Mr. Ecko says he understands the risks. “If you want to grow a business in American malls…it’s more than just being able to have the money for the key,” he says. “There’s theater to it. [Customers] want to feel something when they walk into a store. It’s not enough to say, ‘We’ve got a great sense of style.”‘
“I’m a designer, right? But because I’ve kind of encompassed this whole lifestyle attitude,” Mr. Ecko says, “I’m kind of given license to explore other businesses that are more contemporary but still embody the lifestyle values. And this isn’t necessarily clothing.”
In 2002, Ecko launched Complex, a lifestyle magazine for men, so he has some experience with breaking out of the clothing box.