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.
Product: Jeanswear, licensing.
Volume: $500 million
Owner: Jordache Enterprises Inc., New York
Actress Brittany Murphy has been the face of a reenergized Jordache over the last year, her Patrick Demarchelier-shot ads putting the iconic denim brand back in consumers’ minds. Jordache Enterprises has been flexing its denim muscles in other ways, too. This February, it added three denim lines, relaunching Blue Star by Jordache, a junior collection it had owned for 10 years but had shelved as the company focused on building its private label business. Jordache Legacy, for women and men 25 and older, will begin retailing in August. Jordache also picked up another big brand when it acquired the Earl Jean brand from VF Corp., part of its drive to expand its roster of premium and department store brands.
Product: Jewelry, watches, tabletop items, giftware, other accessories.
Volume: $2.4 billion
Owner: Tiffany & Co., New York
Tiffany & Co. ushered in a new era this year with its collaboration with architect Frank Gehry on an exclusive collection of jewelry and tabletop items. It was the first such announcement since Paloma Picasso signed on with the brand in 1980, joining Elsa Peretti, whose jewelry continues to generate some $300 million annually. Gehry’s 300-piece collection, including bangles made of exotic woods and sleek sterling silver pendants inspired by fish, ranges at retail from $140 to $750,000 and is rolling out to Tiffany’s 154 company-operated stores. It is featured in new advertising that showcases the pieces against the background of a nude female body, shot closely so as to make the body appear abstract and more like a landscape.
78. LANE BRYANT
Product: Plus-size women’s apparel.
Volume: $1.06 billion
Owner: Charming Shoppes Inc., Bensalem, Pa.
With more than 700 stores in 46 states, Lane Bryant is the largest retailer of plus-size women’s fashion in the country. In February, it introduced an exclusive collection of bridal gowns for women sizes 14-28, as well as bridal accessories, including jewelry, hosiery, bridal gifts and undergarments designed to work with the gowns. Lane Bryant also operates the Cacique Lingerie chain for plus sizes, whose shops are frequently positioned next to Lane Bryant stores. The plan is to open 50 Cacique units this year. The company continues to increase its number of stores in lifestyle centers and currently operates more than 30 percent of its stores in off-mall formats.
Product: Watches, clocks.
Volume: $185 million
Owner: Loews Corp., New York
With fresh products coming at a quick pace, Bulova is keeping with founder Joseph Bulova’s mission to create beautiful and utilitarian timepieces. In 2005, Bulova Corp. group sales jumped 10 percent, while Bulova brand sales spiked 15 percent. The firm credits the increases to its watch collections with genuine diamond accents on the cases and dial, expanded distribution in leading watch retailers and a boosted marketing effort. According to LGI, the independent audit firm measuring the sales performance of watch brands at retail, the Bulova portfolio of brands generated 51 percent of the overall growth in the moderate-price watch segment during 2005. Bulova also acquired the rights to Sligh Clock designs last year.
79. L.A. GEAR
Volume: $210 million
Owner: ACI International, Los Angeles
Founded in 1979 by Robert Greenberg, who is now chief executive officer of Skechers, L.A. Gear hit it big with aerobics enthusiasts in the Eighties, with sales climbing to $1 billion — just behind Nike and Reebok — but the company ultimately couldn’t keep style-right and went bankrupt in 1998. In 2001, ACI International purchased the brand, and the company has since been focusing on fashion athletic footwear. Last year, L.A. Gear targeted tween consumers by sending two branded tour buses across the country to partner with radio stations and retailers for events designed to increase brand awareness. The brand is sold at moderate department stores like Kohl’s, Famous Footwear, J.C. Penney and Sears.
80. JONES NEW YORK
Product: Sportswear, outerwear, intimates, eyewear, handbags.
Volume: $1 billion (Jones brand)
Owner: Jones Apparel Group, Bristol, Pa.
