Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 02/02/2012

Home design guru Jonathan Adler has inked his first fashion license, a neckwear deal with Randa Accessories.

This story first appeared in the February 2, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The collection, which hits stores late this summer, will include neckties in 3-inch and 2-inch widths, bow ties, evening scarves and pocket squares. Randa plans to produce about 24 to 36 styles per collection, with each in four to six colors. There will be six collections a year, with core styles continuing for multiple collections while seasonal designs inject novelty into each delivery.

Randa will showcase the ties at the MRket show in Las Vegas later this month. Most of the ties will retail for $75, with some prices going up to $95.

“My aesthetic is about taking chic and classy and adding a dash of eccentricity to it,” said Adler, who launched his brand in 1994. “It’s quirkster meets classic. It’s for everyone from Portland picklers to New York dandies.”

The final designs are still a work in progress, said Adler, but will include geometric patterns, stripes, conversationals and medallions. The latter are decorated with small icons that repeat, like an M.C. Escher motif, while the conversationals will likely include favorite Adler icons like men’s brogues or pipes. Interior linings, or “tipping,” are in contrasting colors to the face of the tie.

“We’re taking Jonathan’s unique aesthetic, his wonderful geometrics in particular, and creating a fun, playful collection,” said David Katz, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Randa Accessories. The company is targeting major retailers with the line, including Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Barneys New York. Adler’s own stores will also carry the collection.

While this is Adler’s first license in the fashion arena, the designer has dipped his toe into the apparel space previously, having designed a line of polos for Lacoste this past holiday season. In 2010, he collaborated with Seven For All Mankind on a capsule line of jeans and sportswear. In his interior design work, Adler has decorated the houses of fashion designers like Nanette Lepore and Liz Lange.

Adler currently has 10 license partners, with lighting, electronic accessories and stationery being the largest categories. The company operates 16 stores, including its first international store in the U.K., which opened last year. Two new stores will open in the second quarter of this year in Minneapolis and Dallas, with another four to six doors slated for later in the year.

“I never really have a plan. I know when something is intuitively right for me,” said Adler of strategy regarding entering new categories. “Basically, when I want something for myself, I make it. And I want some ties to wear.”

Randa Accessories has more than 125 licenses in neckwear and small leather goods. It’s stable of licensed brands including Thomas Pink, Perry Ellis Portfolio, Pierre Cardin, Ben Sherman, Chaps and Dockers.

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