Richard Cohen, the previous chief executive officer of St. John who made his mark building the Ermenegildo Zegna North America business into a powerhouse men's luxury label, has taken a partnership stake in Robert Talbott Inc., and will serve as...
LAS VEGAS — Richard Cohen, the previous chief executive officer of St. John who made his mark building the Ermenegildo Zegna North America business into a powerhouse men's luxury label, has taken a partnership stake in Robert Talbott Inc., and will serve as president and ceo of the California-based brand.
Cohen had been consulting with Talbott for the past year.
Company owner and chairman Robb Talbott, son of founders Robert and Audrey Talbott, has decided to remove himself from the day-to-day running of the business to concentrate on his successful vineyard business, Talbott Vineyards. Talbott will continue as chairman.
In an exclusive interview here during the MAGIC trade show, Cohen said that when Robb Talbott offered him the opportunity to be a partner, he was excited about the prospects for the business and signed on two days ago.
""I think the opportunity for Robert Talbott is huge," he said. "It's an untapped brand, its name is pure, it hasn't been licensed and there are opportunities both domestically and internationally." Noting that it's a brand that "is not broken," Cohen said he believes he can double the size of the business within three to fi ve years. He declined to provide a current volume fi gure for the Carmel, Calif.-based brand.
Talbott is known for its highquality dress shirts and neckwear and recently branched out into sportswear. It also operates a women's division, Audrey Talbott, which represents 10 percent of the company's sales. Robert Talbott also operates four company-owned retail stores.
"There are very few American luxury brands," Cohen said, "and we should hold our heads high against our Italian friends. It will be fun competing against them."
Cohen said that to compete against "the big boys," Talbott will present a "more succinct" message, and will strive to "tell a story with a unique point of view."
Although the brand is carried primarily in independent specialty stores as well as Nordstrom — Saks Fifth Avenue started carrying the men's wear this fall — Cohen is hoping to expand Talbott's reach. "We want to maintain our specialty store aura, but when you do business with Nordstrom, Saks and hopefully [Neiman Marcus], it pushes your brand to the next level."Cohen said plans call for retaining the company's manufacturing facilities in Monterey, Calif., and the "goal is to sell 1 million ties out of there." Currently, Talbott produces about 600,000 pieces of neckwear in that facility. Other goals include launching an expanded women's collection within 18 months, exploring the international market, starting with Asia and then moving into "Anglo-Saxon Europe," and launching an in-store shop program while also looking into additional Robert Talbott stores.
Since Audrey Talbott died three years ago, the company has been operating under the direction of Robb Talbott and Jerome Politzer, who is leaving the company.
Cohen, who grew the Zegna business in North America from $13 million when he joined in 1986 to $200 million, said he had "worked for a few different families in my career and it's nice to be back with a family business with integrity, like the Zegnas."
Cohen also worked for a short time as head of St. John, but left after a rocky tenure about months ago and has been consulting since then. In addition to Talbott, Cohen has consulted with Nat Nast, a position he will retain.
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@badgalriri’s @fentybeauty launch in September was a massive success on social media, powering $72.9 million of earned media value, according to Tribe Dynamics. The brand’s foundation offering sparked conversations about diversity in beauty, launching the growth of emerging influencers and propelling the brand’s support on social media. Today, #fentybeauty won Launch of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📷: Chema Moya/EPE-EFE)
@marianna_hewitt has become one of the most influential content creators in the beauty space, with almost 800,000 Instagram followers and a newly launched skin care line called @SummerFridays. Today, she was awarded Influencer of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📸: @sophiachabbott )
As shopping behaviors evolve, the retail experience must follow. Head over to retail experts @colliersinternational’s Knowledge Leader series to read more about the shift in our shopping era. #colliersretail #lovecolliers
@prada opened a pop-up club, called Prada Double Club, in collaboration with German artist Cartsen Höller at @artbasel Miami. Last night, guests – including @youngparis, @ritaora and even Miuccia Prada herself – gathered in a former ice factory where the pop-up is housed for a performance from @wyclefjean. Go to WWD.com for full coverage on all the exhibits, parties and more at #ArtBaselMiami. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@louboutinworld and @disney are making magic once again, creating a set of shoe designs for the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Louboutin designed a pair of shoes for each of the film’s four female leads: Rey (@daisyridrey), Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (@lauradern), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Rose Tico (@kellymarietran). The shoes will debut on Saturday at the L.A. premiere of the latest episode. #wwdfashion
Today at the #BeautyIncAwards 2017, WWD will be joined by beauty leaders from around the world as we honor this year's most innovative people, products, brands and places. Follow along here and on Twitter for live coverage from the exclusive event. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Exclusive: Beauty superinfluencer @marianna_hewitt is launching her first-ever skin care brand with her business partner @laurengores. Their new line Summer Fridays, which will be sold exclusively at summerfridays.com starting in January, is launching with just one product – a hydrating cream Jet Lag Mask. “We wanted to focus on one product that was amazing,” said Hewitt. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Michelin star-rated chef PJ Calapa marks his first solo endeavor with today’s opening of @scampinyc –– the new Southern Italian restaurant located in Manhattans’ Flatiron District. The upscale yet welcoming environment matches the menu, which includes two types of scampi: traditional Italian langoustines in butter and the Americanized version with shrimp over pasta 🍤 - pictured here. #wwdeye (📷: George Chinsee)