Bernard Chaus Inc. has officially re-branded itself as BCI Brands, with the introduction of a new web site and brand collateral. The change aligns with the repurchase in October of all shares by Ariel Chaus from The Camuto Group.
Chaus’ full ownership of the company and subsequent re-branding aims to preserve and acknowledge the apparel firm’s history, while continuing with its multibranded wholesale business and the fall launch of a direct-to-consumer label.
Over the years, Chaus has evolved from its namesake brand to multiple national lifestyle labels, which include Chaus, Vince Camuto, 1. State, CeCe and Cynthia Steffe.
“Our goal at BCI Brands is to continue to build upon our solid foundation that has withstood the ever-changing industry,” said Ariel Chaus, chief executive officer of BCI Brands. “While many apparel companies have failed, become tired, or gone downstream, we have seen success by staying relevant, being quicker than our competition, maintaining price integrity, and adapting to current trends, which we believe positions us for continued growth.”
Chaus declined to discuss the soon-to-be-launched direct-to-consumer lifestyle brand, but said details will be revealed shortly. BCI Brands also has taken on multiple private-label businesses with Dillard’s, he said.
BCI Brands’ wholesale business accounts for more than $400 million at wholesale annually. The company sells such better department stores as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and Dillard’s, as well as Revolve and Stitch Fix. BCI Brands looks for continued growth, as well as business partnerships and acquisitions. “DTC is another evolution of the retail industry and change is necessary,” said Chaus. “Catering to the customer is the central component of any strategic initiative.”
The company’s new web site is bcibrands.com.
As reported, in October Authentic Brands Group acquired the intellectual property of the Bernard Chaus Inc. brands (1. State, CeCe and Chaus) in partnership with Ariel Chaus. Ariel Chaus also repurchased the Bernard Chaus Inc. business — the operations component — from Camuto Group and became the core women’s apparel licensing partner for Vince Camuto. (ABG owns a minority stake in the IP of 1. State, CeCe and Chaus brands.) Separately, ABG signed a definitive agreement to purchase a 60 percent stake of the Camuto Group’s IP, including the Vince Camuto, Louise et Cie, Sole Society and Enzo Angiolini brands. ABG worked in partnership with DSW Inc., which took a 40 percent stake in the IP and also bought Camuto’s sourcing and design infrastructure.
Discussing his own business, Chaus told WWD, “It’s actually OK. My brands are having some good business, although the overall environment is very tough. Our brands resonate a little younger and more contemporary than the older, more traditional brands.”
He said he’s about to begin a new marketing campaign with macro- and micro-influencers. “This fall is the big push with it,” he said.