In a big move for Aldo Group, the company is teaming up with two L.A. fashion stars.
As part of its newly launched licensing division, the Montreal-based company has revealed a pair of separate deals with style maven Rachel Zoe and influencer brand Who What Wear.
Aldo is debuting women’s shoes, handbags, kids’ footwear and leather goods for Zoe. The firm will design, develop and sell the collection internationally, beginning with spring ’20.
The stylist and designer, who has more than 3 million Instagram followers, has continued to build her fashion collection, including shoes. She previously had a footwear licensing deal with Global Brands Group that ended in 2015.
Who What Wear, which has worked with Target on an in-house fashion and shoe collection for the past several years, also is growing its presence in the category. The media company turned brand, founded by former editors Katherine Powers and Hillary Kerr, will include ladies’ footwear, handbags and small-leather goods, which will be sold globally.
The growth of influencer brands has been a hot topic across the industry. Arielle Charnas has developed her burgeoning Something Navy line with Nordstrom, while other social media stars such as Chiara Ferragni, Blair Eadie and Leandra Medine Cohen have also made forays into fashion over the past few years, to varying degrees of success.
In addition, Aldo is also licensing three of Bata Group’s brands to expand them into the North American market: Bubblegummers for kids, athletic label Power and lifestyle player North Star.
“This is the first time that the Aldo Group has had a division with a focus on licensing, and these brands are the initial portfolio that we will be launching for spring,” said Jonathan Frankel, SVP of Aldo Product Services. “It’s all part of our growth strategy and part of our diversified business model. We have corporate stores, franchise stores, omnichannel, a great private label and branded wholesale business; this is the next step. We have a lot of great expertise and it’s time to leverage that amazing knowledge and bring other brands to new markets.”
The licensing group is part of the Aldo Product Services division, which continues to grow for the company. Since 2010, Aldo has built a private label business, working behind the scenes on a number of major brands
“We have teams of product designers, technical engineers, sourcing experts, trend analysts who each work on specific brands,” Frankel said, adding that the company has a presence in more than 100 countries.
The company plans to announce further deals this fall.