NEW YORK — The Sak Brand Group is banking on category expansion and a strategic partner to help spur growth.
Following the introduction of footwear and scarves last summer, the company is adding jewelry and cold-weather accessories this fall to its arsenal of handbags, small leather goods and stationery. The New York-based firm, which operates Sak and Sakroots, is also re-branding its Elliott Lucca division to appeal to a more luxe shopper with an eye for trendier styles.
Through a licensing agreement with Almar Sales Co., Sak and Sakroots will introduce jewelry collections in the fall. Sak’s line ranges from $24 to $100, and includes Seventies-inspired gold-plated bib necklaces, pendants, beaded necklaces, cuffs and pendants. Sakroots’ collection will retail from $19 to $48 and will nod to prints from its fall bag line. For its cold-weather wares, The Accessories Collective will create brightly colored, hand-stitched product, priced from $22 to $68.
All of this is part of the firm’s push to skew younger without losing its core consumer, said Mark Talucci, the company’s cofounder and chief executive officer.
With annual sales hovering around $100 million, the 24-year-old firm is looking to pump up revenue, and it hopes to do so by teaming with an investor, the ceo said.
“We’re going through a strategic review during the quarter because we are doing a lot of things,” Talucci said.
With three brands with overlapping pricing structures — all under $200 — the ceo said that while the company has experienced unexpected demand in noncore categories such as shoes, scarves and accessories for computers and cell phones, it needs to stake its place in the market.
Talucci, who considers Kooba, Botkier and Rebecca Minkoff his main rivals, spoke of the differences of each brand, but struggled to broadly delineate them.
“A lot of our [product] extensions share the same materials,” he said. “We are not making a distinction with price.”
Sak, the company’s most successful brand, sells more leather and crocheted bags and serves a customer interested in classic looks, while Sakroots incorporates vibrant prints, and generally targets a teen to young-adult shopper. Elliott Lucca also uses prints but in a slightly more sophisticated way, while also trying to appeal to a younger consumer via looks that mix materials. Colors, which are more subdued, are paired with prints, leather and exotic materials. Elliot Lucca bags are generally priced higher, in the mid-$200 range, while the Sak and Sakroots primarily serve the under-$100 market. With some of Elliott Lucca’s highest-priced duffels hitting just under $300, Talucci noted that his brand plays in the rough-and-tumble marketplace occupied by massive American accessories firms.
“We are competing against billion-dollar companies like Coach, Michael Kors, Tory Burch and Kate Spade,” he said “I can’t outmarket these guys.”
An investor would help the accessories firm with marketing, expanding its digital presence, growing internationally and opening more retail stores, he offered. For the moment, Sak has just one store, in Sea Girt, N.J., but the company is distributed in more than 4,500 department stores and in more than 850 specialty stores nationwide.
“The company is performing well. We can afford to take more risks,” said Talucci. “We can’t play not to lose, we’ve got to play to win. You’ve got to dream.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast