When a novice paddles into southern California’s fiercely competitive surf lineups, he is mercilessly mocked. Seasoned surfers hoot at his every error, and he is sometimes even driven off the beach in shame. If he happens to have a lot of money and has outfitted himself with the latest board and gear, he’s even more subject to intense derision. Winning acceptance can take many seasons.
Not so for VF Corp., the Greensboro, N.C.–based apparel conglomerate that posted $6.2 billion in sales last year. In 2004 VF burst onto the boardsports scene with its $396 million purchase of Vans, the favored footwear maker of surf rats and skater boys. Not one to sit idle, the moneyed arriviste then scooped up another footwear label cherished by surfers, buying sandal powerhouse Reef for $188 million. By the end of this year, VF Corp. projects that the two brands will have doubled their annual revenues since their respective acquisitions, both bolstered by rapidly growing apparel programs. The secret to VF’s SoCal success? Empowering existing personnel to grow the brands, and respecting action sports’ hallowed culture.
“I see things on the hanger and I’m, like, ‘I never knew that color worked on me.’ It’s things you necessarily wouldn’t choose to wear, but once you put them on, you see why Janie is who Janie is." — Lily Collins on working with former "Mad Men" costume designer, Janie Bryant on creating looks for her role as Celia Brady's in Amazon series, "The Last Tycoon." 📸@jilliansollazzo #wwdeye
EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Rutson has been tapped to Build New American Fashion Group. The parent of Joie, Equipment and Current/Elliott hired the merchant to rev up its brands and expand its portfolio into designer, beauty and lifestyle categories. Read more on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion
Michael Kors' $1.3B Jimmy Choo deal has the company squaring off with Coach Inc. as both seek to build American powerhouses. Coach bought Stuart Weitzman in 2015 and Kate Spade just two weeks ago, but Michael Kors' acquisition may be putting pressure on its rival in the new push for scale. #wwdnews (📷: George Chinsee)
Meet actress Lucy Boynton, who plays opposite Naomi Watts in the recently released Netflix series "Gypsy." Boynton stopped by WWD to talk about her upcoming projects and her nomadic lifestyle. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)