According to show management, the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) held Aug. 14-19 saw strong order-writing among buyers and a 6.5-percent increase in retailer attendance over last year's edition. The show housed approximately 2,800 exhibitors in the Javits Center as well as at Piers 92 and 94 and reportedly drew 33,500 attendees in total.
Barneys New York has named Mark Lee, the former head of Gucci, as its new CEO, following an executive search that lasted more than two years. Lee, who also held the position of CEO at Yves Saint Laurent as well as positions at Saks, Armani and Jil Sander throughout his 25-year career, will be tasked with putting the luxury chain back in the black. Barneys operates 10 flagship stores plus 20 Co-Op stores, and will open a 21st Co-Op in Brooklyn in October.
Miss America Brands, the official licensing arm of the Miss America Organization, debuted the Little Miss America line of girls' apparel at the recent Magic market. The moderately priced line is initially focused on the baby/toddler and tween categories, with traditionally styled yet fashionable mix-and-match graphic tees, tops and bottoms.
Shannon Komsky, president of Little Capers Acquisitions, has purchased the Little Capers brand from its original creator and plans to take it to the next level. Little Capers produces T-shirts featuring non-commercial icons with removable Velcro capes that encourage children to use their imagination, create their own superhero and select their super powers.
Paul Frank Industries has teamed up with technical apparel company 686 on a youth snow collection that will debut for Fall 2010. The high-performance snow gear will be playful yet functional and inspired by Paul Frank's signature characters—Julius, Skurvy and more.
The collection includes boys' and girls' insulated quilted jackets, printed jackets, pants, performance fleece hoodies and thermals, graphic tees, beanies, mittens and gloves. The line will retail through Paul Frank Retail Stores as well as specialty boutiques worldwide.
Showrooms and reps take on new brands.
~ Summer Place Showroom is now representing Little Pea, said owner Brittany Harrell. The brand offers stylish separates for girls 2T to 6 in fun prints and colors. For further details or a showroom appointment, call (770) 444-0776.
Saban Capital Group of Los Angeles announced it will acquire California-based Paul Frank Industries, the lifestyle brand whose signature Julius the monkey appears on clothing, accessories and more for both kids and adults. The companies did not disclose the purchase price, although the New York Post reported it to be around $50 million. Saban will take over the rights to Julius as well as 150 characters developed by the company over its 15-year history.
Italian children's label Monnalisa has signed a lease for retail space in the heart of Beverly Hills, according to the Consolo & Aquino real estate agency. The site is said to be the future location of the Milan-based brand's West Coast flagship (the brand opened a Manhattan location in 2009). The apparel company currently operates 40 stores in Italy, and the label sells in approximately 800 stores around the globe.
After growing its brand and incubator shops for five years, New York-based children's label Hippototamus is offering its apparel for newborns through age 6 to outside retailers. According to president Tiffani Talbot, buyers across the country had been asking the company to make its product lines available for wholesale, and Hippototamus decided the time was right to extend the distribution of its brand in North America.
This fall, children's shoe brand Livie & Luca is addressing the littlest tots with the new Just Born collection. For sizes 0 to 6 months through 18 to 24 months, the line offers baby shoes featuring soft leather uppers and soles that are a hybrid of recycled rubber and suede that are suitable for indoor and outdoor activities. The brand has translated several of its most popular styles for older children—including the London, Holland and Woodland designs—into versions appropriate for babies.