Izod has set its sights on Europe.
Beginning this fall, the venerable sportswear brand owned by PVH Corp. will expand into Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.
This marks a return to the Continent for a brand that actually traces its history to London in the Thirties. That is when American businessman Vincent dePaul Draddy, while on vacation in the U.K., stumbled across Jack Izod’s bespoke tailoring boutique and purchased the rights to the name. It was initially called Izod of London.
From 1952 to 1993, Lacoste, the French brand founded by tennis great Rene Lacoste, was licensed to Izod and the polo shirts with the alligator logo were known as Izod Lacoste. After they parted ways, Lacoste retained its alligator logo and went more upscale while Izod employed a crest and was more moderately priced.
The Izod collection that will be sold in Europe will be the same classic American lifestyle pieces that are offered in the U.S. That includes shirts, polos, T-shirts, sweaters, heavyweight knits, pants, denim and outerwear.
“When looking to expand the presence of our classic Izod brand globally, we saw great opportunity in Europe,” said Ken Duane, chief executive officer of heritage brands for PVH.
Currently, Izod is only sold outside the States in Canada, Mexico and Asia-Pacific.
Oliver Timm, chief commercial officer for PVH Europe, said the decision to move into Europe came as a result of demand from that part of the world. “We saw a gap where European brands were getting oversaturated, so after talking to our partners and customers,” he said, “we felt it was the right timing for an American lifestyle brand with affordable price points” to jump into the market.
He believes Izod “should fill the void between fast-fashion labels and higher-priced American attire.”
PVH will be manufacturing and distributing the collection directly rather than through a licensing arrangement, he said. It is being handled out of the company’s European headquarters in Amsterdam and showrooms both there and in Dusseldorf.
PVH also owns Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger and both of those brands have large overseas presences.
Initially, the Izod collection will be sold in-store and online at retailers including El Corte Inglés in Spain, Hudson’s Bay in the Netherlands, and Galeria Kaufhof in Germany. The collection will also be available online through Zalando and Boozt.
The launch includes a shop-in-shop system that will be offered initially in Spain before being rolled out to other regions for spring.
Timm said plans for the future call for expanding the Izod brand into the U.K., Russia and Italy as well as the Middle East and Africa.
The launch will be supported by focused regional marketing, public relations and a social influencer campaign.
“We believe there is significant demand for apparel that is colorful with a soft-washed, relaxed feel and unique performance-driven features,” Timm added. The fall collection is made up of two key capsules: Winter Nautical, featuring college prep and nautical themes, and Explorer, for the more winter-specific look.
Timm would not provide a projection for how large the business can be in these countries, saying only that PVH Europe is expecting a “successful launch” on the Continent.