Brand Matter LLC has sold the operational part of the Ellen Tracy business to RVC Enterprises and licensed RVC for use of the brand for women’s sportswear in both the better and bridge categories.
Mark Mendelson, president and chief executive officer of Ellen Tracy, will become president of the Ellen Tracy division of RVC. The operations will remain in Manhattan, where RVC is located.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Market sources said there have been discussions for an Ellen Tracy line in the better category at Macy’s. But Brand Matter president Rick Platt said Ellen Tracy’s management has had conversations with a variety of retailers.
Macy’s didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Brand Matter will continue its business as owner of the intellectual property of Ellen Tracy and Caribbean Joe. As licensor, Brand Matter derives revenues from royalties generated from those trademarks.
“Brand Matter’s plan is to acquire other trademarks,” Platt said. “It’s a case of getting the right fit.”
Platt said the search for a sportswear licensee began in March. The company was working with financial adviser MMG in evaluating several licensee partners.
“Brand Matter looks forward to working together with RVC to grow the Ellen Tracy business,” he said.
Allan Ellinger, managing director of MMG, said, “Ellen Tracy is a world-class brand that RVC believes it can develop into a significant business.”
RVC ceo Ruby Azrak said the company has been looking to expand its apparel business within the upscale department store sector.
RVC is owned by the Azrak family and holds the licenses for Beyoncé Knowles’ Deréon line and Luxirie. It was previously partners with Russell Simmons in Phat Farm and Baby Phat.
Brand Matter is owned by an investment group led by Windsong Brands LLC and Hilco Consumer Capital. Fashionology Group, owned by Windsong and Hilco, has wound down its operations with the Ellen Tracy transaction as well as the Caribbean Joe license agreement with Ivory International a month ago.
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