Juniors jeans brand Mudd Inc. plans to bow in Europe for holiday retailing, in a move the company described as the first step in its international expansion.Steven Seidman, chairman of Ingroup Licensing, which handles New York-based Mudd Inc.’s licensing arrangements, said the company signed a deal last month with Drew Pearson International to distribute Mudd jeans, knit and woven tops, sweaters and bags.The brand will first be distributed in Germany and England, and after that roll out to France and Italy, as well as the Benelux and Scandinavia countries.“We’re projecting sales in excess of $10 million right out of the box,” said Seidman. “There’s not another teenage American girl concept over there.”The line will target the same moderate price area it does in the U.S. Seidman said Mudd’s foreign expansion goals are not limited to Europe.“We’re looking at South America, Central America, Asia, Australia,” he said. “In a short period of time, Mudd will become a global brand.”Including licensed products, Mudd’s current wholesale volume tops $500 million.
Drew Pearson International, which is owned by former Dallas Cowboy star Drew Pearson, is based in Addison, Tex. It has subcontracted out the rights to produce and sell Mudd products to six European companies.Guess Names CFO
Guess Inc. on Wednesday named Frederick Silny, an executive from an online car retailer, as senior vice president and chief financial officer.That position has been vacant since November 2000, following the resignation of Brian Fleming. Since then, Carlos Alberini — who joined Guess as president and chief operating officer that month — has handled the cfo duties, as well.As reported, last year Guess had to restate its earnings for the first three financial quarters as a result of some errors in its accounting departments. Silny, who starts Nov. 12, will report to Alberini.Silny currently serves as cfo of CarsDirect Inc., where he has worked since 1999. Prior to that, he spent a decade at IHOP Corp.In a statement, Alberini said, “We expect Fred to play a valuable role in continuing the progress we have made in instilling new financial controls and discipline, while maintaining a strict focus on cost control.”Los Angeles-based Guess is expected to release its third-quarter financial results today. According to First Call/Thomson Financial, Wall Street analysts expect the company to report earnings of 7 cents a share.In the third quarter of 2000, Guess earned $5.6 million, or 13 cents a diluted share, on revenues of $216.4 million.Plugging Into Juniors
Plugg, the young men’s denim label, will have a little sister arriving just in time for the holidays, when Plugg girl hits department stores starting Dec. 10. The company is introducing a line of low-rise, flared jeans, with retail price points of $29.99 to $34.99, beginning with holiday retailing.The company is hoping for first-year sales between $15 million and $25 million. It’s men’s line currently generates $100 million in sales.“Our girl is between the age of 15 and 23 years old. She is fashion forward and quality aware,” said James Miller, the label’s vice president. He added that the company will be targeting specialty chains as well as department stores for distribution.The line uses a retro-looking butterfly as its logo, featuring butterfly rivets, butterfly-printed pocket lining and a butterfly cutout on the jeans’ back leather label.Overall, the line includes more than 200 pieces, such as low-rise and super-low-rise jeans, and floods in stretch, crosshatch and rope-ring denim. Washes range from super-light bleach to antique and dirty worn-in looks. A number of treatments featuring embroideries, patches and rips are also available.“We’re offering every trend out there,” said Angela Da Fonseca, Plugg’s design director. “Denim is really where the business is right now.”The company plans to attach a free gift to the jeans each season. For spring, the gift will be imitation foxtails, in a variety of colors.“The freebies are all about building a relationship with the customer, and it has to make them feel part of an image,” Da Fonseca said.Plugg is owned by Andrew International, which also holds the license for Snoop Dogg Clothing Co.Workshop Does Something
The auction of customized Levi’s jeans, skirts and jackets at this week’s Workshop New York trade show, which ended Tuesday night, has so far raised $5,000 for the charity Do Something, according to show organizers. Do Something is a charitable organization that aims to help teens work to advance social causes in their schools and communities.The jeans were sold in a silent auction at the show and bids were also taken on the Web site Levi.com. Show organizers said that a few items remained unsold as of press time.Denim Day Goes On
In the weeks after the Sept. 11 destruction of the World Trade Center, many charities not related to the relief effort have seen their donations drop, as Americans opened their hearts and pocketbooks to address the massive disaster. Not so for Lee’s National Denim Day, which was held Oct. 5.The event, which raises money for the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, netted about $7.7 million in donations this year, slightly ahead of the $7.5 million target that Merriam, Kan.-based Lee Co. had set, according to Kathy Collins, vice president of marketing for the company. The Komen charity funds research toward a cure for breast cancer.“That is amazing to me, given the state of the world and all these other relief efforts,” Collins said. “The money is actually coming in at a better rate than it did last year. We received a handful of e-mails from people who worked at the WTC who asked for a new kit because their kits had been destroyed. That speaks to the passion that people have for this issue.”In 2000, the event generated about $6 million.
Participants in Denim Day agree to donate $5 to breast cancer research. In exchange, their employers allow them to wear jeans to work for the day. Collins said about 1.5 million American workers participated this year.This year, actress Lucy Liu served as celebrity spokeswoman for the event.
Since its first staging in 1996, the Denim Day event has raised more than $30 million in donations, including this year’s total.Lucky in Leather
Lucky Brand Dungarees last week reached a licensing agreement with Garson International to produce Lucky’s women’s and men’s leather sportswear.“We were making leather for Lucky Brand for their stores for about two years and I guess they liked us the best, so they sold us the license,” said Garson International’s owner, Marc Garson.Garson said the new line will follow Lucky’s lead of making clothes with a vintage feel, and focus on items that can match up with denim.The collection, designed by Garson’s two-person design team, will feature leather and suede pants, skirts, jackets, dresses and blouses. Garson said trims may include genuine fur. The line will take inspiration from the Sixties and Seventies music scene.Garson said he expects to sell to large department stores that currently carry Lucky Brand Dungarees, as well as Lucky’s 46 company-owned stores. Customers may also buy the clothes at Lucky’s Web site.First-year sales expectations are between $4 million and $6 million, Garson said. The line will be sold out of New York, but Garson said there are possible plans for a Los Angeles showroom.“Garson International has been working with Lucky Brand for many years, producing great-fitting and uniquely designed leather jeans and jackets,” said Trent Merrill, Lucky’s executive vice president. “We believe Garson will do a great job interpreting Lucky Brand for leather.”The line will make its debut in February at the MAGIC International trade show in Las Vegas.Garson International also produces leather for labels including Fubu and XOXO.