The Jones New York brand continues to connect with its core Baby Boomer consumers, while attracting a younger audience through marketing that include advertising and in-store events. This fall, the brand is returning to its roots with ads showing models dressed in black power suits. “Our research has shown that this is what our customers want from Jones New York,” said Stacy Lastrina, Jones Apparel’s executive vice president for marketing and creative services. Meanwhile, Jones New York’s award-winning “cause” program, Jones New York In The Classroom, now in its second year, continues to build momentum with teacher wardrobe and classroom makeovers and in-store teacher runway shows with select retail partners.
Product: Sporting goods, apparel, accessories.
Volume: $380 million (including licensing)
Owner: Russell Corp., Atlanta
In recent years, the 130-year-old Spalding has become a key growth vehicle for Russell Corp., which bought it in 2003. While it is still best known as a supplier of basketballs and equipment — and for its little pink Spaldeen street ball — the brand also makes apparel, footwear and equipment for sports such as volleyball and soccer. Its apparel and footwear now is produced under license, but Russell said it intends to take it in-house. Spalding recently launched an ad campaign themed “True to the Game.” Meanwhile, Russell is being acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in a deal that is expected to close this year.
82. YVES SAINT LAURENT
Product: Ready-to-wear, accessories.
Volume: 162 million euros, or $204.5 million at current exchange
Owner: PPR, Paris
With Valerie Hermann as chief executive since 2005, the house of Yves Saint Laurent is plotting its future, trying to stave off losses by stirring demand for designer Stefano Pilati’s creations. Parent PPR hasn’t set a break-even date, but YSL has been striding ahead. Losses last year narrowed to 66 million euros from 71 million euros. And sales have been boosted by Pilati’s accessories — especially the Muse bag — and strong cruise collections, which boosted sales in December by 16 percent. But some analysts remain skeptical. In a research note, HSBC analyst Antoine Belge wrote, “We do not expect YSL Couture to break even before 2010.”
83. PIERRE CARDIN
Product: Couture, ready-to-wear, fragrances, cosmetics, accessories, licensed products.
Volume: Beauty and fragrance, $100 million (est.). All other Cardin-branded goods: $1.5 billion (est., retail).
Owner: Pierre Cardin, Paris
Technically, the house of Pierre Cardin is for sale. But the space-age designer has yet to find a taker — though he’s said to have been offered up to 500 million euros for his far-flung, widely licensed empire. (He says he’s holding out for more money.) In any case, Cardin, 84, appears in no hurry to retire. He’s chipper, active and says he still designs daily. But it’s his more than 800 licenses, for everything from towels to olive oil, that generate the cash. Financial details on the business are difficult to come by: Cardin is highly secretive and insists on running most of it himself. He also owns the Maxim restaurants, hotels and a theater in Paris — all valuable real estate.
Product: Couture, ready-to-wear, accessories, fragrances, cosmetics.
Volume: 300 million euros (est.), or $376 million at current exchange
Owner: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Paris
Things are moving forward at this LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned house, though it has yet to fully realize its ambitions. At least not according to LVMH boss Bernard Arnault, who acknowledged that the brand was among those in his stable that hasn’t reached “the turning point.” Nonetheless, Arnault has signaled his faith in Givenchy’s future, lauding its growth potential. And the brand’s young designer, Ricardo Tisci, seems to be gaining steam with his sharp, modern aesthetic. Tisci drummed up attention for Givenchy at this year’s Cannes Film Festival — helping gain a foothold in the all-important celebrity dressing game.
Product: Sportswear, swimwear, accessories.
Volume: $1 billion, est. retail at Target
Owner: Mossimo Inc., Santa Monica, Calif., slated to be acquired by Iconix Brand Group this year.
Mossimo is sold exclusively at Target stores under license. Hudson Bay Co., which sold the brand in Canada, dropped its contract at the end of last year and will stop carrying it in October. Brand management firm Iconix Brand Group beat out Cherokee Inc. to acquire Mossimo Inc. this year. Designer Mossimo Giannulli will stay with the company as it moves under the Iconix umbrella, which includes the Joe Boxer, Rampage, Candie’s, Bongo, Badgley Mischka and newly acquired Mudd brands. The Modern Amusement brand, part of Mossimo Inc., will not be part of the Iconix merger, and will be sold to some of Mossimo’s owners.
