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The big names score once again in this, the ninth WWD100 annual survey of consumer brand awareness. With the exception of Hanes, which has hung onto the number-one spot since 2003, there was some significant movement among the top 10 brands in 2006 — something that hasn’t happened in several years.

51. COACH
Product: Handbags, small leather goods, footwear, scarves, watches, sunglasses.
Volume: $2.1 billion (total global revenues including wholesale and retail)
Owner: Coach Inc., New York
This year, Coach expanded nationwide by remodeling its New York flagship and opening a new 3,365-square-foot boutique on North Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. This spring, the firm introduced a monogramming program with the Signature Stripe collection. For fall, the brand will launch Legacy, a higher-priced collection of bags, shoes, small leather goods and outerwear inspired by fashion designer Bonnie Cashin’s looks for Coach in the Sixties. Bowing in October is Coach’s first cashmere collection, a collaboration with Lutz & Patmos, for a capsule line of women’s knitwear. After last year’s aggressive retail push in Asia, Coach projects Japanese sales of 80 billion yen (over $700 million at current exchange) by 2009.

52. DISNEY
Product: Sportswear, activewear, footwear, sleepwear, accessories, toys, retail.
Volume: $21 billion (consumer products, global retail)
Owner: The Walt Disney Co., Burbank, Calif.
Last year, Disney marked its 50th anniversary, christened a theme park in Hong Kong and boasted top shows such as “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” on its ABC network. It teamed with hip brands like Britain’s Religion and Tokyo-based Hysteric Glamour, and enlisted actress Kidada Jones, daughter of music producer Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton, to introduce Tinkerbell, “Alice in Wonderland,” the Muppets and other Disney-owned characters to older, more sophisticated shoppers. But box-office duds, losses at the movie studio and the now-settled legal fight with ex-board directors dulled some of Disney’s burnish. Bob Iger, president and ceo, set out to heal relations with Pixar Animation Studios, acclaimed creator of “Toy Story,” “Monsters Inc.” and other hits; Disney agreed to buy the animator for $7.4 billion.

53. MAIDENFORM
Product: Full-figure and average-figure bras, panties, shapewear.
Volume: $382.2 million
Owner: Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund LLP, Los Angeles
Maidenform Brands Inc. as been on a roll since it went public in July 2005. The 85-year-old bra company posted a one-year sales growth of 78.1 percent last year, and in the three months ended April 1, 2006, reported a 39.7 percent gain in first-quarter earnings bolstered by expanded department store distribution. Acquired by Ares in 2004, the company completed its repositioning to marketer from manufacturer that year. Now, Maidenform’s strategy is to beef up international business with consistent product and ads that reflect a cohesive image. That message comes across in product franchises such as introductions of demi push-up bra styles in the One Fabulous Fit line, and the Lite Collection, which shipped this month.

54. SWATCH
Product: Timepieces, jewelry.
Volume: 646 million euros (estimate; $815 million at current exchange)
Owner: The Swatch Group Ltd., Biel, Switzerland
Since it was founded in 1983, Swatch has become one of the quintessential affordable watch brands. With its inexpensive but stylish plastic designs, it floods the market with a plethora of styles each year. Recently, it also introduced mechanical movements to its mostly quartz range. It opened 62 shops in 2005, bringing its total to 606, while inaugurating its first shop in Poland. The brand has extended into jewelry in the last few years, but watches remain the core business. To wit: Swatch last June celebrated the production of 333 million watches made since the company was founded.

55. CANDIE’S
Product: Young women’s apparel, footwear, accessories, beauty products.
Volume: $300 million
Owner: Iconix Brand Group, New York
Candie’s is known for its flashy, culture-forward advertising featuring television, music and movie pop icons. This spring, it released its newest multimedia advertising campaign with the faces of singer-actress Hilary Duff, four-time Grammy nominee Ciara, Michelle Trachtenberg of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and Samaire Armstrong, from shows including “The O.C.” and “Entourage.” Following the campaign, Kohl’s, which sells the Candie’s brand exclusively, launched Candie’s home collection, swimwear and sunglasses. This summer it will also release an exclusive scent called “Heartbreaker.” This month, the brand launched the Candie’s Vintage collection that channels fashion from the Eighties. It’s touted by Eighties rocker Pat Benatar and MTV pop personality Cheyenne Kimball.

