FAM Brands LLC has signed two multiyear licensing agreements: a deal with Wiesner Products Inc. to manufacture women’s hosiery and athletic and active socks bearing the Marika name, and a venture with SG Cos. to produce athletic and casual footwear for women.
This will mark FAM’s first foray into the legwear and footwear arenas and will add to the brand’s expanding portfolio of licensees and complement existing Marika active apparel. Distribution is aimed at more than 15,000 specialty boutiques and sporting goods outlets in the U.S. with initial deliveries of socks beginning in late November. The footwear will be introduced for spring.
The expansion of the Marika label in the licensing field reflects the hire of John W. Spotts in July, when he was named to the new post of executive vice president of business development and licensing for the $250 million dollar company. At the time, Spotts said an immediate goal will be to license the Marika name in 35 categories including apparel, accessories, eyewear, beauty and home and lifestyle products.
Spotts described the new licensing partners as “experts in their classifications with strong retail relationships, and design and sales teams, as well as outstanding expertise in both product development and sourcing.”
Regarding the legwear line, Charles Mizrahi, president of Wiesner Products, said, “We are already off to a fast start with several major retailers on board for holiday and we expect Marika hosiery to be an important player in the category, especially as the yoga-inspired activewear category that continues to propel as a major lifestyle trend.”
Special detailing for socks will include contour arch support, double-layer cushioning, seamless toe seams, technical fibers and yarns to enhance performance, and moisture management. The spring collection will include training socks, antiblister socks, crew styles in everyday blends of cotton and polyester, and a studio yoga sock, all of which will be distinguished by Marika patterns with pops of color that complement Marika apparel. Suggested retail for socks will be $6 to $18.
Bernard Leifer, chief executive officer of SG Cos., said he believes the footwear will be “well received” at retail because of Marika’s brand recognition in active and yoga wear.
The focus for the footwear collection is “body wellness” with three product categories: performance training, fitness studio and sport-active lifestyle. Key features and product benefits are aero-tech engineered breathable uppers, light and flexible compression and 3-D molded midsoles and trademark Marika Dry Wik linings. The footwear will retail from $24.99 to $59.99.
A retail sales projection for the first full year for the combined socks and footwear is $15 million. Marika active apparel was first launched in 1982 and to date has generated over $3.5 million in retail sales, according to the company.
FAM Brands’ portfolio includes activewear and bodywear by Marika, The Balance Collection and Bally Total Fitness. The company acquired the rights of the Bally Total Fitness name in North America for apparel, accessories, food and beverages in 2012. The company plans to launch two additional lines bearing the Bally Total Fitness label: a men’s collection of active and performance separates for spring, and an activewear line aimed at tweens for fall.
In July, the Commerce, Calif.-based company acquired the Zobha brand of activewear from Kellwood Co.