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Best & Co. Takes the Collaborative Route

Partnerships like Isaac Mizrahi for Target, Frank Gehry for Tiffany & Co., and Adriano Goldschmied for Evisu have become quite the trend, and now high-end children's wear firm Best & Co. is joining in.

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Partnerships like Isaac Mizrahi for Target, Frank Gehry for Tiffany & Co., and Adriano Goldschmied for Evisu have become quite the trend, and now high-end children’s wear firm Best & Co. is joining in.

Designer Lucy Sykes has partnered with the 127-year-old clothing brand to launch a new collection, Lucy Sykes for Best & Co., hitting Bergdorf Goodman and the company’s own store in Greenwich, Conn., for spring selling. The partnership with Sykes will be followed by one with J. McLaughlin for Best & Co. for a line of belts and swimwear, and another, Clementine for Best & Co., for a full cashmere collection.

“Best & Co. has always been known for making mini-me-like clothing for children, which is what I’ve been doing all along with my own collection,” Sykes explained at the launch event for the collection at Bergdorf’s earlier this month. “So the partnership seemed natural from the start.”

Sykes, a former fashion editor, runs her own high-end children’s and women’s line called Lucy Sykes New York. She has a 2-year-old son, Heathcliff, and is now four months pregnant with her second child. Her line for Best & Co. includes cotton floral dresses, sweaters and swimwear.

“Lucy’s sensibility fits in with Best & Co. perfectly, and, as a mom herself, she can truly understand the needs,” said Gregg Renfrew, president of Best & Co. “Our mix has always been classic mixed with elements of current trends, so this partnership makes sense.”

Renfrew said she is focusing on building the “& Co.” part of Best & Co. by securing relationships with other designers who share the same general aesthetic and perspective, but also have a special take on what’s classic.

“We will keep an ongoing relationship with Lucy but also begin bringing in new designers to add more special elements to the line,” she said. “I’ve always admired companies who do that and do it well, similar to the way Tiffany has done it.”

Founded in 1879 by Albert Best, Best & Co. became known for quality merchandise and customer service found at its stores located along the East Coast. The company’s flagship once stood on Fifth Avenue in New York.

This story first appeared in the October 16, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Best & Co. remained in business until 1971. Then, in 1997, Susie Hilfiger — the ex-wife of Tommy Hilfiger — purchased an existing children’s boutique in Greenwich, renamed it Best & Co. and has since expanded the location to create an elegant flagship with a rich interior and full collection of children’s clothing and accessories. In 2001, Best & Co. returned to Manhattan with an in-store shop on the seventh floor of Bergdorf’s. Best & Co. also sells through its Web site and hosts trunk shows throughout the country.

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