Black by Vera Wang. That’s the name of the tuxedo collection the designer will be producing for The Men’s Wearhouse.
On Thursday, the companies confirmed a report in WWD that Wang will take the plunge into the men’s formalwear industry through a licensing deal with the specialty store chain.
The collection, which will have an opening price point of $219.99 for a complete rental outfit, will hit all Men’s Wearhouse stores in the U.S. as well as the company’s Moores Clothing for Men units in Canada in late spring 2012.
The inaugural collection will be offered in two contemporary fits and colors, one black and one gray. Both will feature a slighter, shorter jacket, 30.5 inches versus the standard 31-inch length, as well as a narrow 2 1/2-inch lapel. The black tuxedo will feature a two-button jacket with a notch, grosgrain lapel, side vents and flat-front pants with grosgrain stripes. The gray model will also be two-button, but with a satin-edge notch lapel, side vents and classic flat-front pants. The models will be offered in standard, slim and big and tall sizes.
Doug Ewert, chief executive officer of The Men’s Wearhouse Inc., has high hopes for the performance of Black by Vera Wang, projecting that the collection could eventually grow to represent 25 percent of the company’s tuxedo rental sales. “Eighty-five percent of the rental market is weddings and the bride is the decision maker,” he said. “The first thing that a girl does when she gets engaged is start shopping for a dress. And we will get in front of her very early in the process.” Men’s Wearhouse is the official tuxedo partner for David’s Bridal, a leading bridal retailer, that last year introduced a more moderately priced line of gowns under the White by Vera Wang label.
“David’s has a big and growing Vera Wang business and this deal gives the relationship more synergy and Men’s Wearhouse more credibility in the mind of the bride,” Ewert said.
He said the collection will be marketed online, in David’s Bridal and Men’s Wearhouse stores, in bridal magazine advertising and in over 700 bridal fairs. “There’s a heavy marketing machine and Vera Wang will play a major role,” he said.
“For more than 20 years, I have shared my design vision with women around the world, so it is exciting to now have the opportunity to share that with men as well,” Wang said. “With an exceptional reputation as one the largest men’s specialty retailers, Men’s Wearhouse was a natural retail partner for the Black by Vera Wang collection.”