Bills Khakis has a new owner.
The 25-year-old men’s sportswear brand has been sold to NEJ Inc., a Connecticut-based logistics firm that works with specialty retailers on inventory management.
Since 2015, Bills has been owned by Source Capital LLC, a private equity firm.
NEJ had partnered with Source Capital on the original acquisition of Bills in December 2015, but will now be the sole owner, the company said. NEJ had managed the Bills business when it was owned by Source Capital and the brand will now be operated out of NEJ’s Beacon Falls, Conn., headquarters and will fall under its Private Brands Division.
“Bills Khakis is an iconic apparel brand with a 25-year history of producing high-quality men’s wear products that are proudly cut and sewn in the U.S.,” said Ed Mascolo, founder and president of NEJ Inc. “We are excited to leverage our 26 years of retail brand expertise, disciplined operational capabilities and facilities as well as deep industry relationships to build upon the tremendous history of the brand, as we position Bills Khakis for its next chapter of growth.”
John Crocco, a men’s wear industry veteran, is joining NEJ’s Private Brands Division to lead Bills. Crocco most recently served as senior vice president of merchandising and design for Izod, a division of PVH, and has also served as the creative director for Perry Ellis, and the director of product development for J. Crew.
Bills began life replicating the World War II military-issued khaki. Its high-end, deep-pocketed khaki pants were later complemented by woven shirts, boxers and belts, all made in the U.S.
Under NEJ’s management, the company will focus on Bills core products, it said, enhanced by updated sizing consistency. It will continue to be sold to better specialty stores in the U.S. as well as online on the brand’s web site.
“Bills Khakis has a unique niche in American cut and sewn men’s wear, bringing its strong heritage of quality, superior fit and durability, with a classic style that consumers are looking for today,” Mascolo said. “I am proud to have this opportunity to lead the continuation of the Bill’s legacy.”
Mascolo founded NEJ in 1990 and said going forward, “we see tremendous opportunities to add additional owned brands to our portfolio. By leveraging our infrastructure, expertise and retail relationships, we believe we are uniquely positioned to help brands capitalize on their full potential and achieve their long-term growth objectives.”