NEW YORK — Meet JLo the spin-off.
JLo by Jennifer Lopez, the company run by Andy Hilfiger and Lopez, is launching a line extension called Sweetface for holiday retailing. Named after the brand’s holding company, Sweetface Fashions Inc., the new line is at a testing stage and will be sold as a complementary offering to the signature JLo by Jennifer Lopez collection starting with the holiday season.
“We wanted to extend our brand into something a little younger and sportier,” said Hilfiger, co-founder and director of Sweetface Fashions. “It’s urban and sporty, but still sexy. This line can compete with Baby Phat, Rocawear and Ecko Red.”
The Sweetface label is strictly urban-athletic inspired, highlighted by terry and velour tracksuits, nylon mesh jersey dresses and the signature JLo bodysuit in cotton jersey fabrics instead of denim, as seen in the JLo collection. Hilfiger said since the beginning, when Lopez chose Sweetface as the parent company name, they were thinking of launching a line extension using the name. He said he plans to keep this line looking different from the JLo collection by focusing on sporty merchandise noticeable by bright colors and an urban feel.
“When we first launched, we were more true to an urban lifestyle,” said Denise Seegal, president and chief executive officer of the brand. “As time went on, we felt like we weren’t owning that customer the way we should. With Sweetface, we are going back to our roots.”
While the JLo name will be minimal within the Sweetface line, Seegal said she thinks the consumer will have no problem knowing that the line is still a piece of the JLo by Jennifer Lopez collection.
“Sweetface is a logo that will be used consistently with every collection for our urban-athletic streetwear,” she said. “As a result, the young female consumer will recognize it as part of the JLo by Jennifer Lopez brand.”
So, she said, the JLo by Jennifer Lopez name will read on the hang tags, inside tags and on the zipper pulls of jackets and jumpsuits. But, she said, Sweetface will be the prominent logo.
The JLo by Jennifer Lopez label is still broken into three categories: contemporary fashion, denim and urban, and, according to Seegal, it will remain like this with the launch of Sweetface.
“The urban athletic in the JLo line is a bit sleeker, more of what we think of when we think about what Jennifer wears,” she said. “The Sweetface line is much more athletic looking using actual sports fabrics such as jersey mesh.”
Hilfiger said the idea of going back to urban came mostly from specialty retailers asking for it. He said he hopes to turn this line into a true extension of the JLo collection, similar to the way his brother, Tommy, did with Tommy Jeans, and what DKNY accomplished with DKNY Jeans and DKNY Active.
The Sweetface collection wholesales from $18 for a tank top to $44 for a jumpsuit.
“We are testing right now, but I think this has the potential to turn into a huge brand,” Hilfiger said.
The JLo by Jennifer Lopez line has reached $130 million at retail and the company expects to reach $175 million by the end of this year, including the Sweetface add-on.
As reported, several financial sources suggested that the search for acquisitions at Tommy Hilfiger could lead to the company’s purchase of Sweetface Fashions, given that Tommy and Andy are brothers. The firms have declined to comment on the speculation.