Byline: Wendy Hessen

NEW YORK — Acquisition fever continues in accessories. Last week, a couple of key purchases were announced.
August Accessories of Oxnard, Calif., a maker of moderate-priced handbags and hats with an annual volume of about $10 million, has acquired the Summer Thompkins handbag and hat brand. The Summer Thompkins label, based in San Francisco, with sales this year of just under $2 million, is distributed largely to upscale retailers. This was particularly attractive to August executives, according to Daniel Maravilla, the firm’s vice president of sales and marketing.
Designer Summer Thompkins will remain active in creative and marketing aspects of the business. Her design staff has been retained, as have the company’s two wholesale showrooms: Apropo here and Julie Hall in Dallas. Some of the firm’s production will be moved overseas, however, Maravilla said.
“We will be able to increase the level of support for Summer’s brand to retailers and also better coordinate the assortments,” said Maravilla. “We believe the volume can grow to upwards of $5 million in the next couple of years.”
Lisa McLaughlin, founder of the 10-year-old fashion and home accessories showroom Metropolitan Design Group, has signed a letter of intent to sell her firm to Stephanie Levy and Elizabeth Jeffer. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
Levy joined Metropolitan in May as accessories manager. Though relatively new to accessories, she has been in the ready-to-wear industry for 14 years in a variety of senior sales management posts. Jeffer worked for McLaughlin for four years, until decamping to the Fragments jewelry showroom in May. Jeffer returns to MDG today, McLaughlin said.
“I have been thinking about what I want to do for a while now,” said McLaughlin. “I want to spend more time with my six-month-old daughter, but still remain active in the business. Stephanie and Elizabeth approached me, and it couldn’t be a better fit. I plan to still work about 25 hours a week and be very involved as a consultant.”
McLaughlin declined to reveal the selling price, but said the firm’s volume was expected to hit $12 million this year, a 28 percent increase over last year, and that the selling price “is commensurate with that level of volume.”

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