The quickly growing Vince brand appears to be several steps closer to the public markets.
The brand’s parent, Kellwood Co., recently hired Lisa Klinger to be chief financial officer — giving financial lead of the company to an executive with recent experience with a retail initial public offering. Klinger last month resigned as executive vice president and cfo of The Fresh Market Inc., where she earned high marks for her handling of the firm’s 2010 IPO.
Kellwood, which is owned by Sun Capital Partners, is said to be working with Goldman Sachs as it explores an IPO for Vince, although it is not clear if the investment bank has been officially hired to put together an offering. Goldman Sachs declined to comment.
One financial source familiar with the company noted: “When businesses are being run by private equity, sometimes they have cfo’s in place who are good cfo’s but aren’t public market cfo’s, and sometimes they want to [shift] to someone who has relationships with equity investors and other people in the regular financial markets.”
If there were an IPO, most observers expect that it would be a partial spin off of Vince. That would leave Kellwood holding a significant stake in that business as well as a number of other, less profitable businesses, such as Rebecca Taylor, Sag Harbor and My Michelle.
Kellwood’s third-quarter earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes, amortization and restructuring rose 13.8 percent to $19.8 million from $17.4 million a year earlier, a company spokeswoman confirmed to WWD. That’s a good jump, especially considering sales for the three months inched up 3.6 percent to $215.5 million from $208 million.
Vince is seen as Kellwood’s financial engine. The brand is estimated to have about $60 million in EBITDA on sales of $225 million to $250 million.
In considering an IPO for Vince, Kellwood is following the steps of Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., which went public a year ago and reawakened investors to the potential gains to be had with a quickly growing fashion brand.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion