Two names will make their mark on the scene this season. Kendra Scott will make its return to the show after a five-year hiatus, while eyewear licensee Eponym will make its debut.
Kendra Scott is a colorful costume jewelry brand favored by college students and young professionals. The firm just launched a line of private-label nail polishes, but those are yet to be offered to the wholesale market.
“We have been around quite some time,” said Denise Chumlea, vice president of design for Kendra Scott. “We launched in 2002 and from that we were mainly in wholesale and did a lot of private-label brands. In 2010, we launched retail stores — it was a big turning point and retail became a large part of our focus. We now have close to 50 stores. I think one of our differentiators is really how are stores are designed — customers walk into our boutiques and have a very personal experience.”
The brand charted $160 million in sales in 2015 and looks to hit $225 million in 2016.
“I think that we have been able to engage with our wholesale accounts on a much more personal level from what we’ve learned in the stores,” added Chumlea. “It’s not them versus us, its much more of a group effort. We do have a lot of focus on the Northeast [going into this show].”
Eponym, a contemporary eyewear licensee, bowed in 2010 and now holds the licenses for brands including Steven Alan, Alice + Olivia and Jason Wu.
“I started the company because I personally found that all my favorite brands never made eyewear, contemporary brands,” said Eponym founder Andrew Lipovsky. “Luxottica has the big luxury brands, but there was no one solving eyewear for contemporary brands at a contemporary price point, so our objective is to help amazing brands create their own eyewear. We also help them build a web site and allow them to sell in stores.”
He declined to reveal sales figures, but said the company has grown to currently employ a roster of 40.
“We are probably different than most folks at the show because our bread-and-butter is direct to consumer,” Lipovsky added. “When we do a show, it’s not our objective to maximize our sales. We really view wholesale as a supplement to marketing. It’s about connecting with some amazing accounts and finding placement for our brands rather than a big monetary objective.”