HAT BRANDS PURCHASES MARK, DESIGN RIGHTS TO DARCY CREECH

GARLAND, Tex.--Hat Brands Inc. said Tuesday it has acquired the trademark and design rights of Darcy Creech Inc., a designer and manufacturer of upscale women's hats.
The acquisition marks Hat Brands' entry into the women's fashion hat market. Hat Brands is primarily known for its western hats under such labels as Resistol, Stetson, Bradford and Miller Bros.
Both companies are privately held and terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Hat Brands was acquired by Hicks, Muse, Tate & First, a private investment firm, in September 1992.
Darcy Creech will continue to operate out of Greenwich, Conn., and its trademarks will become part of the casual/sport division of Hat Brands, headed by Gloria Teague. Darcy Creech, the designer, will work directly with Teague.
Creech, who founded her business in 1990, gained prominence when she designed the hat worn by Hillary Rodham Clinton at the inauguration in January 1993. Creech is known for classic straw hats, paper rose trims and winter collections of fur, felt and faux fur hats.
Hat Brands would not disclose Creech's volume. Creech could not be reached for comment.
Bob Stec, Hat Brand's president and chief executive officer, said Hat Brands plans on "aggressively growing the Darcy Creech branded business," using Hat Brands marketing, financial and operational resources. A company spokesman said it was "quite possible" Hat Brands would look to acquire other women's accessories brands in the future.

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