Publicly traded designer and wholesaler The Jones Group on Monday announced it will take control of the Brian Atwood brand, bringing the designer’s existing and future collections, including his shoe collections, under it own umbrella for an undisclosed sum. Under the deal, Brian Atwood will own the intellectual property rights and existing licenses. Jones will own a majority stake in the joint venture.
The Jones Group Inc. (NYSE: JNY) (“Jones,” the “Company”) today announced that it is deepening its partnership with world renowned designer Brian Atwood through the acquisition of the Brian Atwood brand. The transaction will bring Brian Atwood’s existing and future collections, inclusive of his luxury shoe collections, into the Company’s portfolio and furthers Jones’ strategy of acquiring and nurturing the world’s best creative talents and designer brands to infuse a strong design-driven perspective in the Company’s portfolio.
Brian Atwood will retain an ownership stake in the brand and will continue in his role as Creative Director and Designer, with broad responsibilities over all aspects of the brand’s creative direction and image. Since the founding of his shoe label in 2001, he has established himself as a celebrated designer of statement-making footwear. Working with Brian Atwood, The Jones Group plans to accelerate the development of Brian Atwood as a global luxury brand, supporting the expansion of his design vision to other categories. The Jones Group views this partnership as an investment in the evolution of Brian Atwood’s design heritage and will provide the designer with access to the Company’s extensive resources and proficiency in building successful global fashion brands.
“Brian Atwood is a brilliant designer and our acquisition of his brand marks another milestone in our ongoing mission of developing The Jones Group into the leading portfolio of global fashion brands led by exceptional talent. The enhancement of our partnership is an important recognition of the talent we believe Brian Atwood possesses to become one of the world’s important brand names in fashion,” said Richard Dickson, The Jones Group President and Chief Executive Officer of Branded Businesses.
“The Jones Group is an exceptional partner,” said Brian Atwood. “I am excited to enter into a deeper partnership with Jones, which has both the business acumen and brand expertise that will help me realize my dream of a fully developed Brian Atwood brand. I look forward to the next chapter – that includes several significant milestones of retail and marketing firsts for my brand.”
This partnership follows the successful August 2011 launch of the B Brian Atwood contemporary footwear collection, which is produced under an exclusive licensing agreement with The Jones Group. B Brian Atwood was named “Launch of the Year” by Footwear News in 2011 and has continued to be one of the best performing contemporary brands in the market.
Brian Atwood is known for his sculptural footwear and inventive use of fringe and jewels. His designs are a favorite of celebrities, including Victoria Beckham, Kate Hudson, Eva Mendes and Lady Gaga. Brian Atwood shoes are currently sold globally at luxury retailers, such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Intermix, Net-a-Porter and Jeffrey, as well as at numerous high-end boutiques worldwide. The designer was recognized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which awarded him the Swarovski’s Perry Ellis Award for Accessory Design in 2003.
Under the terms of the agreement, Jones and Brian Atwood will form a joint venture, which will own the intellectual property rights of the Brian Atwood brand and existing licenses. Jones will own a majority stake in the joint venture.
About The Jones Group Inc.
The Jones Group Inc. (www.jonesgroupinc.com) is a leading global designer, marketer and wholesaler of over 35 brands with product expertise in apparel, footwear, jeanswear, jewelry and handbags. The Jones Group has a reputation for innovation, excellence in product quality and value, operational execution and talent. The Company also markets directly to consumers through branded specialty retail and outlet stores and through its e-commerce sites.
The Company’s internationally recognized brands and licensing agreements (L) include: Nine West, Jones New York, Anne Klein, Kurt Geiger, Rachel Roy (L), Robert Rodriguez, Robbi & Nikki, Stuart Weitzman, B Brian Atwood (L), Boutique 9, Easy Spirit, Carvela, Gloria Vanderbilt, l.e.i., Bandolino, Enzo Angiolini, Nine & Co., GLO, Joan & David, Miss KG, Jones Wear, Kasper, Energie, Evan-Picone, Le Suit, Mootsies Tootsies, Grane, Erika, Napier, Jessica Simpson (L), Sam & Libby, Givenchy (L), Judith Jack, Albert Nipon, Pappagallo, Rafe (L) and C&T Costello Tagliapietra (L).
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements contained herein are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements regarding the Company’s expected financial position, business and financing plans are forward-looking statements. The words “believes,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “anticipates” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements also include representations of the Company’s expectations or beliefs concerning future events that involve risks and uncertainties, including:
those associated with the effect of national, regional and international economic conditions;
lowered levels of consumer spending resulting from a general economic downturn or lower levels of consumer confidence;
the tightening of the credit markets and the Company’s ability to obtain capital on satisfactory terms;
given the uncertain economic environment, the possible unwillingness of committed lenders to meet their obligations to lend to borrowers, in general;
the performance of the Company’s products within the prevailing retail environment;
customer acceptance of both new designs and newly-introduced product lines;
the Company’s reliance on a few department store groups for large portions of the Company’s business;
the Company’s ability to identify acquisition candidates and, in a competitive environment for such acquisitions, acquire such businesses on reasonable financial and other terms;
the integration of the organizations and operations of any acquired businesses into the Company’s existing organization and operations;
consolidation of the Company’s retail customers;
financial difficulties encountered by the Company’s customers;
the effects of vigorous competition in the markets in which the Company operates;
the Company’s ability to attract and retain qualified executives and other key personnel;
the Company’s reliance on independent foreign manufacturers, including political instability in countries where contractors and suppliers are located;
changes in the costs of raw materials, labor, advertising and transportation, including the impact such changes may have on the pricing of the Company’s products and the resulting impact on consumer acceptance of the Company’s products at higher price points;
the Company’s ability to successfully implement new operational and financial information systems; and
the Company’s ability to secure and protect trademarks and other intellectual property rights.
A further description of these risks and uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations can be found in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, including, but not limited to, the Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Disclosure and Item 1A-Risk Factors therein, and in the Company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, such expectations may prove to be incorrect. The Company does not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.