After 10 years in business, junior denim brand Tyte is restructuring.
The company, owned and operated by chief executive officer Alden Halpern, is getting rid of its seven licensing deals and bringing all categories, including knits, sweaters, dresses and woven tops in-house. This, Halpern said, makes more sense for the firm since it is already manufacturing a great deal of private label products.
"We happen to be a private label company which operates a couple of brands as well," he said of Tyte and its misses' counterpart, Duplex, which launched four years ago. "Over the years, we've been concentrating on the denim business and manufacture a lot of denim and now nondenim bottoms. There was really no reason for us to continue our licensing since we can handle it on our own."
To accommodate the load of products that will be produced in-house, Halpern is moving from the 28th floor of 1407 Broadway in New York to the 21st floor, where the brand will have 8,000 square feet instead of the 2,500 it has now. Also, Halpern has hired Mary Beth Walsh, formerly of Jones Apparel Group's Glo Jeans brand, to head Tyte's new children's wear division. He has also hired six more top-level executives, whose names he could not divulge at press time, to join Tyte beginning next month.
"Tyte's business has been growing slowly but in a calculated manor," Halpern said. "We are now 71 percent over last year's numbers and we hope to continue that once we bring everything in-house."
Wholesaling between $2.50 and $14, the Tyte line is sold in major department and specialty stores such as Macy's, Sears, J.C. Penney and Wet Seal. Halpern said Tyte brings in about $90 million in annual wholesale volume. He expects that number to jump to $120 million by the end of 2008, with another $50 million coming from the Duplex label.
"We have been doing well in a year when denim isn't doing as well overall," he said. "But we are really now more of a denim sportswear company than just a denim brand."
Halpern said buyers are increasingly asking for more product categories from them. He plans to launch a junior plus-size division to help feed that need in the stores. Also, Halpern is aggressively expanding his sourcing, having 16 Shanghai-based employees now watching over Chinese-based factories. In addition, he plans to open an office in Jordan to increase production there."The customer wants a pair of jeans that look like a $150 pair of jeans, but they want to pay $34 for them," he said. "It's all about sourcing. With the right sourcing, you can make it happen."
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