56. FOSSIL
Product: Watches, jewelry, handbags, small leather goods, belts, sunglasses, apparel.
Volume: $560 million (excluding licenses)
Owner: Fossil Inc., Richardson, Tex.
Fossil delved into the automatic watch category this year when it launched its Rotor style, which retails for around $95 and features a patented Japanese movement that showcases its rotor at the top and thus makes for a dramatic face design. But while Fossil believes its business is based on such product developments, it also feels it is based on the customer experience. To wit, this year the 22-year-old brand is bringing the ease of shopping in its some 68 U.S. stores and on its Web site right into its customers’ homes with the introduction of its mail-order catalogue. The catalogues, which will come out four times a year, feature select Fossil-branded products and speak to the Fossil brand image and lifestyle.

57. LOUIS VUITTON
Product: Ready-to-wear, accessories, jewelry.
Volume: 3.5 billion euros ($4.4 billion at current exchange)
Owner: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Paris
Louis Vuitton remains the uncontested star of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chief Bernard Arnault’s high-octane stable of brands. Despite rocketing double-digit gains in recent years, Arnault said Vuitton remains the brand with “the most potential for growth” in his group. China, for instance, represents a major expansion opportunity. Yves Carcelle, chairman and ceo of Vuitton, recently characterized potential there as “close to infinity” and said mainland Chinese already represent Vuitton’s third-largest client base. Vuitton made a dramatic leap in the WWD100 from 2005, when it placed 83rd.

58. GIORGIO ARMANI
Product: Designer ready-to-wear, leather goods, accessories, cosmetics, home goods.
Volume: 1.43 billion euros, consolidated 2005 revenue ($1.8 billion at current exchange)
Owner: Giorgio Armani SpA, Milan
Giorgio Armani just keeps expanding his empire. He’s working both ends of the fashion spectrum to win over top-spending socialites and mall dwellers alike. Last year, the designer launched couture collection Armani Privé and inked a joint venture with longtime partners Christina Ong and Ong Beng Seng to take A|X Armani Exchange to such new markets as Japan, China, the U.K., the Middle East and Africa. Armani is also increasingly involved in home furnishings. He recently unveiled his first high-tech kitchen, and he’s preparing to enter the hotel business with partner Emaar Properties. Together they plan 30 hotels over the next 15 years. The first two, one in a Dubai skyscraper and one above the Milan flagship, are due to open in 2008.

59. FREDERICK’S OF HOLLYWOOD
Product: Bras, panties, daywear, shapewear, dresses, cosmetics, fragrance, bath and body products.
Volume: $250 million (est.)
Owner: Mellon HBV Alternative Strategies LLC and Tokarz Investments, New York
Whoever thought naughty black lingerie with a Hollywood connection would become a multimillion-dollar brand? The founder of Frederick’s of Hollywood envisioned a gold mine when he created the brand in 1946. Celebrating “60 years of seduction,” Frederick’s operates 150 stores, a catalogue and e-commerce. It moved its flagship to a building at Hollywood and Highland Avenue near Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the Kodak Theater, home of the Academy Awards. The brand gets a boost with its annual Lingerie Art Auction and fashion show hosted by Susan Sarandon and Julianne Moore, as well as a cobranding deal this year with celeb stylists Cristina Ehrlich and Estee Stanley, who dress Penelope Cruz, Demi Moore and Mandy Moore.

60. LAUREN BY RALPH LAUREN
Product: Apparel, accessories, fragrance, licensed products.
Volume: $400 million (est.)
Owner: Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., New York
Since Polo Ralph Lauren took the Lauren by Ralph Lauren license back in-house in 2003, Polo’s better-priced line seems to be moving along at a healthy clip. Polo’s key priority in the relaunch was to elevate Lauren, so the designer worked with the label’s various licensees to improve the existing product categories, including footwear, accessories, small leather goods, jewelry, swimwear and sleepwear, and customers on better department store floors nationwide are noticing the changes. Last year, the company added Lauren Active for the athletic categories of golf, tennis, fitness and spa-yoga. Polo executives have also indicated that freestanding Lauren stores could be down the road, though no specifics are set.

61. ANN TAYLOR
Product: Career, special occasion and daytime social clothes.
Volume: $874 million
Owner: AnnTaylor Stores Corp., New York
Ann Taylor has found its luster again after surviving a decade of executive turnover, fashion miscues and roller-coaster performances. There’s new management led by Kay Krill, chairman and chief executive officer of the parent AnnTaylor Stores Corp., plus a strong focus on updated classics, inventory control, store remodels and differentiating Ann Taylor from the sister Loft division, which does $1 billion in sales. A string of positive monthly comp-store gains, improved profitability and a rising stock price are signs of a turnaround in the making.

