LOS ANGELES — Five years after its purchase by Liz Claiborne Inc., Laundry by Shelli Segal is finally stepping out for its dance with expansion.
The contemporary brand of dresses and sportswear has made a licensing deal for bridesmaid dresses and plans to add more products. A retail push in the U.S. and abroad is in the works, with a Miami store to debut in November.
Until now, the line’s sister companies under the Liz umbrella captured much of the spotlight, including Sigrid Olsen, Lucky Brand Dungarees and most notably Juicy Couture. Industry executives downplay the pecking order, citing differences in the companies and their direction.
“It depends on the momentum” at the time of purchase, said Mark Vidergauz, managing director of the Sage Group LLC, which brokered the acquisition between Liz and Juicy last year. “Juicy shows no signs of slowing down. But another company may not be ready for such a quick push or may first need internal adjustments. Liz has a formula for exploding brands at their own pace.”
Laundry’s president, Paula Schneider, former president of sales at BCBG Max Azria, replaced Andrew Cohen three years ago. Ira Goldspiel, hired in 2000 as senior vice president of merchandising and marketing, left for Delia’s Inc. a year later. In addition, designer Segal has taken on a consulting role in the last two years. Officials said a team oversees the line, producing items that typically retail from $79 to $450.
The result is a look that’s more youthful, retail consultants said. A few highlights recently at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus include a demure, bouclé coat with a matching, Empire waist sheath, a wine-hued ombré silk dress with crystal-studded spaghetti straps and a flouncy, beaded silk dress in bubble gum pink.
“It’s younger than it used to be and that’s a good thing when it comes to the contemporary woman,” said Sandy Richman, principal at buying office Directives West.
That’s just what Schneider wants to hear.
“Our customer is very current, sexy and girly,” she said. “There’s been an evolution of the line in step with the trends. The androgynous look was big six to seven years ago, where she was partial to a black jacket and slacks. Now it’s about beading and heavy embellishments.”
Hermès is launching a Laundromat pop-up shop in NYC - dubbed Hermèsmatic - where customers can bring their old scarves to be dip-dyed by an expert. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @donstahl)