Ellen Tracy Looks to the Future
Signs Licensing Agreement in Principle for New Eyewear line
Ellen Tracy today announced that it has reached an agreement in principle with ClearVision Optical Company, Inc. ("ClearVision") to design and manufacture optical frames and prescription sunglasses under the Ellen Tracy brand name.
The Ellen Tracy Eyewear collection will offer 20 ophthalmic styles and 5 prescription sunglasses, focusing on unique materials and patterns and a combination of metal and plastic that join together to offer style, polished luxury and timeless elegance. A beautiful color palette featuring plum, olive, and tortoise colors will combine with fresh new shapes specifically designed to appeal to the senses of today's fashion conscious eyewear consumer. Rich signature details will also be embedded into the plastics and adorn the graceful lines of the eyewear.
The new line will launch to the trade in March 2006 at the Vision Expo East tradeshow, with a preview available starting February 1, 2006. Shipping to eye care professionals nationwide will begin in April 2006.
"Eyewear is an important element of a woman's wardrobe and a statement of personal style," said Howard Rosenberger, president of Ellen Tracy. "I'm very pleased we will be working with ClearVision Optical to develop the collection. They have extensive experience in bringing fashionable eyewear brands to the marketplace, and in concert with our designer, George Sharp, have been working to ensure the frames epitomize the sophistication of the Ellen Tracy consumer. They are the perfect partner to take our eyewear collection to the next level."
Peter Friedfeld, executive vice president of ClearVision, commented on the announcement, "We are very excited about this wonderful opportunity to bring to market a collection of eyewear associated with a brand name of this caliber, targeted to women over 40. This discerning segment of the population has been overlooked by many US frame vendors, as well as several of the world's leading designers. The Ellen Tracy consumer appreciates quality accessories that allow her to make a personal statement and we intend to deliver a sophisticated and stylish line that she will love."
Ellen Tracy apparel is a favorite with American women because of its stylish designs executed in fine fabrics with excellent fit, attention to detail and high production standards. It is considered the mainstay of bridge departments in specialty and department stores including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale's. Licensees for the company include fragrance, handbags, jewelry, footwear, belts and hosiery. Ellen Tracy is a division of Liz Claiborne Inc.
ClearVision Optical has been in business for 57 years supplying optical frames to the retail marketplace. The company offers unique product collections to specific categories with a focus on design and quality. ClearVision currently holds licenses with a combination of fashion, lifestyle, and children's brands: BCBG Max Azria Optical, Izod, Ocean Pacific, Jessica McClintock, Fisher-Price, and Save the Children.
SOURCE Liz Claiborne Inc; Ellen Tracy /CONTACT: Laura Holbrook, +1-212-626-1791, for Liz Claiborne Inc
C&C California Merges With Liz Claiborne
Liz Claiborne Inc. announced last week it has agreed to purchase all of the equity interest in C & C California. The purchase price consists of an initial payment of approximately $28 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of January 2005.
C & C California, which has been a hit with stockists and editors alike, creates chic, California-inspired basics with an emphasis on classy comfort, premium fabrics, simple detailing and vibrant, tasteful colors. C & C primarily targets the fashion-conscious woman between the ages of 18 and 45, as well as baby boomers. C & C's products have a broad appeal, offering a relaxed, comfortable and quality assortment.
Currently, women's products account for approximately 96% of net sales while the recently launched men's and children's products account for the remaining 4% of net sales. C & C's products include its signature t-shirt collection and, in 2005, will be expanded to include a variety of casual sportswear, including denim-related products and woven items including trousers, shirts and skirts.
Commenting on the announcement, Paul R. Charron, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Liz Claiborne Inc., said: "We are quite pleased to announce this acquisition. C & C is one of the most successful new brands in the contemporary zone, an area we have found to be particularly attractive. The addition of C & C to our portfolio provides further channel diversification through its select specialty store and high-end department store distribution. C & C has significant organic growth potential in its signature t-shirt line and will rapidly evolve into a full lifestyle collection of casual sportswear items. We also feel there are abundant brand extension opportunities in non-apparel categories, as well as in licensing and additional international distribution."
Claire Stansfield and Cheyann Benedict, the co-founders of C & C, will remain with the Company as Co-Presidents.
Claire Stansfield and Cheyann Benedict, co-founders of C & C, said: "We are thrilled to be part of the Liz Claiborne family, and are excited to have the opportunity to work with a company with so much experience in operations, sourcing and expertise in building worldwide brands. We started the company in 2002 with a plan to create an alternative California lifestyle brand for all ages, shapes and sizes -- a classic, easy and cool brand for the whole family. We could not be more proud to be part of a company that understands our vision and has an amazing team managing and guiding brands to worldwide recognition."