In the five years since its debut, the Black Fleece collection, designed by Thom Browne, has built a significant following within and outside the retailer’s stores. Women’s wear is gaining in importance, and the brand is being expanded to more stores as it continues to expand its reach.
In a presentation of the company’s fall collection last week, Lou Amendola, chief merchandising officer of Brooks Brothers, said, “Black Fleece has an identity of its own. In what was a challenging retail environment last year, it made plan and performed well.” He said when the line launched, the plan was to have women’s wear represent 50 percent of sales, but it was actually closer to 5 percent. “But women’s is starting to gain momentum,” he said, noting that it has grown to 30 percent of sales overall, and in some stores, such as Georgetown, it represents 50 percent of sales.
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