Perry Ellis has tapped Duckie Brown to create a designer collection that will hit retail next spring. The line, under the Perry Ellis by Duckie Brown label, will be shown on the runway during New York Fashion Week in September.
This story first appeared in the February 9, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“After rejoining the company back in October, looking at what the brand represented I knew that we needed something exciting to talk to the fashion community with,” said Doug Jakubowski, chief merchandising officer at Perry Ellis, a unit of Miami-based Perry Ellis International Inc. “Perry Ellis was, and should be, a first thought when thinking about designer men’s wear and Duckie Brown can take us to that place.”
Duckie Brown is designed by Steven Cox and Daniel Silver, who were nominated for the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award in 2007. They launched the line in 2001 and have shown regularly during New York Fashion Week, developing a reputation for melding whimsical sportswear with elegant tailoring. The duo has designed a collection of footwear for Florsheim, under the Florsheim by Duckie Brown name, since 2009.
“Perry Ellis is synonymous with classic-yet-updated men’s apparel and the brand has a vibrant legacy,” said the duo. “This opportunity has enormous potential and we are looking forward to bringing a new articulation of that legacy to retail.”
The partnership will bring Perry Ellis back to New York Fashion Week after skipping this current season. Last September, John Crocco exited as creative director of the brand after eight years with the company.
Perry Ellis is targeting luxury and specialty retailers with the new Duckie Brown collection. Retail prices will be higher than current Perry Ellis product, with sport coats targeted at $475 to $795, woven shirts at $135 to $225, knitwear at $95 to $195 and trousers at $150 to $350.
“From a positioning standpoint — not aesthetically — I see it sitting next to Michael Kors, John Varvatos, Rag & Bone and Vince,” said Jakubowski.
Cox and Silver will work on the new line out of Perry Ellis’ offices in New York, while continuing to design the Duckie Brown label on their own. An illustrious group of designers have passed through the hallways of Perry Ellis, including Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Isaac Mizrahi and Patrick Robinson, but the company has struggled to establish a lasting identity in the designer zone.
The deal with Duckie Brown is for three years, with renewal options. “We want this to be a long-term partnership and we feel very strongly about this collaboration,” said Jakubowski.