E.G. SMITH CHANGES LICENSEE
Byline: Marc Karimzadeh
NEW YORK — E.G. Smith, known for its whimsical and colorful socks and hosiery, has changed hands again.
World Love Production and its manufacturing arm, E.G. Smith, were founded in 1982 by Eric Smith. In 1998, he sold the E.G. Smith firm to two of the company’s senior executives, Laurie Mallet and Diane Corigliano, while retaining the rights to his name through World Love Production.
As part of the sale, Smith licensed the E.G. Smith brand for the U.S. to Mallet and Corigliano, who produced and marketed a variety of legwear products.
With that agreement having come to an end, Leg Resource has now received the license for the brand from World Love Production to manufacture and distribute an E.G. Smith line of legwear and legwear accessories for the U.S. and Canada starting in 2001.
Wayne Lederman, president of Leg Resource, said the firm will unveil the new line in its showroom in the Empire State Building here during the November hosiery market, with deliveries planned for early January.
The line will feature socks and hosiery with some 70 styles, including Smith’s signature heavy cotton boot socks. Lederman noted the hosiery offering will concentrate on more casual items with an extensive color assortment. Wholesale prices will range from $4 to $9 and distribution is planned in better department and specialty stores.
“It’s an exciting line with tremendous potential,” said Lederman. “Fashion legwear is on such an upswing right now and we feel it is going to continue to grow for years to come.”
In the interim, E.G. Smith and Leg Resource have a nonexclusive agreement with Smith until the end of the year. To avoid confusion, the E.G. Smith firm has been renamed The Sock Market Inc. for the remainder of the agreement. Mallet stressed the change of licensees will not affect shipping of orders for the end of the year.
In related news, Mallet has started a new company, Ozone Design Inc., which will offer a line of French-manufactured socks for women, men and newborns.
“Since we have had the E.G. Smith license, I have worked on a lot of novelty products from France,” said Mallet, who is the firm’s chief executive officer and president.
The Ozone Design legwear line wholesales from $4 to $12. Mallet said the line will be shipped by early December, with distribution focusing mainly on specialty stores and some higher-end department stores.