The Top 10: Young Contemporary – California Dreamin’
Whether they originated on the streets of New York City or the California beaches, there is one thing this year’s top 10 list of young contemporary brands has in common — they each stick to what they do and know best, without venturing into...
Whether they originated on the streets of New York City or the California beaches, there is one thing this year’s top 10 list of young contemporary brands has in common — they each stick to what they do and know best, without venturing into too-unfamiliar territory.
Top-ranked Disney has moved well beyond Mickey to bank on the ready-made audience for all of its characters. The company’s consumer products division sells everything from Cinderella slippers to Peter Pan collectibles in each of its 550 Disney Stores worldwide, as well as with its wholesale partners.
Same goes for Looney Tunes, at number four. While the Warner Bros. Consumer Products division has closed all of its freestanding stores, the company drives $6 billion worth of business through its relationships with such retailers as Target, Kmart, J.C. Penney and Wal-Mart.
While Los Angeles-based Guess continues to see declines in its wholesale business, the brand is still recognizable enough to rank at number two on this year’s list. The denim-heavy brand has made a name for itself through its 246 company-owned stores and aggressive ad placements in high-end fashion magazines like Vogue and W. The brand’s unmistakably provocative image owes much to its campaigns, overrun with pouty-lipped, sultry-eyed models spilling out of their Guess attire.
The Columbus, Ohio-based retail chain Express also relies on denim-heavy fashion with a sexy flair. While it is now just over a $1 billion company, executives there have said it can ultimately be a $4 billion or $5 billion chain.
Many know Esprit, which ranks at number three, as it was back in the day of those eye-catching ads. Today, while it still capitalizes on the fresh-faced, clean-livin’ California lifestyle it has projected since its launch, it wasn’t until last year that it made its way back to American soil following a foray during the Nineties into Europe and Asia. It is rolling out a full complement of lines in addition to juniors, including men’s wear, women’s wear, children’s wear and accessories.
Also playing off the laid-back, sunny lifestyle are Ocean Pacific, Mossimo and Hang Ten, which fall at numbers six, eight and nine on the list.Despite a bankruptcy in 1991, Ocean Pacific remains a force among other brands in the lucrative surf-lifestyle market. Today, the San Francisco-based brand brings in over $200 million annually.
Mossimo Inc.’s licensing deal with Target has helped the brand become a strong force in the young contemporary market. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company’s annual sales at Target rose to nearly $1 billion last year, causing the firm to extend its agreement with the discounter until Jan. 31, 2006. It also recently inked a deal with Zellers in Canada, where the brand can be found in all of its 350 stores. But it’s the designer’s loyalty to its roots that keeps the company afloat. Offering consumers price-friendly clothing, bath and body products and accessories representing the California lifestyle has been its strategy from the start.
Like Op, Hang Ten’s philosophy is also surfer-centric. Now known as a licensing entity, the brand has well over 100 licenses worldwide, most recently signing one with Riviera Concepts for a fragrance. Hang Ten tallies more than 400 freestanding stores worldwide and $710 million in sales.
B.U.M. Equipment got its start in 1986, when a Seattleite named Derrik Feddermann took to his garage to crank out high-quality sweatshirts printed with meaningless phrases. When first-year orders tallied $3 million, Feddermann knew he had something big on his hands. It is owned and operated by the Mendham, N.J.-based SOS Management and has morphed into a licensing company which spends some of its promotional dollars outfitting sports celebrities.
Finally, Fubu ranks at number 10 on this year’s list. While there are more streetwear labels on the market than ever, it’s the $400 million Fubu brand that remains the most recognizable. Fubu’s 15-plus clothing lines have led the company to expand into a multimedia conglomerate, which includes FB Entertainment, the umbrella organization for the company’s ventures into movies, TV and music.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye