FELL HOPES TO SCORE AGAIN WITH GOULD LINE
Byline: Neal Turnage
SARASOTA — Ted Fell hopes the second time around is as good as the first.
The chief executive officer of It’s Pure Gould, a moderate to better misses’ sweater company named after Sidney Gould, a former partner of Fell’s, resurrected the line last fall. It was most successful in the Seventies and early Eighties, hitting a peak of $34 million in 1980. It closed five years later.
Fell’s new focus is on producing moderate-priced sweaters that are updated versions of the company’s most recognizable styles and fabrics from its earlier incarnation. He is targeting leading department stores and retailers, and hopes to attract the moderate to better consumer.
The New York company, said Fell, projects wholesale volume of $4 million to $5 million for the first year. He added that It’s Pure Gould is privately funded and is operated by him and two partners — Ivan Gordon, former president of Gloray Inc., and Paul Bier, previously a partner in Azzura.
The late Sidney Gould founded It’s Pure Gould in 1930 and sold the business to Interco Inc., St. Louis, in 1975. Interco also owned London Fog, CollegeTown and Devon. Interco closed It’s Pure Gould in 1985.
Fell, who had been president and ceo of It’s Pure Gould under Interco, then left and became vice chairman of Lloyd Williams, a blouse and sportswear company here. Subsequently, he was named president of Weathervane, a division of Hart Schaffner & Marx. He also spent two years as a consultant to a sweater company in Hong Kong.
He said a recent trip through department stores and conversations with various retail friends convinced him his own once-successful sweater line might be his best bet at striking a new chord with consumers. “I discovered there was a need for sweaters that were priced well and that looked different from everything else that was out there,” said Fell.
Fell said he decided to produce what he calls “updated versions of old classics.” These include sweaters in chenille and linen, as well as sweaters in familiar polo and twinset silhouettes.
“The twinsets are a bit shorter and cable knit,” added Fell. “And we’re doing a brand new rayon that looks like silk.”
The linen line, he said, is Irish linen and will be blended with rayon for “a slicker look” and with triacetate to bind the fabric and help it retain its shape.
What Fell might lack in trendiness he said he hopes to make up for with attractive pricing. For spring, the sweaters wholesale from $8 to $35, he said, adding he is entirely domestically sourced. The company’s production plant is in West New York, N.J.
The sweaters received full distribution in Nordstrom stores during the past fall season. Other accounts now include Uptons, and Bealls in Florida.