Mr. Mark “Jappy” Gonzalez, founder of H&F Retail Concepts, Inc., the company that brought Ladurée, Balenciaga, Lanvin, Homme et Femme, Univers, and Comme des Garçons to Rockwell, is chosen by Business of Fashion as one of the 500 personalities shaping the global fashion industry.
Jappy Gonzales has always run H&F with a clear idea of who they are and where they’re going. In 19 years, they have never prostrated themselves for trends or the easy peso. “We’ve never changed direction. We’ve always been and will always be in this direction,” he says. “Even when it wasn’t in vogue, we were minimalists. Even if we weren’t making money out of it, we were minimalists. We’ve kept that line and we’ve always been. It’s just that minimalism takes a different definition every era and one thing nice is that in [almost] 20 years, I think we’ve evolved. I mean, if this were a person, we’ve grown up, we’ve amounted to a bigger thought than from where we started but still in keeping faith with what we do.”
Almost two decades ago, Jappy started H&F with the full knowledge that it would be an uphill battle, that it would take years of teaching the market what it wants before it would begin to pay off. “Markets never dictate to us,” he says.” We’re a market maker.” And two decades later, we might all be finally catching up with that thinking and that aesthetic. In the last few years, the company has shown considerable growth, suddenly going from a well-dressed, cheeky David into a quietly domineering Goliath.
H&F’s success rate has never been reliant on current trends or even famous brands. Sometimes, they’ll have boutiques filled with international brands that are highly respected but are hardly household names. But you buy into it because it’s a lifestyle you want to be a part of, because it’s a company you trust, and a taste level that you know is peerless.
Read Jappy’s Business of Fashion 500 profile on this link.