NEW YORK — Kellwood Co. started the New Year on an active note, closing on its acquisition of contemporary sportswear brand Rebecca Taylor.
Terms of the deal, which closed on Tuesday, were not disclosed. Financial sources said the funding for the purchase was by both Kellwood and its parent, Sun Capital Partners.
Rebecca Taylor and her business partner Elizabeth Bugdaycay, who together founded the firm 15 years ago, will remain with the company.
Michael Kramer, Kellwood’s president and chief executive officer, promises more acquisitions on the horizon for 2011, and sources said that Gryphon could be the next target on Kellwood’s contemporary radar. The two firms are said to be in talks about a possible acquisition.
“This is an awesome brand. Rebecca and Beth are incredibly talented people,” Kramer said.
Market sources said the brand’s volume is in the $45 million range, similar to Vince’s sales when Kellwood acquired that brand in September 2006. Vince’s volume has since grown to about $150 million annually.
The firm acquired Adam, headed by Adam Lippes, and Isis in 2010.
According to Kramer, the plan is to build Rebecca Taylor through additional doors for its wholesale business, a more sophisticated Web presence with improved fulfillment functionality and, in particular, through the increased presence of freestanding retail stores from the company’s current portfolio of two.
“Rebecca Taylor is a fantastic feminine brand with lots of categories that the brand can grow in, such as intimates or outerwear,” Kramer said.
Paul Altman, director of investment banking firm Sage LLC, financial adviser to Rebecca Taylor, said, “We talked with a number of qualified groups, but the sellers were excited about what Kellwood brings to the table. Kellwood is a rare strategic group that is strong in terms of how it grows its portfolio of brands. They know the contemporary market and did a great job with Vince.”
According to Rebecca Taylor, “We look forward to moving [ahead] with our retail business.”
The brand has a huge international presence through a wholesale business in both Asia and Europe, and has freestanding stores in Hong Kong and in the NoLIta section of Manhattan. A third store is slated to open next month in the Meatpacking District here.
Taylor, who said her firm does some footwear and accessories as complementary extensions to her sportswear collection, is considering expanding those categories into full collections.
“I always wondered what people meant about taking their company to the next level,” Taylor said, “and [we] realized now is the time. With Kellwood, we have this big-brother feeling that there’s additional support from a larger company to help us grow further, and we really needed the support of a company with more experience in retail.”
Sun Capital acquired Kellwood in 2008 and brought Kramer, formerly executive vice president and chief financial officer of Abercrombie & Fitch Co., in as ceo.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye