Licensed Apparel Trends–Perry Ellis
The licensed apparel segment, which accounts for more than $35 billion in annual sales and more than $37 billion in sales originated from fashion brands, is represented well on the MAGIC Market Week show floors.
Perry Ellis, whose sub-brands Original Penguin, Laundry, Laundry by Shelli Segal, C&C California and Jantzen can be found on the expo floors, is growing its portfolio, adding new categories to its ranges. The Laundry by Shelli Segal brand has added two new licensees this year–a fragrance by Falic Fragrance Group and sleepwear and loungewear by Viola. The fragrance is set to launch around Mother's Day in May, while the Viola range will launch in fall.
For Perry Ellis, which manufactures its clothing internally but licenses out other categories, 2012 proved successful despite challenging economic times and inclement weather patterns around the globe, says Kelly Payfer, vice president, licensing, Perry Ellis International.
"We've had great success in particular with Laundry's girl's dress range from Sugar Plum, which is sold in all the same retail channels (mid-tier to high-end) that Laundry is in," says Payfer. "They have done a great job in making it appropriate for little girls but keeping in the Laundry sophistication that customers know so well."
According to Payfer, success for licensees means keeping up on trends. She says color is increasingly more important, as is the variety and quality of fits offered. Another Perry Ellis brand, Rafaella, is best known, she says, for its wide selection of tailored fits that accommodate various body sizes, an attribute that consumers are seeking out more and more.
Licensed Apparel Trends–The Cherokee Group
Fit is also a key emphasis of The Cherokee Group, named the No. 26 global licensor on License! Global's exclusive annual Top 125 Global Licensors report of 2012. (Perry Ellis came in at No. 32.)
According to Henry Stupp, chief executive officer, The Cherokee Group, consumers are looking for the best value for their money, and that increasingly is translating to a product's durability, quality and fit.
"As far as trends in apparel, what we're seeing is that consumers want product that fits well. In today's market, low price is starting to mean lower quality product standards and a customer wants a product that lasts. We're putting increased effort into our product design, durability and fit," says Stupp. "From a brand management perspective and as a licensing company, we put more effort into our product development than most in partnership with our licensees."
Stupp also says that retailers are moving away from the private label focus, and more frequently bringing in licensed product to grow retail sales. He also sees changes in the future of retail.
"We are constantly hearing everyone talk about 'multi-channel' and 'omni-channel' and I think it's all just retail," says Stupp. "The future of retail is about what it was in the past. We really think there is an evolution underway where consumers are looking for the whole experience–they want to talk about the product, whether it's face-to-face or online."
For Cherokee, that means updating its brand imagery both in stores and online to reflect this shift in business.