The Judith Ripka jewelry brand has a new licensing partner.
Xcel Brands Inc., which acquired the Ripka intellectual property assets in April, has signed a licensing agreement with KGK Jewellery Manufacturing Ltd. to take over the operation’s wholesale component. That includes manufacturing, selling and distributing jewelry under the Ripka label. Distribution will include luxury retailers for the high-end Judith Ripka Ltd. line, and better department stores for the Judith Ripka Collection. Specialty fine-jewelry retailers sell both Ripka lines.
The wholesale operating business had been run by members of Ripka’s family under license from Xcel.
The licensing deal does not include Ripka’s line for QVC, which continues to be designed and produced by Xcel.
Ripka, chief design officer for her namesake brand, said, “I look forward to designing jewelry that will continue to be made by the best craftsmen, using the finest materials and workmanship that my customers have come to expect.”
Robert D’Loren, chairman and chief executive officer of Xcel, said his firm and KGK are also joint venture partners for the operation of Ripka’s e-commerce business. While KGK will supply the product, Xcel will provide the marketing for the site.
“We need to now step up what we do with paid advertising, such as with Facebook, search optimization and affiliate sites — all the things you do to drive traffic via social media,” D’Loren said.
D’Loren said his licensing deals typically run for an initial three years, followed by two three-year option periods.
As for other components of the Ripka business since acquiring the IP assets, D’Loren said the Xcel is operating five freestanding stores. The plans are to keep the location on Madison Avenue in Manhattan and the one in East Hills on Long Island’s North Shore, not far from the Americana Manhasset. The other three locations will likely be shuttered. D’Loren isn’t ruling out the possibility of replacing those sites with new freestanding stores down the road.
Sanjay Kothari, KGK Group vice chairman, said, “At KGK, our aim is to make and sell the finest jewelry possible with the best in class manufacturing and the finest, rarest of gemstones. We are currently undergoing a vertical integration, getting closer to consumers with our retail ventures and closer to our supply chain by acquiring mines.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion