Luxembourg-based holding company CLCC SA — which acquired the label’s intellectual property and inventory in May when Sternberg failed to make payment on a $2 million credit line — said Tuesday that Band of Outsiders will return to the high-end contemporary market, in both the men’s and women’s categories.
“We have recruited a collective of ambitious, highly skilled fashion designers as well as merchandisers, graphic designers and key support staff to launch Band of Outsiders for the spring 2017 season,” said Antony Verbaeys, CLCC’s managing director. “It is our aim to have our collections present in the best international boutiques, but with a strong anchor in Los Angeles for which we are exploring opportunities.”
CLCC declined to elaborate on the backgrounds of its design collective, and intends to keep the designers’ names under wraps.
The first collection to be designed by the collective will be unveiled to buyers in September 2016.
According to a source close to the situation, the new design collective has been “shuttling” between Europe and Los Angeles to work on bringing a “new, exciting” bent to the brand. It is understood that their identity remains concealed under contract.
Another source said that CLCC had approached Band of Outsiders alumni from the label’s design studio to participate in the collective, the majority of whom declined out of “loyalty” to Sternberg.
CLCC said that “for the moment,” Sternberg will not be involved the brand’s reboot. When reached by phone, Sternberg declined to comment on the state of Band of Outsiders, if he has been in contact with CLCC, and if he would consider rejoining the label or starting a new brand of his own. He stressed he is not involved with the new Band of Outsiders.
Sternberg founded the brand, named after a Jean-Luc Godard film, in 2004. CLCC extended its credit line to Sternberg in 2013 to aid in the label’s growth.
According to the first source, new Band of Outsiders wares will be produced in high-end European factories, as well as select production facilities in Los Angeles — as was the case in the brand’s previous iteration.
The source said that CLCC will aim to keep Band of Outsiders at the same high-end contemporary price point as before, and attempt to win back the cache of blue-chip retailers (Barneys New York, Opening Ceremony, Colette), that the brand enjoyed prior to its shuttering.
The firm is exploring stand-alone retail opportunities for Band of Outsiders, with an initial eye toward a Los Angeles unit.
In July, CLCC attempted to sell Band of Outsiders’ intellectual property and residual inventory to recover the cost of the $2 million credit line. But no deals materialized through the public auction, leaving the firm in possession of all of the label’s assets.
In the fallout from the brand’s repossession, stand-alone retail units in New York City and Tokyo ceased operation, as did the label’s Los Angeles design studio.
In November, discount retailer Filene’s Basement said that it had acquired a portion of Band of Outsiders inventory from CLCC to sell in an online Black Friday sale.