The designer said in a statement late Monday that Jones Apparel Group had agreed to transfer back the rights to use his name in the apparel, accessories, fragrance and cosmetics industries.
Officials at Jones could not be reached for immediate comment.
Tony Longoria, vice president at Oldham’s company and the designer’s longtime business partner, said the company would begin looking at opportunities to reintroduce apparel under the designer’s name.
“We’re fielding all of our options right now,” he said.
Last fall Jones pulled the plug on the Todd Oldham Jeans line, as reported. Jones officials said at the time that the four-year-old unit’s small volume was the reason, though market sources suggested the appearance of a Todd Oldham home furnishings at Target stores also led to the line’s mothballing. At the time, a source said Jones had pitched a mass-priced version of the Todd Oldham Jeans line to Target merchants but had been turned down.
Longoria said in a Monday phone interview that Target would be among the list of customers Oldham would be considering when and if he reenters the apparel market.
“That would be one,” he said. “There would be others, but that would definitely be in the mix.”
A Target spokeswoman did not return calls late Monday seeking comment.
When Jones put the Oldham line on ice last year, company officials said they would consider selling the name back to Oldham or any other interested buyer.
“We’d really be open to any option that was good from a return standpoint,” executive vice president of finance Anita Britt said then.
Jones bought the rights to the Todd Oldham name in fashion categories in February 1999, a few months after the designer retired from the runway. At the time, it was selling Oldham jeans under the TO2 diffusion label, after the designer’s retirement, company officials determined that the TO2 name wasn’t resonating with customers.
Target has attracted a slew of designer names in various categories over the past few years, as it tries to walk a fine line of classy merchandise at mass prices — and keep a niche that has allowed it to compete with behemoth Wal-Mart Stores.The Minneapolis retailer’s other designer ventures have included Philippe Starck home products, Stephen Sprouse apparel, Liz Lange maternity clothes and a line of home products bearing the Swell name designed by Cynthia Rowley and former Times style editor Ilene Rosenzweig.
Since foregoing the runway, Oldham’s projects have included photography and designing accoutrements for a Miami hotel. He’s also done a line of La-Z-Boy furniture and made regular TV appearances.
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