Xcel Brands Inc. has signed a deal with Stars Design Group Inc. to manufacture its men’s wear collections, and the brand management firm has named Neal Kusnetz president of men’s wear.
In his new role, Kusnetz will oversee licensing and growth of the men’s wear business for Xcel and he will serve as president of Stars Design Group’s men’s retail division, the oversight for sales efforts in connection with Xcel’s men’s products. Prior to joining Xcel, Kusnetz was partner and senior adviser of The Convergence Lab, a business development firm and consultancy think tank focused on technology, media and retail. Prior to that, he cofounded luxury men’s lifestyle and fashion brand Robert Graham, where he served as the brand’s president for almost 15 years.
The initial efforts in men’s will include men’s wear offerings for the H Halston and Highline Collective — the Millennial-focused brand — exclusively at Lord & Taylor and at Hudson’s Bay.
Robert D’Loren, chairman and chief executive officer of Xcel Brands, believes Kusnetz’s expertise will help accelerate the company’s success in the category.
Bret Schnitker, ceo and president of Stars Design, said, “We are encouraged by the success that Xcel has achieved to date and the positive impact [the company’s] strategy has had on the bottom line for retail partners.”
Xcel’s business model includes a fast-fashion component at Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay, as well as Dillard’s. The company said its business model — brand management and the fast-fashion component — generates $500 million in retail sales across all of its distribution channels. The company’s brands are sold primarily at department stores and QVC.