RENA LANGE ENDS ALL LICENSING, WILL PRODUCE LINES IN-HOUSE

Byline: Melissa Drier

MUNICH — Rena Lange is the latest European fashion house to pull its licenses in-house.
The Munich-based apparel company has terminated all master licenses, taking back control for the Rena Lange Blue, Rena Lange Red, Rena Lange Leather and Rena Lange Accessories collections, said Daniel Gunthert, managing director. The licenses for Blue and Red were held by Falber Confexioni, Leather was held by Corsi and Accessories by Mantellassi.
The licenses were terminated for “strategic reasons,” Gunthert said.
“The first issue for us is quality and brand image, and we want to handle distribution in a way that ensures consistent quality level and product development,” he said. “Licensees always want big volume as soon as possible, and in our world, that’s not the best idea. “Not that our licensees were working badly,” Gunthert added, “but we felt we could do better if we did it ourselves.”
Rena Lange Blue, which was originally billed as a less-expensive, weekend- oriented collection, will now be repositioned as a line extension for the designer-end consumer.
“It will continue to be leisure-oriented, but more on the [price] level of the main line,” Gunthert said.
The company projects considerable growth in its shoes and accessories business and will present a complete shoe collection at the GDS trade show in Dusseldorf.
“It’s part of the strategy of presenting shoes and accessories to specialized stores, and not just our main accounts,” he explained.
The 50-unit shoe collection is being manufactured in cooperation with an Italian shoe producer, which Gunthert declined to name. An Italian design studio has also been hired to rework the Munich design team’s creations to make them applicable to production requirements, as well as to oversee production control.
Rena Lange is also instituting a shift in its delivery cycles, offering an early spring 2001 collection for delivery at the start of November. A second spring range will be shown in August for a late November delivery.
Worldwide, Rena Lange has 18 shops and sells to about 300 retail accounts, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Lilly Dodson in the U.S.

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