NEW YORK — UGG Australia, the company that created a frenzy for its knee-length sheepskin boots, wants to do the same with its first outerwear collection.
This story first appeared in the July 13, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
David Peyser Sportswear, Weatherproof Garment Co.’s parent company, has signed a three-year licensing deal with Deckers Outdoor Corp., the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based firm that owns UGG. The eight-piece collection debuts this fall at six major retailers and 100 specialty stores, said Eliot Peyser, principal of David Peyser Sportswear. This fall’s wholesale volume should exceed $6.5 million, he said.
UGG Australia dabbled in outerwear last year, “but it was not our strength and it wasn’t very meaningful,” said Connie Rishwain, president of UGG Australia. After being approached by Weatherproof, the company decided to license its outerwear to a firm with a “solid” reputation in the industry, she said.
In addition to outerwear, UGG will also debut a handbag line at retail this fall via a licensing deal with Jacobs and Leslie Hsu Designs LLC, a Springfield, N.J.-based handbag firm.
Bloomingdale’s plans to showcase UGG outerwear in its flagship’s windows for a week beginning July 23, even though the collection will not ship to stores until next month. This teaser should help create demand for the label, Peyser said.
Wholesale prices will range from $125 for a poncho to $275 for a stroller coat. Shearlings, suede jackets and a fur-trimmed jean jacket are among the styles. Peyser said he liked that the brand’s boots appeal to a range of ages, from his 12-year-old daughter to his wife. Its strong celebrity following was another plus. David Peyser Sportswear has developed UGG children’s outerwear with UGG fans — and new mothers or mothers-to-be — Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson and Julia Roberts in mind, he said.
“On a personal level, I was aware of the brand and liked the product very much,’’ Peyser said. “We knew outerwear would be a natural extension. It was available so we went after it.”