This weekend marked a major milestone not only in the trajectory of Khloé Kardashian and Emma Grede’s seven-year-old denim business, but also in the wider Kardashian-Jenner entrepreneurial universe: With the exception of Dash (R.I.P.), Good American became the first of the family’s ventures to open a permanent standalone retail store.
Kardashian and Grede stayed close to home for the first location, opening in a prime, heavily-trafficked corner near the excellent dining terrace at Westfield Century City, a modernized open-air mall on the west side of Los Angeles. It’s my personal favorite mall in L.A., which I tell them when we meet at the store on opening day. Turns out the location is special to Kardashian, too — and her mother Kris Jenner, who’s close by.
“It’s the most nostalgic for us. My family and I, we’ve been coming here since we’ve been kids,” Kardashian shared. “Like, I got my ears pierced at this mall. I was three or four. There are a lot of memories. It’s really full-circle that we get to open our first store here.”
It won’t be the last: The duo confirm that at least three more locations are set to open this year. Next up is Las Vegas in November, if all goes according to plan — though, in retail, it often doesn’t. Covid-19 derailed Grede’s and Kardashian’s original brick-and-mortar aspirations.
“Timing is everything,” Kardashian said. “But it was in the plan to always do this.”
The store is large, airy and light-filled, with a minimalist, slightly industrial look — think lots of beige and natural stone — that feels, well, very Kardashian. All the neutrals are accented by touches of royal blue, also featured on shopping bags and rendered in velvet for the fitting rooms.
“It’s chic and modern. We want to sort of let the clothes do the talking,” Kardashian said. “It’s just an elevated, beautiful store.”
As Good American rolls out new locations, it’ll experiment with various formats — there will be street locations as well. “I feel like when you start rolling out stores, it’s really important to test a theory around: Where can you open?” Grede explained.
As a brand, Good American prides itself on inclusivity, fit and modernity, and made it a point to incorporate all of those things into the store design.
“For something like denim, like the fact that we’ve done so well without a retail store is truly, really wild, because I’m like, ‘No, I need to try it on and see how it fits,’” Kardashian pointed out.
The same tends to be true for swimwear, which Grede noted is Good American’s second-biggest category. She described the space as “the physical manifestation of everything that we’ve been doing — if you’re gonna do true inclusivity, how do you bring that to life and in this type of environment? You have to have all the sizes.”
Aside from Covid and permits, that all-sizes-all-the-time promise was also a challenge when it came to getting the store open.
“You think about a typical brand makes eight sizes, we make 19,” Grede noted. “So there’s so many logistical elements, like: What does that look like back of house? How are you making that functional? I think the reason so many brands take shortcuts is because this is really tough to do. But we have always been extremely principled about the way we do business… It’s all the sizes all the time, or nothing.”
The store also features custom mannequins in three different sizes meant to offer “a real representation of a woman’s body,” per Grede. The same goes for the salespeople, or “denim fit experts.” Throughout the space, you’ll also see fancy LED screens streaming footage from ad campaigns (like the most recent one starring Lori Harvey) or Kardashian herself modeling the pieces you can shop.
“You’re going to come in here, and you’re gonna see women in your size,” Grede emphasized. “You’re going to feel really comfortable to shop.”
That comfort continues in the exceptionally large fitting rooms, where an iPad displays each item you’re trying on as soon as you hang it on the rack, thanks to RFID tags (which are also used for traceability). You can also use the touch screen to request additional sizes, colorways and styles. It’s ideal for shoppers who like to shop on their own, Kardashian (and myself) included. “Sometimes I feel pressure. I’m like, ‘Just leave me alone,’” she said.
“I think if you really want to welcome customers of all sizes, you need to do that on so many different levels. We’ve really thought about that,” explained Grede. “The way the store’s designed, the merchandise, the people that work in it — it’s top to bottom.”
As for what’s next, be on the lookout for more Good American content on Hulu’s “The Kardashians.” (There was a camera pointed at us throughout the interview, so maybe you’ll even see me.)
“We love filming stuff about Good American,” said Kardashian, recalling the open casting they included in season one. “We’re [not just] here hawking jeans — there’s so much more heart to it. So just having moments like that, where we’re able to talk about the heart of the business, that’s something that means a lot.”
“Our business from the get-go has always been about omnichannel. We always set out to exist in wholesale, to exist in direct and then to have these stores,” Grede said. (The brand is available through its own website and retailers like Nordstrom, Revolve and Saks Fifth Avenue.) “We think we can probably have a hundred stores all over the U.S. And we don’t need to stop in the U.S.