Who would be one of the leading US apparel makers? Kellwood would. The firm generates most of its sales from women's wear, including the Rebecca Taylor, David Meister, and Sag Harbor lines. It also makes and designs juniors and girls clothes and accessories. Its portfolio of about 20 brands also includes My Michelle, Baby Phat, Phat Farm, Rewind, and XOXO. The company is a major supplier to department stores, as well as mass retailers, specialty boutiques, and catalogs. Kellwood also operates Rebecca Taylor-brand outlet stores across the US. A Sun Capital portfolio company, Kellwood has been adding contemporary brands.
The company's range of consumer lifestyle brands including Rebecca Taylor, Sag Harbor, Briggs NY, Jolt, and My Michelle as well as licensed brands XOXO and Sam Edelman.
Kellwood is based in Chesterfield, Missouri, and has additional offices in California and New York.
Sales and Marketing
Kellwood operates retail stores and e-commerce sites for Rebecca Taylor and the e-tail store, Mason & Belle.
Kellwood is poised for growth after editing its portfolio to about 20 key brands. Its brands span a broad price spectrum and are sold in department stores from Sears (Sag Harbor) to Bergdorf Goodman (Rebecca Taylor). The company is looking to brands with high growth potential across multiple retail channels (like bricks-and-mortar stores and e-commerce) and possible lifestyle extension elements (like accessories).
In 2014 the company introduced a new strategic distribution channel with the launch of Mason & Belle, a country-inspired fashion brand and retail website.
In 2013 Kellwood spun off its Vince brand, which went public and changed its name to Vince Holding Corp. The upscale apparel firm raised $200 million in its offering, to help it pay down debt and reinvest in other lines.
Kellwood added contemporary footwear brand Sam Edelman to its portfolio in 2013 through a licensing agreement with Brown Shoe Company (renamed Caleres) to make apparel. The collection, which is targeted to the women's, junior's, and girl's categories, consists of tops, sweaters, bottoms, dresses, and jackets. The line was launched to wholesale partners in 2014 and to consumers in fall 2014. Distribution is targeted to department and specialty stores where Sam Edelman shoes are sold, to Sam Edelman retail stores, and SamEdelman.com.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2014 the company acquired Parker, a contemporary apparel label.
With its focus on restoring profitability, Kellwood appears quick to pull the plug on expensive ventures, such as its Lamb & Flag retail stores. Kellwood launched Lamb & Flag in 2011 with plans to open 20 to 30 retail stores in 2013. But fewer than six months after opening the first Lamb & Flag stores the company discontinued those operations, citing the expense needed to grow the fledgling brand.
In 2011 Kellwood acquired Rebecca Taylor, the contemporary sportswear line named for the New Zealand designer, which is distributed in more than 40 countries worldwide. It also bought California-based yoga and fitness apparel maker Zobha.