LANG TO GO IN-HOUSE FOR U.S., CANADA SALES
NEW YORK — Helmut Lang plans to bring U.S. and Canadian distribution in-house beginning with the spring/summer ’99 season.
Previously, North American distribution was handled by Onward Kashiyama USA here.
Sales of Lang’s men’s spring collections and a new women’s pre-collection will begin this month in Europe and in early July at Lang’s headquarters and showroom at 80 Greene Street here.
The move was expected, but the company is still in discussions with Gibo SpA, maker of Lang’s signature men’s and women’s collections, about shifting its distribution from Kashiyama to Helmut Lang, a Lang spokeswoman said.
The company plans to announce shortly who will head its in-house sales team.
The spokeswoman said Lang has taken over distribution directly to improve customer service; insure timely deliveries; establish reorder programs; widen distribution of basics, such as jeans, khakis and shirts, and develop in-store shops with leading department stores. In the U.S., Lang’s major customers include Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s.
Ultimately, Lang plans to set up showrooms in Paris and Milan, each handling sales and press functions in their respective markets. At present, Kashiyama and its various divisions handle Japan, Italy and the U.K. The Paris agent is CVDC; in Germany, it is Fashion Stage.
Lang also revealed that all products will come under the Helmut Lang label starting with spring ’99. Previously, Lang also used the Helmut Lang Jeans, Helmut Lang Shirt and Helmut Lang Underwear labels.
Lang licenses men’s and women’s jeanswear to GTR Group SpA, men’s and women’s shirts to CIT SpA, men’s and women’s eyewear to Murii and men’s underwear to Huber Trecot.
In January, Lang signed a fragrance licensing deal with Procter & Gamble’s German prestige fragrance subsidiary, Eurocos Cosmetic GmbH, based outside Frankfurt.
Lang’s new women’s precollection consists of classic pieces, including day and evening suitings, coats, leather pieces and knitwear, the spokeswoman said.