PVH MAKING A BIG BET ON ‘THE REGIS LOOK’

Byline: Renatt Brodsky

NEW YORK — Kathie Lee has her brand for Wal-Mart, and now Regis has a brand to call his own.
Phillips-Van Heusen said Tuesday it had signed a multiyear contract with Regis Philbin to launch a tonal dress shirt and tie collection for Father’s Day. Randa, a neckwear firm, will be sub-licensed to manufacture the ties. Both will bear the “Regis by Van Heusen” label.
PVH is betting a lot more than the $1 million Regis bestows upon contestants on his highly successful “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” At a press conference here Tuesday, PVH’s president and chief operating officer, Mark Weber, projected the shirt-and-tie collection is expected to generate $50 million in retail sales in its first year, with distribution geared to department stores. The dress shirts will retail from $40 to $50, and ties will be $38 to $42.
Kathie Lee’s Wal-Mart collection generates $660 million for the retailer. Kathie Lee Gifford is Regis’s co-host on “Live.”
Philbin, who had been dressed by SoHo retailer Beau Brummel, said he will wear his own label from now on in prime time.
“The impact of having people see me on prime-time television every night has started an overwhelming trend,” said Philbin. “The solid tie and dress shirt is nothing new, but I am lucky to have a show in prime time three to seven days a week.”
Regis’s tone-on-tone styling, first introduced by designers several seasons ago, but brought to the attention of the masses more recently by Philbin, has been one of the few sources of excitement in men’s furnishings, with customers regularly asking directly for “the Regis look,” and retailers doing their best to deliver it.
“I would never think a game show or a quiz show would have created a brand. We immediately noticed an upsurge in sales of solid colored ties to match solid shirts,” said Kal Ruttenstein, senior vice president of fashion direction at Bloomingdale’s.
“Who would have thought Regis Philbin would set a fashion trend?” Ruttenstein added. “But he has. Now that the real thing is being offered, we’re very excited about the prospect of presenting it. We know it’s going to be in demand.”