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Juicy Couture is winding down its men’s business, Dirty English, and the last shipment will be for fall.
This story first appeared in the April 23, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We need to focus on more strategic, existing categories,” Juicy Couture president Edgar Huber told WWD, explaining the decision. “We have so much potential in intimates, in kids, in international, in women’s wear. We need to focus our resources on categories that are closer to the brand essence. We’re thinking about relaunching it eventually, but right now we’re focused on categories with an immediate return on investment.”
The space that men’s occupied in Juicy Couture stores will be dedicated to these other strategic categories, Huber said.
“The Juicy stores are very female-inspired,” he said.
Juicy, founded by Gela Nash-Taylor and Pamela Skaist-Levy, started selling men’s sportswear in 2004. It subsequently branched into satellite men’s categories including underwear, jeans, jewelry and bags, growing into a $10 million wholesale business at its peak. Outerwear was the strongest category in men’s, Huber said.
Last summer, Juicy Couture rebranded the men’s business Dirty English, taking the name from the men’s fragrance it launched a few months earlier.
The unabashedly girly Juicy brand was a bad fit for a men’s business, and Dirty English lacked recognition, the company admitted.
“It’s a complete unknown. Any new men’s brand will need more advertising, more support to have larger distribution,” Huber said. “I think if we relaunch, we’ll have to think of a completely new strategy in terms of branding.”
The Dirty English fragrance has performed “below expectations” as well, Huber said, but it will remain in the market since it is licensed to Elizabeth Arden.
Liz Claiborne acquired Juicy Couture in 2003 and considers it a vital component in the company’s restructuring under chief executive officer William McComb, who has overseen the sale or discontinuation of numerous underperforming divisions.