86. PERRY ELLIS
Product: Men’s and boys’ apparel, fragrances, women’s licensed products.
Volume: $850 million
Owner: Perry Ellis International, Miami
While Perry Ellis continues to grow its men’s business, women’s still doesn’t seem to be a big focus. “Men’s as a category is trending extremely well,” said George Feldenkreis, PEI chairman and chief executive officer. But that doesn’t mean there is no Perry Ellis women’s apparel. Currently, the company has licensed women’s swimwear, outerwear, fragrance, eyewear and watches. It recently named Mary Gleason president of licensing, responsible for growing PEI’s $23 million licensing business through expansion into new product categories and markets. PEI has deals with more than 150 licensees. It licenses 20 brands through all distribution channels domestically and overseas, including Perry Ellis, Jantzen, Original Penguin and Gotcha.
87. LIMITED TOO
Product: Tween fashion and accessories.
Volume: $758 million
Owner: Too Inc., New Albany, Ohio
The red-hot tween demographic, including girls ages seven to 14, continues to sizzle at Limited Too. Parent company Too Inc. plans to change its corporate name to Tween Brands Inc., if approved by the New York Stock Exchange later this summer. Limited Too was spun off from Limited Brands Inc. in August 1999. By offering trends with a cute and feminine appeal, the brand continues to grow and evolve and now sells tops, jeans, T-shirts, swimwear, accessories and lifestyle items such as pillows. It also operates the moderate-price 92-unit Justice chain with similar merchandise. Limited Too has more than 570 U.S. stores and said it plans to rev up global expansion with 500 stores abroad possible in the next few years. Justice also has big growth plans with 65 openings in 2006, and eventually up to 750 stores.
Product: Designer ready-to-wear, leather goods, accessories, cosmetics.
Volume: 307 million euros, consolidated 2005 revenue ($387 million at current exchange)
Owner: Gianni Versace SpA, Milan
After more than two years’ worth of restructuring, Versace is back on track financially. The company drastically cut its losses last year as it focused on the signature collection and discontinued a number of product lines to concentrate on big-ticket items like limited-edition handbags and quilted leather couches. The brand is continuing its push in accessories, which are displayed more prominently on the ground level of stores. Accessories sales should make up 30 percent of Versace’s total revenue this year, chief executive officer Giancarlo Di Risio told WWD in May. Versace also has plenty of splashy projects in the works, including the world’s second Palazzo Versace Resort in Dubai, set to open in 2008; private jet interiors, and luxury yachts.
Volume: $325 million (est.)
Owner: Jones Apparel Group, Bristol, Pa.
Corporate parent Jones Apparel picked up L.E.I. (stands for Life, Energy, Intelligence) in August 2002, but the brand has had its troubles. It was singled out as a poor performer last July during a conference call with Wall Street. Peter Boneparth, Jones chief, said the brand required restructuring and predicted the second half of 2005 would be tough because the business was “uncompetitive.” Jones has since restructured management, folded sourcing responsibilities into Jones’ jeanswear and hired a branding firm to reestablish L.E.I. as a junior fashions leader. Jack Gross, ceo of Jones’ junior and denim businesses, said the strategy is paying off: sales of core products rose to 50 percent from 30 percent of volume in the past few months.
89. GLORIA VANDERBILT
Product: Sportswear, jeanswear, handbags, footwear, swimwear, intimates, watches.
Volume: $400 million
Owner: Jones Apparel Group, Bristol, Pa.
Gloria Vanderbilt is on the move. According to Jack Gross, chief executive officer of Jones’ junior and denim businesses, the label received better positioning at retail this year, along with more prominent in-store advertising. “To keep the brand modern, we are changing things like colors to match the seasons, etc.,” said Gross. This year also saw a new product classification: V by Gloria Vanderbilt is a mix of business casual items that women can wear to work or on the weekends. Bottom-driven, V by Gloria Vanderbilt focuses on nondenim pieces, since the core collection already offers a wide range of denim. “Retailers [want] more classifications to expand the Gloria Vanderbilt brand,” Gross said. “So that’s our focus going forward.”
