Bluestar Alliance is pumping up its apparel portfolio with the acquisition of junior brand Hot Kiss.
Bluestar, which also owns Liz Lange and Harvé Benard, acquired a majority stake in the $100 million Hot Kiss Inc. for an estimated $20 million from founder Moshe Tsabag, who will stay on as director of marketing and merchandising. The design and sales staff also will stay on, according to the company.
"Moshe has a merchandising eye unlike anyone in the market," said Bluestar chief executive officer Joey Gabbay. "With money behind him, Hot Kiss can really take off."
Bluestar predicts Hot Kiss — which sells at retailers including Nordstrom, Macy's, Wet Seal and Dillard's — can grow to a $500 million brand in three years. Bluestar's plan includes expanding Hot Kiss' licensing business, tripling its marketing budget to about $3 million and expanding with international retail stores. The first Hot Kiss store is slated to open in May in Japan, where Bluestar plans to open 20 more stores by the end of 2009. Domestically, there are plans to open a New York and a Los Angeles store by the end of this year.
"It's one of those rare brands that has been kept clean since the inception 12 years ago," said Bluestar chief operating officer Ralph Gindi. "Now we can take it to the next level."
Founded a year and a half ago by Gabbay and Gindi, Bluestar has grown into a $500 million apparel conglomerate. It acquired maternity brand Liz Lange in November for an estimated $50 million, following the purchase of men's brand Ron Chereskin in September, and Harvé Benard in September 2006. Next on the company's wish list is a luxury brand by the end of the year.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)