Catch all the latest news about footwear industry acquisitions, and licensing and distribution agreements here. Got a deal in the works? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dec. 3, 2020: New Balance announced today it has signed a multiyear sponsorship deal with FC Tokyo, which will start with the 2021 season. In a statement, the Boston-based athletic powerhouse said it will work with the team to deliver designs — including a bespoke offering for all technical kits and training apparel — and limited-edition retail product. Also, NB said the FC Tokyo product will be sold through its retail stores. According to New Balance, the sponsorship will help improve its growth plans for soccer across the continent and further its pursuit of becoming a top 3 global athletic brand.
Dec. 2, 2020: Spyder has joined forces with Footwear Unlimited. Through the partnership, the Authentic Brands Group-owned brand will release its debut shoe collection, which fuses elements of performance, function and fashion for the outdoors, hiking, trail, après ski and everyday activities. According to ABG’s SVP of sports, street and active groups, Wesley Chu, the launch “expands the brand’s year-round essentials for active consumers and presents an opportunity to gain a larger market share.” Prices will range from $90 to $300, and the collection will be available at select retailers, stores and on Spyder.com next fall.
Oct. 22, 2020: Prada Group has launched its Car Shoe brand on Amazon Luxury Stores. The label debuted the virtual shop today with the men’s and women’s fall/winter 2020 collection. Car Shoe joins labels Oscar de la Renta, Altuzarra, La Perla and Clé de Peau Beauté on the invite-only concept. Luxury Stores is currently available only in the U.S., but the plan is to extend it internationally. Car Shoe made a discreet debut with a campaign video on Amazon Fashion social media. The short film shows a couple tooling around town, driving over bridges, and through the outdoors. The tag line “City or Country?” The brand is one of four fashion businesses in the Prada stable, which includes Prada, Miu Miu and Church’s — Samantha Conti
Oct. 19, 2020: Private equity group Tattarang has acquired Australian heritage footwear brand R.M. Williams from L Catterton for an undisclosed amount. Founded in 1932, R.M. Williams is best known for its handcrafted boots but also has garnered attention due to its longstanding relationship with actor Hugh Jackman. The brand has 900 employees based in Australia, including 400 team members at its workshop in Salisbury, Adelaide. CEO Raju Vuppalapati said in a statement that the brand has taken recent steps to grow its business, including adding a second boot line and recruiting and training 100 more workers in its Salisbury workshop. “The R.M. Williams team and I look forward to [Tattarang’s] stewardship as we enter the next exciting phase of surprising and delighting our consumers with hand-crafted products made in Australia,” he said.
Sept. 29, 2020: Weeks after Oscar de la Renta became the first major luxury player to join Luxury Stores at Amazon, Altuzarra is getting in on the action. The New York-based brand will introduce the collection to Luxury Stores with three short films and curated product vignettes. They feature landscape designer Lily Kwong, chef Laila Gohar and writer Aysha Sow. “I am so excited to be a part of this new venture, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to continue growing the relationship with Amazon, which began with my participation in “Making the Cut.”They have been a great partner to me personally, as well as to the Altuzarra brand,” said creative director Joseph Altuzarra.
Sept. 19, 2020: Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. has entered into a licensing agreement with Esquire Brands to manufacture and distribute its children’s footwear. Starting with spring ’21, Esquire will produce and distribute the kids’ category under the Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction and Unlisted labels. The collections will be sold at major department stores and select specialty retailers. New York-based Esquire Brands’ portfolio also includes DKNY Kids, Caribbean Joe Kids and Joes Jeans Kids.
Aug. 31, 2020: Ben Sherman, the menswear label owned by Marquee Brands, has inked a deal with Brands Lab International to create branded experiential properties that cater to a young customer base. The partnership with Brands Lab is meant to translate the Ben Sherman DNA into stylish properties such as furnished apartments, boutique hotel lounges, scooter-cafes, gastropubs and student lounges, and could also extend into related product categories including luggage and hotel amenities. The properties are expected to begin rolling out in fall 2021.