NEW YORK — Haskell Jewels announced today that it has acquired Robert Lee Morris from Clover II Corp., the parent company that’s owned the brand since 1998.
This story first appeared in the July 14, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We really feel that Robert is a true innovator and designer and one of the industry’s true talents. Since he started, he’s had a had a profound influence not only on jewelry design, but on the young talent we see today from his collaborations with Donna Karan, through his gallery Artwear,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, president of Haskell Jewels, which had been looking to add a brand to its privately owned company for some time.
The acquisition comprises all of the Robert Lee Morris assets, including Morris’ designs, archival materials, the designer’s QVC and department store businesses, sample lines, a retail store in SoHo and trademarks — including the name Robert Lee Morris. Fialkoff confirmed that Morris will remain with the company in a design capacity.
“My new marriage with Haskell Jewels is symbolic of my cycle of self reinvention,” Morris told WWD. “Every decade or so, I reach a new, higher level of consciousness about who I really am and how my work relates to the world.” “Now, it’s crucial that I move out of the rarefied realm of fine jewelry and return home to the very industry that I assisted in birthing in the mid-Seventies. I championed the experimental use of all and any materials that could be turned into pure artistic and authentic personal expression by the new generation of artists choosing wearable art as their main medium.”
Fialkoff believes “the sky is the limit” with this new partnership. Morris, a CFDA award winner, also brings a strong contemporary brand to Haskell Jewels, which positions the company to speak to a new customer and present a different point of view.
According to Fialkoff, the company plans to work closely with Morris to open more stores, create brand extensions and cultivate a strong designer brand for the retail market with a tentative relaunch for fall 2012.
Haskell Jewels is one of the largest costume jewelry designers and manufacturers in the U.S. with licenses that include Kenneth Cole and Simply Vera for Kohl’s. Industry sources estimate sales volume for Haskell Jewels to be about $150 million.