Ron White is staking a bigger claim in the U.S. market.
The Canadian retailer and designer, who soft launched his eponymous label in the U.S. in 2011, has partnered with Hudson O’Neil Consulting and a private Canadian investor to expand his wholesale business here and abroad.
The newly created Oakland, Calif.-based arm of Ron White Wholesale will handle sales, logistics and warehousing, in an effort to better serve retailers.
Currently, White, who is celebrating his 20th year in business this year, operates five stores in the greater Toronto area, where he offers his signature collection for women and men, as well as outside labels.
According to White, creative director of the new business, the positive reaction to the collection in U.S. stores such as Arthur Beren Shoes in San Francisco and Nordstrom led to his decision to make a bigger push. “The sweet spot for product lies in the U.S.,” said White, adding that the U.S. could represent 70 percent of wholesale down the line.
In addition to offering his Ron White collection of tailored and casual looks, priced from $295 to $400, the designer will introduce a younger, more contemporary line for spring ’14 under the White by Ron White label. The new venture will retail for $195 to $300. And moving forward, he said, the company will raise the bar on styling for the signature Ron White line and introduce more modern looks.
Both collections, White emphasized, will incorporate his signature Superflex comfort construction. “Comfort is the DNA of the brand,” he said. “It’s the added bonus.”
Going forward, the designer will continue to use his stores as a testing ground for new product. And the company plans to add men’s to the wholesale mix and bow a New York showroom.