NEW YORK — Beyoncé Knowles’ House of Deréon is changing direction.
An overhaul is now underfoot less than two years after LF USA, a division of Li & Fung, acquired Beyond Productions LLC, the apparel and accessories company led by Beyoncé and her mother, Tina Knowles. Beyond Productions chief executive officer Philip Davis exited the company more than six weeks ago and many of the company’s other 15 or so employees are said to have received pink slips.
Rick Darling, president of LF USA, said, “House of Deréon has been distributed exclusively in Europe for the past two years in department and specialty stores. As part of our growing contemporary business, we are repositioning the brand in the United States. Additionally, we are continuing our successful Miss Tina business.”
Li & Fung executives declined further comment.
Calls to the House of Deréon’s offices in Midtown Manhattan were not answered and Beyoncé’s agent did not respond to an e-mail request for comment. Davis could not be reached for comment at press time.
Retail sales of the brand have slipped considerably from their peak of $100 million, according to a source familiar with the current situation. At one point, the House of Deréon and Deréon labels were carried at Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, but after that business faltered it was sold to more mass accounts like Burlington Coat Factory, the source said.
When acquired by LF USA, Beyond Productions’ brands included House of Deréon, Deréon, Curvelicious and Miss Tina. At that time, LF USA signed an endorsement deal with Beyoncé for House of Deréon and Deréon.
The singer-songwriter was known to mention her clothing label in such songs as “Get Me Bodied” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” As that latter title suggests, she has changed her priorities over the years, marrying Jay-Z in 2008, giving birth to their daughter, Blue Ivy, in January and last month acting as an ambassador for World Humanitarian Day.
The Miss Tina sportswear and dresses collection, which was initially sold on HSN, is now available in 400-plus Wal-Mart stores and is known to be the strong suit in the company’s hand. The elder Knowles, who used to sew her daughter’s costumes during her Destiny’s Child days, was said to be in the company’s Midtown office on a regular basis. Visitors there would find images of the mother-and-daughter team from a House of Deréon ad campaign, as well as paintings done by Beyoncé.
Beyond Productions was established in 2004 by the Knowleses, with Jason and Arthur Rabin and Cory Silverstein of Wear Me Apparel/Kids Headquarters, which is based in New York. Under its various monikers, Beyond Productions’ lines span ready-to-wear, casual sportswear, denim, outerwear, handbags, footwear and other accessories.
In 2006, Beyoncé and her sister, Solange Knowles, launched the less expensive junior line Deréon with the tag line, “Where the sidewalk and catwalk meet.”
In an interview with WWD last year, Darling said that LF USA first became acquainted with Beyond Productions through its 2009 acquisition of Kids Headquarters. At that time, the plan was to make the House of Deréon’s various labels more global.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion