Elie Tahari will launch its first men’s underwear line with licensee Imperial next year. The multiyear agreement comes as Elie Tahari aims to further expand its men’s business, which started in 2006.
This story first appeared in the May 23, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The underwear collection will include trunks, boxers, briefs and boxer briefs sold in individual and multipacks, with prices ranging from $20 to $40 per item, as well as T-shirts. Designs will emphasize fashion colors and advanced fabrics.
“I’ve always admired Calvin Klein, especially in the great success of its underwear business,” said Elie Tahari. “Underwear is a commodity — it’s a necessity customers keep buying over and over again. As a business, it’s a wonderful idea. Calvin showed us the way, and if I can be a drop as successful, I’ll be very appreciative.”
The underwear line will be distributed in Elie Tahari boutiques and department and specialty stores. The company currently operates 35 freestanding stores in the U.S., all of which carry men’s product. Outside its own stores, Elie Tahari men’s wear is sold in about 100 points of sale in the U.S., with additional distribution in Europe and the Middle East. Key retail partners include Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s.
Existing Elie Tahari men’s licenses are tailored clothing with Peerless Clothing and dress shirts with PVH Corp. Other categories produced in-house by Elie Tahari are sportswear, ties and outerwear. Next spring, a new line of men’s and women’s eyewear will make its debut from licensee Colors in Optics.
“Men’s is very important to me. It’s an area that I’m developing late in my career. Now that I’m focused on design, I’m beginning to love men’s more and more,” said Tahari, who gave up his chief executive officer role in January to Bob Galvin, who was previously president of The Camuto Group.
The license with Imperial, which is officially registered as Mann & Bros. Inc., includes men’s fashion scarves, pocket squares and cold-weather accessories, as well as women’s fashion scarves and cold weather accessories. The women’s scarves will launch next spring, men’s underwear next summer and the cold-weather accessories in fall 2014, said Jack Mann, president of Imperial.
Imperial was previously the men’s underwear licensee for Burberry and currently holds licenses for Joseph Abboud, Geoffrey Beene and Van Heusen in various hat, glove, scarf, handkerchief and jewelry categories.