By  on October 10, 2011

Nat Nast, the men’s wear brand known for its iconic bowling shirts, has been purchased by brothers Michael and David Haddad, the owners of Fashion Options, for an undisclosed sum.

Barbara Nast Saletan, daughter of Nat Nast, who founded the company in 1946, will remain with the firm as president and will work with the new management team to “ensure continuity in all aspects including design, production, sales, marketing and customer satisfaction,” the company said Monday.

Lawrence DeParis, who had served as president and chief executive officer of Nat Nast for the past two-and-a-half years, and who orchestrated the sale to the Haddad brothers, will exit the brand.

In a telephone interview Monday, Michael Haddad characterized Nat Nast as “an iconic American brand” whose potential for growth is “absolutely huge.” He pointed to the label’s “clean distribution” at the upscale end of the market as key to his company’s interest in the brand. “It has been underplayed and underdistributed.”

Haddad said Fashion Options, which owns the Beverly Hills Polo Club brand and also holds the license for Pony in men’s, women’s and boys, and Airwalk in young men’s and boys, expects to produce Nat Nast sportswear itself and seek licenses for key categories including tailored clothing and footwear. “But we want to digest what we have first, understand the distribution and speak to the specialty retailers who carry the brand,” he said.

Nat Nast, which has worked to expand its offerings into additional product categories, is carried in more than 400 stores in the U.S. and Caribbean including Nordstrom and Von Maur.

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