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.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia