By  on February 20, 2008

NEW YORK — Last July, marketing consultancy Brand Keys Inc. issued its annual list of people's favorite brands to wear, and Teri Jon came in seventh, right after the likes of Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren.

Now, the company, which has been in business for over three decades, is taking the brand recognition further by uniting its Rickie Freeman for Teri Jon day and evening dress collections and its offshoot Jôn bridge sportswear brand under the Teri Jon umbrella.

Teri Jon is a mainstay in dress departments, while Jôn was more frequently found in modern bridge sportswear areas, and the move will make cross-merchandising much easier for stores, particularly smaller specialty stores. Beginning with the fall collections, the lines will be branded together and only delineated by the label color — platinum for evening and black for day dresses, for instance. "The brands share a lot of customers," said Alan Geller, president of the Teri Jon Apparel Group. "Instead of being pigeonholed, we're now a multicategory resource."

Freeman, the company's chief executive officer and designer, said the firm has a retail sales volume close to $60 million, selling at stores such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's and Lord & Taylor.

She added that licensed product extensions are next on the agenda.

"We are talking about coats, then shoes, accessories, and maybe bathing suits," she said. "We will be starting to talk to companies who can take advantage of our label's recognition."

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