Mo Vaughn’s MVP Collection has snagged its first wholesale customer, and it’s the big and tall industry’s biggest player.
The men’s lifestyle brand created by Major League Baseball’s three-time All Star and Most Valuable Player was picked up by DXL Group, which is testing the collection in a limited number of doors, according to David Levin, DXL’s chief executive officer.
“We see a movement back into the urban lifestyle for some of our stores,” Levin said. “The lifestyle that the Mo Vaughn collection represents has been a void in our assortments for the last several years.”
Levin said early results for the line, which is also available online, are encouraging and he hopes that a new marketing campaign that was built by the two companies around the launch of the label’s spring collection, will further boost sales.
“We are co-branding an online sweepstakes with MVP where users enter to win a variety of prizes,” Levin said. “The objective is to drive awareness to the new MVP Collections at DXL in several key markets.”
The collection is carried at several DXL stores in the New York area as well as units in Chicago; Atlanta; San Jose, Calif.; Las Vegas; Dedham, Mass.; Dallas, and Towson, Mary.
The MVP Collections was launched last August and offered three categories of product: ath-leisure, weekend and dresswear in sizes 38 to 54.
According to Diane Bennett, cofounder, the line launched as e-commerce only but she was soon approached by retailers interested in carrying the collection and decided to test out the wholesale waters as well.
“We tested with DXL right before the holidays and now we’re in 10 stores,” she said.
Additionally, the brand has signed with a partner in Berlin who will distribute the collection in Europe, she said.
Closer to home, Bennett said MVP Collections was part of a consumer-skewed fashion expo event in Alabama last month and will also participate in both the Full Figured Fashion Week in New York City in June as well as the Curvy Fashionista Style Expo in Atlanta at the end of July.
“I think we’re in the right space,” Bennett said. “There’s a real demand among men and we’re resonating with an audience that is starving for fashion.”
To get its message out, MVP Collections has begun working with big and tall men’s blogger Chubstr on a national social media sweepstakes available at DXL stores and on the Chubstr and MVP Collections sites. Customers can sign up to win a wardrobe, a Red Sox jersey signed by Vaughn and a $100 DXL gift card.
Vaughn said he believes the line is performing well because the big and tall customer is “looking for somebody who cares, somebody who puts them first. Why can’t the big and tall guy have the same style as everybody else?”
He admitted that when he decided to launch the line, “I didn’t know the fashion game, but I am the customer and I knew there weren’t a lot of choices.”
Bennett said the best-selling pieces so far were the moto jeans, which retail for $208, and the long curved T-shirts for $54. And there has been no price resistance.
“If the product line looks good and sharp, they’ll pay for it,” Vaughn said.
Vaughn, nicknamed The Hit Dog, played first base from 1991 to 2003 for the Boston Red Sox, Anaheim Angels and New York Mets. He was named the Most Valuable Player in the American League in 1995.