By  on January 13, 2009

Brand Matter LLC, owner of the Ellen Tracy brand, has signed a licensing agreement with the Komar Co. to produce the first collection of intimates bearing the Ellen Tracy name.

The collection, which will include sleepwear, at-homewear, robes, foundations, shapewear and lingerie, will launch this fall at major department and specialty stores, including Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor and Dillard’s, said Rick Platt, president of Brand Matter. He noted that distribution will be aimed at 250 doors that carry Ellen Tracy apparel, as well as 18 Ellen Tracy outlets. “That is the [bridge] category we are going to start with,” Platt said.

Industry sources said the mulitcategory collection could generate first-year wholesale volume in excess of $25 million. Platt would not give a first-year sales projection other than to say it is “pretty substantial.”

Regarding the partnership with the 100-year-old Komar firm, Platt said: “Brand Matter is committed to developing best-in-class partners for our portfolio of brands. Our decision to partner with the Komar Co. is critical to the ongoing goal of expanding our brands in relevant product classifications.”

Leigh Van Swall, senior director of licensing at Brand Matter, said, “There are categories open to go after, and we saw intimate apparel was a huge opportunity for Ellen Tracy.”

Existing licensed categories for Ellen Tracy include women’s sportswear, footwear, coats, dresses, suiting, legwear and eyewear.

Charles Komar, president and chief executive officer the Komar Co., said, “We look forward to building a strong new category with their team.”

Known as a lifestyle brand, 60-year-old Ellen Tracy features sophisticated color palettes and signature prints. Mark Mendelson, ceo of Ellen Tracy, described the brand’s customer as a “woman who’s outgrown the contemporary phase. The Ellen Tracy woman believes there’s a huge void between contemporary, trendy, classic and traditional merchandise.”

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