Claire Stansfield, one of the founders of C&C California, is returning to the brand today as creative director of design and marketing.
This story first appeared in the June 22, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In her new role at the Perry Ellis International Inc.-owned brand, Stansfield will oversee design, marketing and public relations. She is based at the company’s Los Angeles offices and reports to Oscar Feldenkreis, president and chief operating officer of Perry Ellis.
“We are sorry we didn’t do this sooner,” Feldenkreis said. “Claire’s knowledge of the essence of the brand will make it much stronger than it has ever been before. Also, with the resources available at PEI, we will regain our market share that we lost over the last three years.”
Stansfield founded C&C California with her longtime friend Cheyann Benedict in 2002. Their mission was to become the go-to brand for the perfect T-shirt. Soon, the brand became known for its vintage-inspired shirts available in super soft fabrics and a huge array of colors. The brand caught the attention of Liz Claiborne Inc. in 2005, which purchased it from the founders for $28 million. Benedict left the company shortly after, while Stansfield stayed until 2007, just before the birth of her second son. Perry Ellis acquired C&C and Laundry by Shelli Segal from Claiborne in February 2008 for $37 million.
“I just needed to take some time off to be with my two little boys, but I really missed being at the company,” Stansfield said. “I really want to bring the brand back to its original roots and get back to that buttery soft cotton fabric to create the easy, chic California clothing we were always known for.”
Today, C&C California sells in better department and specialty stores including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor. There are also additional categories such as sportswear, dresses and swimwear. Stansfield’s first collection will be for spring 2010.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back in touch with the boutiques I used to work with, just to find out what they want to see from C&C,” Stansfield said. “We are going to come back really strong.”