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PUBLIC CLOTHING BUYS GENERRA TRADEMARK

Byline: Katherine Bowers

LOS ANGELES — Along with sweatshirt chic and fishnet stockings, the Generra brand is about to emerge from the Eighties archives.
New York-based Public Clothing Co. has acquired the trademark from Seattle-based Generra Holding Co., a licensing operation founded after the brand’s bankruptcy in 1994. The purchase price was not disclosed. Generra Holding and its four licenses (young men’s and junior sportswear, innerwear and legwear) have been dissolved.
“Generra through the Eighties and early Nineties was a very valid brand,” said Public Clothing chief executive Dan Shamdasani. “Obviously, we have to revive it and reposition it, but in our talks with retailers, we found that it had a loyal following.”
Generra is one of two Eighties brands Public Clothing hopes to resuscitate. The firm, a $100 million player in misses’ moderates, also holds the license for Perry Ellis women’s sportswear and is readying its first collection for spring 2003. Shamdasani called Perry Ellis his “first priority” and said he hasn’t yet set a timetable for relaunching Generra.
Although the brand was once a $400 million powerhouse in juniors and young men’s apparel, Shamdasani said Generra will likely reemerge as a men’s and misses’ label, reflecting the aging of the original customer base. Price point and distribution is “an open question,” according to Shamdasani.
Alan Bobin, formerly president of Generra Holding and a 10-year veteran of Cherokee Group, will consult on brand redevelopment.
At its height as a licensed property, after the bankruptcy, Generra generated $150 million in sales, said Bobin. Generra revenues last year were less than $10 million, Shamdasani estimated.

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