RUSSELL-NEWMAN EXPANDS: Russell-Newman Ltd., an apparel design company of sleepwear, loungewear and robes for women, men and children since 1939, has acquired Willow Creek Apparel Inc., a maker of women’s sleepwear bearing the Willow Wear, Willow Creek and Flip It labels. A purchase price was not disclosed.

Brian Killeen, founder of Willow Creek Apparel, will continue as president of the Willow Creek division of Russell-Newman. Willow Creek’s design and sales offices will remain at 183 Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Customer service, distribution and accounting will move to Denton, Tex., where Russell-Newman is based, from Jonesville, N.C.

Jim Martino, chairman of family-owned Russell-Newman, will oversee the transition of the acquisition. In addition to robes and loungewear by Cypress, as well as private label sleepwear for men, women and children, Russell-Newman produces the licensed Laura Ashley sleepwear collection.

David Martino, president and chief executive officer of Russell-Newman, said the acquisition “will be a nice addition to Russell-Newman’s mix.

“We continue to search for strategic alliances, like Willow Creek, to add to the strength of our company,” he said.

Martino added, “Their prints are very innovative, including two-sided prints, reversible garments and embroideries on prints and yarn-dyes. Retailers will see a change. This will give Willow Creek the ability to develop more product, and it will give retailers a feeling of a strong financial backing.”

This story first appeared in the July 26, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.