Hudson will introduce a men’s and women’s sportswear lineup at the upcoming Coterie show in New York, including wovens, knits and dresses. The launch collection encompasses 21 styles for women and 11 styles for men, with prices ranging from $70 for a basic tank top to $350 for a chambray dress.
“We’ve dabbled in tops before, but this is the first time we’ve created a cohesive collection that works together in this way and creates a clear message to retailers and consumers about the Hudson lifestyle,” said Peter Kim, chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based Hudson. “We’re presenting it with our denim as a true collection for the first time.”
The designs consist of woven shirts, tunics, Henleys, hoodies, dresses and military jackets, with everything made in Portugal. Key fabrics include lightweight cottons, Modal, cotton voile and burnout styles.
The push into sportswear comes as Hudson rings up a record year, with sales on track to grow 50 percent over 2010, said Kim. The company declined to provide specific sales figures.
The new sportswear line is not the first time that Hudson has marketed a collection concept. Last year, the firm put out a high-end, fashion-forward line called Hudson Collection that launched in France. That range encompasses about 100 stockkeeping units and is priced from $250 to $2,000. It will launch in Italy next year, and Hudson has plans to bring it to the U.S. in coming seasons.
International markets represent 12 to 15 percent of total Hudson sales, with Canada and the U.K. currently the biggest contributors.
At the end of November, Hudson will launch a co-branded line of women’s denim with Equinox gyms in the U.S. The four styles incorporate FF by ISKO fabric that features “360-degree” stretch and will retail for $143 to $198. The line, called Hudson x Equinox, will be sold in 20 of the gym’s 51 units.
Hudson is currently sold in 1,500 doors in the U.S., including 500 department store doors and 1,000 specialty stores. The biggest accounts are Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The company is also pushing basic five-pocket jeans for spring to expand beyond the flap-pocket styles that serve as the foundation of the Hudson signature. “Five-pockets add a new dimension to the company,” said creative director Ben Taverniti.
Hudson has received a big marketing boost from its fall advertising campaign starring Georgia May Jagger and Patrick Schwarzenegger. The latter, who is the son of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, is featured on a single billboard in L.A. that has received reams of publicity (see sidebar).
The campaign will expand to two additional billboards in L.A. later this year, as well as a print campaign for both Schwarzenegger and Jagger, said Kim. The company is looking at potential billboard sites in New York. Online, the campaign will run on nytimes.com, nymag.com and nylon.com, among other sites, this season.
“Both Patrick and Georgia are amazing kids who are driven to create their own destinies and fit perfectly with our brand message,” said Kim.