NEW YORK — Ellen Tracy is getting a major platform for its debut in better departments: Macy’s Inc.
Under Brand Matter LLC’s new operating license with RVC Enterprises, sources said Ellen Tracy has forged an exclusive sportswear deal with Macy’s, which is expected to roll out 100 in-store shops for the better-price line beginning this spring. There are reportedly plans for additional in-store shops and categories over time.
This confirms a report in WWD that Ellen Tracy was in discussions with a major retail group about an exclusive arrangement.
Neither Ellen Tracy nor Macy’s officials were available Wednesday to comment on the new deal.
Ellen Tracy’s licensees in areas such as footwear, coats and suits, which are already positioned in the better category, would still be allowed to sell to other department stores under the new arrangement, said sources.
Exclusive retail partnerships with brands continue to be an important vehicle to gain market share and customer loyalty. A Macy’s deal with Ellen Tracy would join the growing list of exclusive relationships the department store has with brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Martha Stewart, Donald Trump and Rachel Roy.
Ellen Tracy’s decision to exit the bridge floor this past summer put major real estate in limbo at key accounts such as Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Dillard’s and Lord & Taylor — and was a blow to a brand that was once the undisputed leader of the category, with sales of more than $170 million at wholesale at its peak. It also represented yet another roadblock in retailers’ attempts to reinvigorate the bridge market.
The Ellen Tracy business at RVC is headed by Mark Mendelson, president.
In other news, RVC has been licensed to manufacture and market Rocawear junior sportswear, effective with current fall shipments. That line had been produced by Signature Apparel Group. Last month, three of Signature’s creditors sought to force the Rocawear licensee into bankruptcy. The petitioning creditors, representing about $14.9 million in debt past due, filed an involuntary Chapter 7 petition in a Manhattan bankruptcy court on Sept. 4.
In addition to Ellen Tracy and Rocawear junior sportswear, RVC, which is based at 1384 Broadway here, manufactures Deréon, Luxirie by LRG and Ten Twenty Five.
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast