Vera Wang’s Lavender Label is getting on the licensing path.
The designer’s contemporary division is teaming with the Accessory Network Group in a three-year deal to produce and distribute handbags and small leather goods starting for spring 2009.
Susan Sokol, president of Vera Wang apparel, said the Lavender Label accessories collection is expected to exceed $30 million in sales over the next three years. Sokol forecasted that the fledgling accessories division also could account for 50 percent of the Lavender Label’s total sales in the next five years.
“Our Lavender Label business is growing at an extremely strong pace both domestically and internationally,” Sokol said. “The label has a presence in close to 60 different countries outside the U.S. and we want to build on that momentum. Accessories are key in enhancing and facilitating that growth and I expect the Accessory Network Group will be fabulous and perfect partners for us. They have the means and the know-how for building a successful accessories business.”
Vera Wang Lavender Label handbags will retail from $300 to $1,000 at top-tier specialty and department stores, such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. The bags also will be available at Wang’s first Lavender Label store, opening this fall in Los Angeles.
“There’s a white space in this price point,” Sokol said. “And I think that with really strong product, it gives us an opportunity to have something much more accessible in the category of designer handbags, but we’re clearly positioning this as contemporary.”
While the accessories collection is the first licensed deal for the three-year-old Lavender Label division, Sokol acknowledged that other category launches are not far off. She expects to launch shoes within the next 18 months.
“Licensing opportunities in accessories are clearly something we consider,” Sokol said. “The bags will be a wonderful extension of apparel and an important component to building the growth of the business.”
The Lavender Label handbags will join such brands as Karl Lagerfeld, Tahari and Calvin Klein within ANG’s Prestige Brands Division.
“The Lavender Label is a great brand with great potential,” said Abe Chehebar, chairman and chief executive officer of ANG. “It fits well into our growing Prestige Brands Division and coupled with the brands we have in place, I think it positions us as a resource to be more important to the department store channel.”