90. BARELY THERE
Product: Full-support and average-size bras, panties, shapewear.
Volume: $200 million to $250 million (est.)
Owner: Sara Lee Branded Apparel (a unit of Sara Lee Corp.), Winston-Salem, N.C.
Barely There is a newcomer to the WWD100. Sara Lee created the brand in 1995 as a Santoni-knit seamless panty label under the Bali franchise. The brand has since been expanded into a full line of Comfortable Curves bras and Breathe by Barely There shapewear with clean, contemporary silhouettes. Panties were originally merchandised as a packaged program, but when Sara Lee redid Barely There as a hanging program so consumers could feel the supersoft nylon and Lycra spandex microfiber, sales skyrocketed. Further fueling the brand was the introduction of the Body Revolution by Barely There bras in 2001, which was featured in a $20 million TV and national print ad campaign shot by Richard Avedon.
91. BURBERRY GROUP PLC
Product: Luxury ready-to-wear, accessories, fragrances.
Volume: $1.4 billion, or 742.9 million pounds at current exchange
Owner: Burberry Group Plc
That plaid sure gets around. Burberry, which makes its debut in the WWD100, celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. In December, the company de-merged from Great Universal Stores and is now a fully free-floating stock — testimony to the success of its relaunch, spearheaded by chief executive Rose Marie Bravo, who retired this month (Angela Ahrendts, ex-executive vice president of Liz Claiborne Inc. has replaced her). Retail sales from wholly owned stores are far outpacing wholesale volume, and it expanded into emerging markets like Turkey, Greece and Brazil. Although it lost its longtime face Kate Moss last fall, it has benefited from its latest fragrance campaign starring Rachel Weisz, the face of Burberry London, who analysts say has boosted the brand overall.
91. J. CREW
Product: Casual sportswear, special occasion items, accessories.
Volume: $953 million
Owner: J. Crew Group, New York
J. Crew made plenty of headlines this year, most notably with its successful IPO on June 28 that underscored the brand’s turnaround and increasing popularity under the leadership of chief executive Millard “Mickey” Drexler and president Jeff Pfeifle. Also, two startup businesses were announced, making the company even more attractive to investors: Madewell, an edgier, casual and lower-priced line than J. Crew, and Crewcuts children’s wear. Madewell will launch for fall, and Crewcuts opened its first store in the spring. Both could be important revenue generators under the J. Crew Group banner.
91. SAG HARBOR
Product: Sportswear, dresses, suits, accessories.
Volume: $400 million
Owner: Kellwood Co., St. Louis
Still Kellwood’s largest and most profitable brand, Sag Harbor has been given quite an overhaul this year. Serving a moderate shopper, the now more modern line is providing clothes that match her lifestyle. For the first time, the brand has a famous face in its ads: Christie Brinkley. This relaunch is a result of extensive consumer research, which is ongoing through sagharbor.com. Although Sag Harbor was dropped from Federated Department Stores last year, the brand’s list of retail clients is healthy, including stores such as J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Belk, Bon-Ton, Boscov’s and Stage Stores. Next year, the company plans to open full-price Sag Harbor stores and an e-commerce Web site to add to the seven outlet stores it opened this year.
92. LOONEY TOONS/WARNER BROS.
Product: Character-driven apparel, accessories, home products, footwear, toys.
Volume: $6 billion (consumer products, global retail)
Owner: Time Warner Inc., Burbank, Calif.
Warner Bros. kicked off last year’s drive to familiarize trendy young women with Tweety, Looney Toons’ wisecracking canary, through collaborations with Los Angeles’ Kitson and New York’s Scoop. Retailing from $30 to $500, the Tweety line included crystal-adorned cashmere sweaters from Cake Couture and Raw 7, jewel-encrusted tank tops from Bejeweled, bikinis by Shoshanna and ballet slippers by Delman. DC Comics, another WB property, last year released “Batman Begins” and jump-started the buzz machine — and licensing ventures — for “Superman Returns.” Watch for the S-shield on everything from charm bracelets to rhinestoned tanks.
