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Larry Hansel is clearly on to the next.
This story first appeared in the November 13, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Rampage founder, who’s usually based in Los Angeles, was in New York last week to show off the newest brand from his company, Larry Hansel Clothing LLC — Grass.
“Grass is all about doing what we did so well with Rampage and getting back to items, which is what the stores want,” Hansel said of the new junior sportswear line, launching in over 500 department store doors in mid-February. “The difference with Grass is that it’s modern and there is such a range — we have clubwear, career, casual — a real mix.”
At launch, Grass will have its own shop-in-shops, with one opening at Macy’s Herald Square. Hansel said his goal for the brand is to expand it into a full lifestyle collection — starting with apparel and, come fall, introducing licensed products ranging from shoes to accessories to sleepwear and lingerie.
“We have to keep moving, we have to stay fast in this environment and literally be prepared to reinvent ourselves monthly,” he said. “We did it with Rampage, so we can do it all again.”
For the spring launch, the Grass line includes a wide array of choices — there are paisley-printed blouses, floral printed dresses, skirts, cropped denim cargo jeans, shorts, blazers, trousers and graphic T-shirts. Hansel hits virtually every trend out there, from printed floor-length bohemian skirts with crochet detail to brightly colored short shorts. The collection wholesales from $12 to $40, and Hansel expects to generate between $40 million and $50 million in first-year wholesale volume.
Hansel sold Rampage — which he founded in 1983 — to Iconix Brand Group Inc. in 2005 for a reported $45.9 million, consisting of $25.8 million in cash and $20.1 million in company stock. He stayed with the company as designer and distributor until the two parties announced an end to their agreement last month.
In addition to Grass, Hansel launched a young contemporary brand, Golden State, in May. The line, which sells in specialty stores, aims to bring a bit of bohemian chic to the selling floor and is set to hit $10 million in wholesale volume in the first year. Hansel also operates a dress business with his Love Tease line for the young contemporary market and Roulette for misses’.