61. RAY-BAN
Product: Sunglasses, ophthalmic eyewear.
Volume: $660 million (est., total worldwide sales, including retail and wholesale to third parties)
Owner: Luxottica Group SpA, Agordo, Italy
Ray-Ban introduced updated versions of its classics, like its Wings and Aviator sunglass styles, last year, and saw the results. The styles were top-selling models in all the major worldwide markets, according to executives at the brand. Ray-Ban continues this positioning, playing up its legendary status and its over 80 years of experience in the category. It also is looking to firm up its strategic platform going forward, and announced in May that it has hired TBWA/San Francisco to handle the account.

62. WONDERBRA
Product: Full-figure and average-size bras, panties.
Volume: $250 million (est.)
Owner: Sara Lee Branded Apparel (a unit of Sara Lee Corp.), Winston-Salem, N.C.
Wonderbra, a Sara Lee spin-off brand, took the U.S. lingerie market by storm in 1994 when Sara Lee launched the brand with a multimillion-dollar marketing and ad campaign underscored by a media frenzy of Wonderbras delivered to major stores via Brinks armored trucks and by helicopter. Wonderbra has built upon its stylish, sexy elegance with several key introductions in 2006: the Light Lift Push Up bra, the Extravagance III bra and the Strapless Wonder number, all aimed at young women with an “adventurous sense of femininity and style,” according to the company. The brand, which edged up six points in the WWD100, is leveraging its positioning as an entire collection of bras and coordinates. First-quarter wholesale volume was up 16 percent compared with a year ago.

63. ARIZONA JEANS CO.
Product: Jeanswear.
Volume: $1.2 billion (retail)
Owner: J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Plano, Tex.
The Original Arizona Jean Clothing Co. is one of five private Penney’s brands that do $1 billion or more each, and according to the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, Myron Ulman 3rd, the retailer aims to market those labels more as lifestyle brands. Arizona is growing at three times the rate of the stores, he said at the WWD CEO Summit in November. With strong multichannel media campaigns and selling structure, Penney’s stays connected with established and potential customers through focus groups and marketing research to ensure that the brand stays current. Arizona’s tag line is, “Wherever you are, you’re always in Arizona.”

64. EXPRESS
Product: Men’s and women’s apparel.
Volume: $1.8 billion
Owner: Limited Brands Inc., Columbus, Ohio
Limited Brands has tried for several years to improve the fortunes of its Express division and offer core consumers fashions with a clear, age-consistent identity. The company has focused on providing clothes with a casual, youthful and sexy sensibility such as rayon stretch jersey dresses and camis, and cotton tube-top dresses. Express asserts its fashion authority with key pieces such as the Editor’s pant and Stylist pant. There’s recently been a big push behind jeans, including the X2 collection in a variety of washes and fits. While it’s not happening immediately, the company hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a spin-off of the division in the future.

65. BALI
Product: Full-support and average-size bras, panties, shapewear.
Volume: $700 million to $750 million (est.)
Owner: Sara Lee Branded Apparel (a unit of Sara Lee Corp.), Winston-Salem, N.C.
Bali will become part of the new Hanesbrands Inc. following the spin-off this summer. Ever since Bali was acquired by the Hanes Co. in 1970, which was renamed Sara Lee in 1985, it has focused on comfortable, figure-flattering undergarments. This year, Bali expanded assortments with two big hits — the No Poke Wire collection, which is adding camis and briefs to its bras and shapewear, and the Bali Downtime Cotton Daywear line, which features two tagless, stretch-cotton panty styles. A perennial favorite has been the Bali Double Support All-In-One bra, a bestseller for more than two decades. Last spring, the brand mounted a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign that included a three-month national print program as well as online promotions.

66. DONNA KARAN
Product: Designer ready-to-wear, accessories, fragrance, home, licensing, retail.
Volume: $2 billion (est., retail, for Donna Karan New York, DKNY and licenses; $300 million, est., for Donna Karan Collection)
Owner: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Paris
For fall, Donna Karan played up a minimalist feel, with luxurious double-knit coats, jersey dresses and tuxedo suits, and the collection was widely lauded as one of her best. DKI is expanding globally, opening a store in Seoul this year, and it has plans to reach Beijing for fall 2007. Karan is also making a fragrance push. This October, she will launch Donna Karan Gold with a flacon designed with her long-time collaborator and friend, jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris, in 1,600 U.S. department and specialty stores, as well as in her own shops nationwide. Globally, it could do up to $60 million to $65 million in net sales a year, said sources.