Product: Junior apparel, accessories.
Volume: $350 million (est.)
Owner: Seattle Pacific Industries Inc., Seattle
Unionbay reached the quarter-century mark in 2006, and the company has taken some time to celebrate. The junior brand has steadily expanded over 25 years to include young men’s, junior, boys’ and girls’ products. Licensing has allowed the company to move into footwear, watches, backpacks, luggage and eyewear. The brand has also pushed its geographic boundaries and can now be found in Japan, Korea, Mexico, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, India, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. For 2007, the company plans to expand product offerings and international distribution. Briana Hicks, featured on MTV’s reality show “8th & Ocean,” is the face of this fall’s ad campaign for the junior line, appearing in teen magazines.
Product: Activewear, footwear, accessories.
Volume: $800 million (est.)
Owner: Sport Brands International, New York
Fila, one of the world’s best-known sports labels, has had a tumultuous few years, culminating in a management-led buyout in 2003. The firm then tapped activewear industry veteran Steve Wynn to oversee the new holding company, called Sport Brands International. To revive the label, Wynn and his team have scaled back and cleaned up distribution; updated product with upscale fabrics and sophisticated designs, and launched a lifestyle sub-label for younger customers called Filativa. Last spring, Fila launched golfwear, and it is opening stores in New York, Las Vegas and La Jolla, Calif. The brand recently began selling on its Web site, fila.com, and is also expanding internationally.
Product: Dancewear, footwear, legwear, skatewear, accessories.
Volume: $75 million
Owner: Capezio/Ballet Makers Inc., Totowa, N.J.
Best known for performance dancewear and pink leotards, Capezio has been making strides on the casual apparel stage. Last year, to cultivate a crossover customer, Capezio launched a women’s casual active lifestyle collection that hit retail this spring in such stores as J.C. Penney. The line includes lightweight jackets and hoodies, skirts, pants and tops that can be worn for school, work or workouts. The company aims to get into specialty pro shops and boutiques, and to beef up its international expansion. Capezio has been family owned and operated since 1887, when Salvatore Capezio started repairing shoes for performers at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.
Product: Branded and licensed apparel, accessories, footwear, home furnishings, food, recreational items.
Volume: $2.6 billion (Cherokee brand)
Owner: Cherokee Inc., Van Nuys, Calif.
The company is known mainly as a licensor of brand names and trademarks for apparel, footwear and accessories. Last year, Cherokee had 11 continuing licensing agreements internationally. Among the brands the $4.1 billion Cherokee Inc. markets are Cherokee, Sideout and Carole Little, sold in stores worldwide including TJX Cos., Target Stores, Mervyns, Tesco, Carrefour and Zellers. The company’s oldest brand, Cherokee, was started with footwear in the Seventies and now generates $2.6 billion in sales worldwide. The brand denotes a “casual American” lifestyle of comfortable clothing and shoes in women’s, men’s and children’s apparel. The Cherokee brand has been growing particularly in Europe through its U.K. licensee Tesco, generating close to $600 million in sales. Up next, the brand is slated to expand into Eastern Europe.
Product: Full-figure and average-figure bras, panties, daywear, shapewear.
Volume: $150 million to $160 million (est.)
Owner: Warnaco Group Inc., New York
The 132-year-old Warner’s continues to gain momentum with its three best-known classifications: seamless bras, average-size bras and proprietary post-molding applications for bra cups. Among its most notable trademarks over the decades have been its patented Merry Widow, an overtly sexy black corset with garters, and an item called Gay Deceivers — falsies. Warner’s, a national department store brand, began a dramatic transformation three years ago when it was repositioned as part of a million-dollar campaign that included a clean, minimalist logo and tag lines like “Essentials With Spirited Flair” aimed at busy, practical women.
Product: Women’s apparel.
Volume: $1.8 billion (retail)
Owner: Talbots Inc., Hingham, Mass.
