U.K.’S BMB EYES J.LO LINE

Byline: James Fallon / With contributions from Lisa Lockwood, New York

LONDON — BMB, formerly the men’s wear division of British textile manufacturer William Baird PLC, is in talks with Sweetface Fashions about licensing the J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez collection for the U.K.
Peter Lucas, chief executive of BMB, said in a telephone interview that he hopes a contract will be signed by Christmas. BMB would produce and distribute the entire J.Lo collection in the U.K.
“The earliest we could launch would be fall 2002 but, given the cycle times, it probably wouldn’t be until spring 2003,” Lucas said.
A spokeswoman for Sweetface Fashions in New York declined comment on the BMB deal.
The BMB executive has no doubts the J.Lo line would be successful in the U.K. “The U.K. and Germany are the markets where she has the largest record sales outside the U.S.,” he said. “She has been voted the Sexiest Woman by FHM in the U.K. for the last two years.”
Stateside, J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez is about to launch its first jeanswear line. The holiday collection will make its debut at select Federated Stores on Oct. 25, and will have a nationwide rollout on Nov. 1.
Macy’s Herald Square will launch the line in New York, with in-store signage and windows, said a Sweetface spokeswoman.
Besides Macy’s, stores carrying the jeanswear include certain doors of Burdine’s, Rich’s, Marshall Field’s, Robinson’s, Foley’s, May Co., Kaufmann’s, Dillard’s and Nordstrom. Macy’s West will run local ads and a regional ad in Seventeen, and Demo will advertise in the regional edition of Teen People.
Radio spots are also planned the first week in November in such markets as New York, Los Angeles and Miami. In New York, the line will be advertised on Hot 97 and Z-100.
The jeanswear is aimed at junior sportswear departments. Wholesale prices range from $14 for a T-shirt to $25 for sweaters and $32.50 for jeans, up to $212.50 for leather jackets. As reported in WWD, J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez branded product is expected to reap more than $100 million in the next 18 months.
Next spring, J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez swimwear and a preteen line will bow at retail.
Sweetface Fashions is headed by Andy Hilfiger, who has partnered with his older brother, Tommy, and Tommy’s best friend, Larry Stemmerman, who owned a private label manufacturing company called Woods & Grey. The company is financed separately from Tommy Hilfiger Corp.