67. OSCAR DE LA RENTA
Product: Ready-to-wear, accessories, licensing.
Volume: $100 million collection (est., wholesale) and $650 million licensing (est., retail)
Owner: Oscar de la Renta Ltd., New York
Oscar de la Renta’s global charm is casting a spell from Moscow to Manhasset. The designer has been scoring well with Russians since he started selling there nearly two years ago, and he opened a store in the Americana in Manhasset, N.Y., in the past year. Now the firm is scouting Europe for a site for a namesake shop. This spring, de la Renta launched an in-house bridal collection. The firm has about 25 licenses, including O Oscar with Kellwood, fragrance with YSL Beauté plus sunglasses, furniture, tabletop, china and wallpaper. This fall, home fragrance items will be added, and a licensing deal for towels hits stores in early 2007.

68. CASIO
Product
: Watches, digital cameras, musical keyboards, consumer electronics.
Volume: 580 billion yen (est.; $5.09 billion at current exchange)
Owner: Casio Computer Co. Ltd., Tokyo
Casio is scoring with high-end watches. In 2005, it launched Oceanus sporty men’s watches with details like chronographs and digital insets. This year, it launched a women’s version with feminine accents like mother-of-pearl faces and pink details. While calculators, keyboards and digital cameras make up a large chunk of its business — Casio’s new 10.1 Megapixel Exilim Zoom digital camera launched in June and is already in high demand — the brand hasn’t forgotten its fashionable side. This spring, it tapped style guru Robert Verdi as a spokesman. Verdi hypes key trends, like the white watches in the Baby-G line, or metallics. Casio is also expanding existing lines, namely the G-Shock, Baby-G and Pathfinder collections.

69. OCEAN PACIFIC/OP
Product: Sportswear, swimwear, accessories.
Volume: $350 million (global retail)
Owner: The Warnaco Group Inc., Irvine, Calif.
After being acquired by Warnaco for $40 million in August 2004, Op began its transformation from a surf-inspired brand that licensed its name to other manufacturers to a vertically integrated, directly operated wholesale business. Coinciding with its goal to target better department and specialty stores, it launched a premium label, called Op Classic, that not only featured a redux of styles that the company first released from 1979 to 1982, but also upped the ante by introducing denim, including wide-leg, high-waisted pants with lamb-chop pockets. Op also piggybacked on Warnaco’s strength in swimwear and shipped its first swim products at the end of 2005. Beefing up its design, marketing and other departments, Op quadrupled its number of employees to more than 100.

70. PRADA
Product: Designer ready-to-wear, leather goods, accessories, cosmetics.
Volume: 1.33 billion euros ($1.67 billion at current exchange; includes Prada, Miu Miu, Azzedine Alaïa and Car Shoe brands)
Owner: Prada SpA Group, Milan
This year, Prada sold Jil Sander and Helmut Lang, giving management more time to dedicate to building the Prada brand and its whimsical sibling, Miu Miu. Prada tapped into its intrinsically artsy sensibility with “Waist Down,” a show of Miuccia Prada’s most iconic skirts, which bowed at the SoHo store and swirled into the Rodeo Drive unit this month. Last month, the brand teamed up with architects Herzog & De Meuron for a temporary store in Switzerland to coincide with Art Basel. But Prada’s pursuits go beyond the intellectual. It launched soccer-theme T-shirts designed by French artist HNT in honor of the World Cup tournament.

71. MUDD
Product: Jeanswear, accessories.
Volume: $300 million (est.)
Owner: Iconix Brand Group, New York
The push to transform Mudd into a $1 billion business gained momentum in 2005. Last August, the firm unveiled Delicious Curves by Mudd, a line for juniors with curvy figures. It was also the first Mudd label since its founding in 1995 to get the celebrity treatment: R&B singer Ashanti signed on as the face of the brand. Dick Gilbert, founder of Mudd, estimated Delicious would do between $18 million and $20 million within 18 months. New lines, new management and stronger ad campaigns have resulted in stronger sales, and explain Mudd’s move to 71 this year from 87 in last year’s list. In April, majority holder Tack Fat Group sold the brand to Iconix Brand Group, which expects to expand Mudd into different product categories.