With 1,100 stores, Talbots is considered a mature business, though the chain has diversified with a retail concept aimed at large-size women. That business is strong and Talbots Kids has shown fortitude. In February, Talbots beat out Liz Claiborne to purchase J. Jill, a cataloguer and retailer in need of a turnaround. Talbots chief executive officer Arnold Zechter said the $450 million, 200-unit J. Jill had plans to open 40 stores this year. He said he could accelerate the expansion, particularly in lifestyle centers and street locations, considering 70 percent of the J. Jill stores are in malls.
97. FADED GLORY
Product: Sportswear, children’s wear, accessories, footwear, hosiery, watches, optical, jewelry.
Volume: $3 billion (est., retail)
Owner: Faded Glory, New York, licensed exclusively to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Wal-Mart is starting to pay more attention to its apparel floors. It’s particularly interested in beefing up its private label businesses — and that’s good news for Faded Glory, which entered a long-term licensing agreement with the retail behemoth in 1995. The growth of the brand is entirely dependent on Wal-Mart’s ability to drive customers from its grocery and hard goods areas to the apparel section. Wal-Mart has lagged behind its competitors in this pursuit, but it is working to improve the traffic. The brand has sought to keep pricing reasonable while upping the quality of denim fabrics and finishes, part of its drive to remain relevant to Wal-Mart’s increasingly fashion-aware customers.
Product: Sportswear, jeans, swimwear, intimates, children’s wear, accessories, golfwear.
Volume: $800 million (retail)
Owner: Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., New York
Known primarily for men’s wear, Izod’s women’s sportswear, licensed to Kellwood Co., does get its props. At PVH’s recent annual meeting, chief executive officer Emmanuel Chirico pointed out that sportswear represents a major opportunity for growth for PVH and pointed to Izod as a “phenomenal success story.” PVH bought the bankrupt brand 10 years ago —when it did $30 million at wholesale. PVH has since built it into an $800 million retail brand. Chirico said he sees even more room for growth for Izod next year, including the new license agreement with B Robinson Optical Inc. to produce Izod sunglasses. Meanwhile, Kellwood has been introducing fabrics into Izod’s denim array. Overall, the brand still counts on its signature basic polo for much of its sales.
Product: Sportswear; snowboard and ski apparel and hardware; swimwear; footwear; accessories.
Volume: $1.78 billion (fiscal year ended Oct. 31)
Owner: Quiksilver Inc., Huntington Beach, Calif.
Quiksilver, the board-sport behemoth that owns the women’s brand Roxy, makes its debut in the WWD100. Last July, it completed the $288.6 million acquisition of France’s Skis Rossignol SA — which makes equipment for winter sports and golf under such brands as Rossignol, Dynastar and Cleveland Golf — to expand beyond its board-sports roots. Quiksilver’s portfolio already included DC Shoes, Raisins, Hawk and Roxy, which alone has annual global sales of $650 million. Last year, the firm beefed up management to facilitate expansion. Marty Samuels, who was president of Quiksilver Men’s, became president of Quiksilver Americas, and Pierre Agnes, managing director of Quiksilver Europe, was promoted to president of that division.
Product: Ready-to-wear, accessories, fragrances.
Volume: 450 million euros, or $568 million at current exchange (est.), wholesale, including licensed products
Owner: Compagnie Financière Richemont, Geneva
Chloé, the Paris fashion house that has been gaining momentum of late, has had a turbulent year. It stunned the industry with the announcement that creative director Phoebe Philo, who had just had a baby, was leaving. She returned to London to be closer to her family. Considering the situation, the house made a near-seamless transition, tapping three of its studio designers — Yvan Mispelaere, Blue Farrier and Adrian Appiolazza — to hold the creative tiller. They earned solid reviews for their first effort, keeping the cute, saleable aesthetic Philo established. Still, rumors persist that the house is looking for a successor to Philo. Meanwhile, Chloé is expanding its retail. It opened stores in Beijing and Shanghai, and is aiming at India and Japan.