Jennifer Lopez’s Sweetface Fashion Co. is going back to the drawing board yet again.
The company has closed the justsweet junior brand, hired a new designer and is relaunching JLO by Jennifer Lopez in the U.S. with the hope of jump-starting its struggling business in the sector. Sweetface isn’t even launching JLO with wholesale, instead going direct to e-tailing in America, which will be the exclusive channel for the brand for the foreseeable future.
The moves also will refocus attention on Lopez being behind the label at a time when the brand has lost serious ground to newer entrants in celebrity fashion.
“The JLO brand has been tried-and-true for us and with the economy in the shape it is in the U.S., we decided it would be best to focus on what is working — the JLO brand,” claimed Gina Rizzo, vice president of creative at Sweetface Fashion Co. “The brand has been doing so well internationally and consumers relate to it so well, so we want to put our focus back into the brand and bring it back to the U.S.”
The JLO by Jennifer Lopez brand, which first launched in 2001, is now sold in over nine countries, with licensed product — including accessories and fragrance — in over 40 countries. The revamped Web site, shopjlo.com, will relaunch in March 2009 and will be the exclusive retail outlet for the label in the U.S.
“We plan to eventually open up the line to wholesale in the U.S., but we were doing so well with the brand online, so that’s where we want to be for now,” Rizzo said.
While the JLO brand is traditionally more casual and street-oriented than justsweet, company executives expect the JLO brand to turn a bit more ladylike with a European fashion influence. At the time of the launch for justsweet, Andrea Scoli, president of Sweetface Fashion Co., said she expected it to bring in upward of $10 million in wholesale volume for the first year at retail, but the label apparently failed to live up to expectations. As of now, justsweet is sold in 100 specialty stores nationwide. Holiday deliveries of the justsweet brand will be its last season.
To help relaunch the JLO brand in the U.S., the firm has hired Albino Riganello as vice president of design. In this role, Riganello will work alongside Rizzo and is responsible for all aspects of the design of the JLO junior and Sweetface contemporary apparel brands.
Riganello joins the firm with over 10 years of experience in design, most recently as design director at L.A.M.B., one of the brands that has been outperforming Sweetface at retail. Prior to that, he worked in creative positions at Dolce & Gabbana, Alessandro Dell’Acqua and Elie Tahari.
“Albino has great experience with international markets and, as we focus on our business abroad, he seemed to be the perfect fit for us and where we are going,” Rizzo said.
Riganello replaced Sophie Na, the firm’s former vice president of design, who left earlier this summer to pursue other interests. Na had been with the company since 2002. Riganello reports to Scoli.
Currently, there are 17 freestanding JLO stores in Russia and former Soviet Union countries, eight in Greece and, by the end of this year, there will be 13 more freestanding JLO stores throughout those regions. In addition, Sweetface partnered with Yamamay last fall to launch the JLO by Jennifer Lopez for Yamamay lingerie and swimwear collection, which is currently distributed in over 600 stores internationally.
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