72. SWISS ARMY
Product: Watches, apparel, multifunctional tools, cutlery.
Volume: $155 million (est., excluding licenses)
Owner: Victorinox AG, Ibach, Switzerland; Swiss Army headquarters: Shelton, Conn.
Swiss Army is getting in touch with its feminine side to ramp up its women’s business. The brand, founded in 1897 and known for utilitarian tools like pocket knives and more recently for sporty watch styles, has launched Vivante. This line of mechanical timepieces priced from $395 to $1,195 includes styles with smaller 28-millimeter cases, mother-of-pearl dials and diamonds. After testing women’s wear in select markets, the brand is gearing up for an official launch next spring. Retail is another focus, and in the next year, it plans to open two U.S. stores to complement boutiques in Tokyo and Europe. This summer, a 15,000-square-foot showroom opens in New York, and in January, its U.S. headquarters moves to Monroe, Conn.

73. CITIZEN
Product: Watches, printers, small electronics.
Volume: $3 billion, consolidated
Owner: Citizen Watch Co. Ltd., Tokyo
Citizen Watch Co. moved forward by looking backward this year. The 82-year-old brand released new styles for women based on its classics, including the Lucca, with 40 diamonds and a mother-of-pearl dial, and the Riega, with a black mother-of-pearl dial and sapphire crystal. These women’s introductions all feature Citizen Eco-Drive Technology, which enables the watches to be fueled by light instead of a battery. Citizen also continued to align itself with sports, and this fall will add Emeka Okafor of the NBA Charlotte Bobcats to its roster of “Unstoppable” media campaign athletes, which already includes NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip and skater Sasha Cohen.

74. JUST MY SIZE
Product: Full-figure bras, underwear, daywear, hosiery, casualwear, skirts, pants, dresses, coats.
Volume: $1.3 billion (est.)
Owner: Sara Lee Branded Apparel (a unit of Sara Lee Corp.), Winston-Salem, N.C.
A newcomer to the WWD 100, Just My Size has been making an impact at retail since 1982 when it was introduced as a plus-size hosiery brand. The label has grown dramatically by taking a lifestyle approach and satisfying the psyche and apparel needs of full-figured women with fashion and basic products. In 1996, sales were $200 million, and Sara Lee executives projected the megabrand — encompassing hosiery, casualwear and innerwear — would hit $1 billion within a few years. Three introductions for fall 2006 will include Just Gorgeous Bras, a line of lace bras in fashion colors; a line of coordinating Just Gorgeous Panties, and a JMS casualwear collection of sueded fleece separates.

74. VERA WANG
Product: Bridal, ready-to-wear, fragrance, fine jewelry, fine tableware, eyewear, footwear, mattresses, retail.
Volume: $225 million (est. retail)
Owner: Vera Wang Ltd., New York
Vera Wang’s star keeps rising as she has segued from bridal to ready-to-wear and other categories, and her versatility has attracted a raft of potential suitors. She has been negotiating for a licensing deal with Kohl’s Department Stores encompassing apparel, accessories and home furnishings. A Kohl’s deal would enable Wang to develop a lower-priced lifestyle collection. For now, Wang continues to expand with licensed and in-house products, from fragrances to stationery. Among 2006 introductions: “Vera Wang by Serta” mattresses; intimates, at higher and lower-price tiers, and a license with Waterford Wedgwood USA extending the Vera Wang brand into silverware to complement its other tableware.

74. BILL BLASS
Product: Designer ready-to-wear, licensing.
Volume: Collection $20 million (est. wholesale); licensing $650 million (est. retail)
Owner: Bill Blass Ltd., New York
Under the design helm of Michael Vollbracht, Bill Blass continues to expand and evolve in a bid to capture younger shoppers while staying loyal to the Ladies Who Lunch. The venerable brand has about 40 licenses, including men’s apparel with Neema, women’s jeans with Resource Club, women’s footwear with the Fashion House and watches with Omni Quartz. This fall, the company is launching a namesake fragrance with First American Brand.

75. ESPRIT
Product: Sportswear, footwear, outerwear, accessories, swimwear, sleepwear.
Volume: $3.33 billion
Owner: Esprit Holdings Ltd., Hong Kong
Esprit saw its heyday in the Eighties, when tweens clamored for its sweatshirts and sportswear. After concentrating efforts overseas for a decade, Esprit — one of the world’s five largest clothing suppliers — has come back in a big way. The company opened 14 stores since 2005, including high-profile sites at the Time Warner Center and in SoHo in New York. Planned for 2007 are six to 10 more U.S. stores, most likely on the West Coast. Esprit Casual, which targets a misses’ customer, accounts for 42 percent of the global business. The Group operates about 700 directly managed stores and 900 franchised stores internationally. The brand occupies over 7.5 million square feet of retail space in more than 44 countries.

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