Gordon Brothers, which is the majority owner of Nicole Miller, has teamed up with Zaralo LLC to expand the designer’s fashion and lifestyle brand.
The partnership with Zaralo is viewed as an important step in Miller’s evolution and Gordon Brothers’ plan to expand the brand’s portfolio of licensees, bolster its e-commerce presence and develop more strategic wholesale and retail relationships, after making a majority investment in Nicole Miller in February.
As part of the agreement, Miller will introduce a little black dress capsule collection in mid-October for the upcoming holiday season. The collection is inspired by Miller’s most iconic silhouettes from the archives and will be available on Nicole Miller’s website. Zaralo is also offering Nicole Miller dress and sportswear collections for spring 2023.
“Our partnership with Zaralo will drive further growth of the already highly successful Nicole Miller enterprise and allow the brand to continue to reach consumers globally,” said Carolyn D’Angelo, managing director, brands at Gordon Brothers, who oversees Nicole Miller. “Nicole Miller is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and our goal is to ensure the brand continues to grow.”
Miller said, “It has been exciting to revisit my all-time favorite silhouettes and reimagine them for this collection. Gordon Brothers truly understands the DNA of the brand, and I look forward to our growing partnership with Zaralo.”
David Lomita, chief executive officer of Zaralo LLC, added, “For our retail partners, we believe combining Nicole Miller’s iconic design philosophy and modern prints with the quality and practicality Zaralo is known for will resonate with today’s consumer.”
Miller told WWD, “I’ve tried to get out of manufacturing as much as I can. I will be moving the dress collection over to our licensee. I’ll be doing special and unique and more expensive pieces here, just a higher-end collection,” she said. (Zaralo will be manufacturing the ready-to-wear and dress collection.)
Miller explained that when she began her business, she started with little black dresses, and moved into multicolors. “That was one of the main things when I started my business that was really strong,” she said.
The capsule will have 10 pieces, including short dresses, a midi and some jumpsuits. It will retail from $169 to $250, which is less expensive than her previous dresses that were around $300 to $400. The size offering for the capsule will be 0 to 16.
At present, Miller has licenses for eyewear, shoes, handbags, luggage, childrenswear and footwear, and home categories, as well as a European license for childrenswear and ready-to-wear, and she remains involved in the design of the products.
Describing the dresses and sportswear for spring, Miller said, “Obviously I’m known for prints and we create artwork from here. We’re also doing a lot of linens and cottons going forward for spring.
“The quality is great, and the fit seems to be great,” added Miller.
“There is definitely a lot of room for expansion for Nicole, and she mentioned the international expansion of the brand,” D’Angelo said. Miller said she sees potential for expansion in Europe.
Zaralo, which was founded in 1999, specializes in women’s ready-to-wear and produces private labels for many retail partners. Brands include Zac & Rachel, Nanette Lepore, Sharagano and Nina Leonard.