Onisuka Tiger store and is near the John Elliott unit.

Berkowitz had been senior fashion market editor with Details magazine before joining Bloomingdale’s eight years ago. He quietly left the store in mid-April. “It was a bittersweet departure,” he said. “But I was ready for a change and something new.” Bloomingdale’s confirmed his departure and said he will be replaced.

Bloomingdale’s Men’s Fashion Director Justin Berkowitz Joins NN.07 as Strategic Partner

Justin Berkowitz

NN.07 credits Berkowitz with being the first person in the U.S. to bring the brand into the retail arena in 2016. “I first discovered the brand at Details when I was on the trade show circuit,” Berkowitz said. “I really liked what they were doing — classics with elevated fabrics, very Scandinavian. Once I got to Bloomingdale’s, I thought it would be good to add to the mix.”

Since then, other retailers have also added the brand including Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and several specialty stores. “The business is really strong,” Berkowitz said.

He pointed to the brand’s “value proposition” as among its selling points, and believes now is the right time for it make a bigger statement by expanding its retail footprint. NN.07 operates stores in Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands and also has a number of shops-in-shop in retailers in major European cities.

“We live in a moment in which the luxury market is increasingly unattainable for many, and fast fashion feels increasingly irresponsible,” Berkowitz said. “NN.07 is the antidote: it offers the customer quality garments built on interesting design concepts made to last for everyday use.

“I’m thrilled to partner with NN.07 to open its first store in the United States,” he continued. “Since they first appeared on my radar, I’ve admired how they continue to refine products and it’s been so wonderful to watch the brand develop season after season. Now is the perfect time for NN.07 to plant its flag in New York, and I’m excited to take part in the journey.”

Anders Rahr, chief executive officer of NN.07, said: “We have now anchored our presence across the Scandinavian home markets and selected international growth markets. Our ambitions in the U.S. are big, and having Justin Berkowitz on board is a solid foundation for success. New York is just the beginning for us opening branded spaces and flagships in cultural hot spots across the U.S. and Europe. The growing interest in our brand has created an opportunity for us to carefully select locations and partners that align with our vision and values.”

Rahr added that NN.07 is exploring sites in major cities but will “take a selective approach to both partners and locations — quality over quantity. We have a global vision [NN stands for No Nationality] but a local approach — we love to work with local heroes that know their city and its community.”

Bloomingdale’s Men’s Fashion Director Justin Berkowitz Joins NN.07 as Strategic Partner

The NN.07 New York flagship will be on Lafayette Street.

Berkowitz said NN.07’s goal is to open a handful of stores in key markets in the U.S., working with local retailers to operate them, and he’s eager to put his experience at Bloomingdale’s to the test opening and running the units. “For me, it’s a great opportunity to learn about store management.”

He also hopes to replicate what NN.07 has done with its store in Copenhagen where it offers third-party brands for products it doesn’t produce such as footwear, jewelry, candles and other products. “It helps you get more of a feel for the brand,” he said.

NN.07 was founded in 2007 with a simple pair of chinos, the Simon 1000, that was intended to be worn everyday like a good pair of jeans. From there, the collection has grown into a full lifestyle line that has become popular with celebrities including Jeremy Allen White who wore the brand’s Gael jacket in the TV series “The Bear.” The brand has also collaborated with American heritage brands such as Timex and Sebago.

In 2016, the majority interest in the brand was sold to Fidelio Capital, a Swedish investment firm, and three years later, Fidelio in turn sold a stake in the company to the Swedish private equity fund Litorina.

All told, NN.07 is carried in more than 600 retailers around the world including End clothing, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Liberty, Peggs, Fred Segal, Cueva, American Rag, Illum, NK, Uptown, Baskets, Calico Club, Care of Carl, Braun, Breuninger, Printemps, La Samaritaine, Le Bon Marché and more.