B.U.M. Equipment is returning to the apparel market with a special 30th anniversary collection that it is manufacturing itself.
The brand has been owned since 1997 by B.U.M. Equipment LLC, a privately held licensing and marketing company based in Mendham, N.J. Stephen Wayne, chairman and chief executive officer, explained that while the brand has been licensed since the late Nineties, it has not been in the apparel end of the business for the past several years. It does have licensed eyewear, underwear and hosiery in the U.S. and recently signed deals with Foundry Brands for the U.K. market and Land N Sea Inc. for infants and toddlers.
The 30th anniversary collection of sweatshirts, T-shirts and shorts, which is being manufactured by contractors, will have four themes — retro, vintage, authentic and fashion — each of which will be available in two to three colors. The line will be available for fall and will be targeted to better department stores.
“It’s a small collection, but we wanted to get back into the apparel business with B.U.M.,” Wayne said. He said the plan is to eventually reassign the apparel license to a manufacturing company, but the B.U.M.-produced collection is designed to “jump-start” the business.
“It’s the right time,” Wayne said. “Stores are looking for heritage pieces from the Eighties.”
He said interest in the brand was fueled by Rihanna who was photographed coming out of a recording session with Drake last summer wearing a vintage B.U.M. Equipment sweatshirt.
“It was as if the light went on. I started to get calls from dozens of interested parties,” he said.
B.U.M. Equipment shot a new advertising campaign earlier this month to coordinate with the fall launch. It will debut at Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game in July along with other “high-profile sporting events,” Wayne said. He also expects to add a billboard in Times Square in New York for holiday.
Wayne said he is seeking licensees for denim, accessories and other categories.
He has managed or licensed Rampage, Buffalo Jeans, Izod and Sasson over the course of his career. He has also been president of Yves Saint Laurent Sportswear and Jeans as well as Calvin Klein Men’s Clothing.