Waitt Co., an Omaha-based firm with investments in activewear brands Prince, Viking and Tapout, has reached an agreement to acquire all of the operating assets of the Bobby Jones golfwear business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Waitt will take over the business from W Diamond Group Corp., a New York-based company owned by Doug Williams, the former chief executive officer of HMX Group, and his family. As part of the deal, Bobby Jones’ heirs and W Diamond have agreed to provide Waitt with a long-term license for the exclusive use of the Bobby Jones brand globally for apparel, golf equipment and related products and accessories.
Waitt will operate the Bobby Jones business under a newly formed affiliate, Jones Global Sports, and Williams will join Jones’ board. Andy Bell, the current president of Bobby Jones, has been promoted to ceo of Jones Global Sports.
Williams said he was attracted to Waitt’s “approach to brands and its commitment to the people connected to building and protecting the value of a premium brand. After meeting with [Waitt ceo] Dana Bradford a couple of times, it was clear to me the Waitt organization and all the resources at their disposal, was the right fit for Bobby Jones brand, the Jones family and the legacy of Bobby Jones the individual.”
Bradford said the plan was to protect and expand the brand globally “in a manner consistent with the legacy of Bobby Jones. We look forward to moving the Bobby Jones brand forward in partnership with management.”
After the deal, W Diamond will continue to produce Hickey Freeman, Hart Schaffner Marx and Exclusively Misook. A couple of weeks ago, Western Glove Works, the Winnipeg, Canada-based owner of Silver Jeans Co., acquired Simply Blue, marketers of the Jag Jeans and Christopher Blue denim brands, from W Diamond.
Williams told WWD Sunday: “These transactions have allowed W Diamond Group Corp. to pay down substantial debt and focus on its core business.”
Reports continue to circulate that Authentic Brands Group, which bought the intellectual property of HMX Group and entered into a long-term license to operate them with W Diamond, is negotiating with Samuelsohn of Toronto to acquire the Hickey Freeman brand.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
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)