Zac Posen officially has a new home.
Centric Brands confirmed Thursday that it has purchased the Zac Posen brand and all related intellectual property previously held by Z Spoke, LLC. This confirms a report in WWD last December that Centric had acquired the Zac Posen trademark at an auction. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed Thursday.
As part of the transaction, Centric acquired all existing licenses and collaboration agreements from the predecessor business. Centric is not assuming any liabilities associated with the predecessor business.
Posen is expected to advise on all facets related to the creative and strategic direction, marketing and promotion of the Zac Posen branded businesses.
The existing Zac Posen brand licenses include women’s handbags, small leather goods, and cold weather accessories, including hosiery and legwear, which Centric Brands currently manufactures and produces, in addition to bridal (Pronovias), fine jewelry (Goldstar Jewelry), men’s and women’s eyewear (Kenmark Eyewear), and women’s footwear (Titan Industries).
Posen, who started his namesake collection is 2001, is known for his red-carpet gowns, but over the years has developed numerous, more accessible licensees.
“I am so pleased that Centric Brands is committed to the ‘Zac Posen’ brand and to building a new and relevant Zac Posen branded world,” said Zac Posen. “I am looking forward to helping Jason [Rabin, chief executive officer of Centric] and the team continue to identify and execute on strategic licensing opportunities and selectively build the brand’s global distribution and omnichannel marketing strategy.”
He added, “Along with my role as strategic adviser to Centric Brands, I am looking forward to engaging in other projects, both in and outside of fashion, that have long intrigued me. It’s a very exciting time.”
Rabin was unavailable to comment on his plans for the Posen business. However in a statement, he said, “Zac is a talented and charismatic designer. The Zac Posen label is synonymous with exceptional craftsmanship and modern American glamour and is a red-carpet favorite among many of the world’s most famous celebrities. This acquisition adds a global, marquee designer brand to our portfolio of ready-to-wear women’s apparel and provides a platform to expand into new licensing categories, while supporting one of our strategies for growth.”
Centric’s portfolio includes such labels as Herve Leger, Hudson Jeans, BCBG MaxAzria, Buffalo Jeans, Joe’s Jeans and Robert Graham. Its accessories labels run the gamut from Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Frye to Kenneth Cole and Jessica Simpson. Its entertainment labels include Disney, Marvel, Nickelodeon and Warner Brothers, among others. Centric Brands, which is traded on NASDAQ, acquired a significant portion of the North American licensing business from Global Brands Group Holdings.
As reported, in late October, Posen abruptly shuttered his designer business after failing to find a buyer or new investors. The company had been in a sale process and ran out of time. Last April it was reported that Yucaipa Cos., Ron Burkle’s investment firm which had owned a controlling stake in Posen’s brand for more than 15 years, was looking to sell. According to Posen, there had been discussions with several potential buyers but ultimately none came to fruition.
Posen had produced 14 fashion collections each year across labels including the signature Zac Posen, Zac Zac Posen and Brooks Brothers, for which he’s been women’s creative director since 2016 and continues to do. Posen had also overseen numerous licensee collections and designed new uniforms for Delta employees.
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