NEW YORK — The Komar company has signed a letter of intent to acquire Le Mystère, an upscale foundations brand.
The deal is expected to close Thursday, said Charles Komar, chairman and chief executive officer of the $750 million Komar firm.
A purchase price was not available, but Le Mystère generates wholesale annual sales of $25 million, according to industry sources.
The Le Mystère brand was created in 1991 by Michael Rabinowitz, a 46-year veteran of the intimate apparel industry.
The brand is sold at major department and specialty retailers in the U.S. such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Dillard’s, and Harrods and John Lewis in the U.K., as well as specialty boutiques worldwide.
Komar said that Rabinowitz will continue to run the Le Mystère business and the showroom will remain located at 183 Madison Avenue here.
“We’ve been working on this for a long time and have been back and forth on this deal for the past several months,” said Komar. “It’s still a great brand and business, and it’s the second-best-selling [bra] brand at Harrods. They had a big bump in 2006 but sales have since remained consistent.…In this environment it’s so hard to run a business and have all of the synergies in place.”
The Le Mystère brand gained national exposure in 2006 when Oprah Winfrey featured a bevy of the brand’s fashion bras on her TV talk show.
Regarding any changes at Le Mystère, Komar said, “Most employees will continue with us but there’s sure to be some back-office consolidation.”
“We’ll be investing a lot of money and will be expanding the brand into sleepwear and loungewear categories in 2014,” he said.
The Komar company has been on an acquisitions roll for the past several years.
Komar bought Biflex Intimates Group LLC, a $60 million intimates specialist, in August. In October 2010, the family-owned Komar acquired The Carole Hochman Design Group, a sleepwear and foundations concern that generates between $150 million and $299 million annually. Hochman produces and distributes intimates by On Gossamer as well as several licensees, including Oscar de la Renta, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Betsey Johnson Intimates, Lilly Pulitzer, and Tommy Bahama sleepwear, loungewear and boxers for men. In December 2010, Komar bought the $100 million St. Eve and St. Eve Kids brands and assets from Russell-Newman Inc. Earlier, Komar purchased O’Bryan Bros. Inc., a $50 million specialist of warmwear by Cuddl Duds, in May 2009.
Komar’s portfolio includes licensed sleepwear by Donna Karan, DKNY, Ellen Tracy, Eileen West and Kensie.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews