Liz Claiborne Inc. - company profile on Apparel Search
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Liz Claiborne Inc. announced January 4, 2011 it is changing its name to "Fifth & Pacific Companies" to better communicate its strategic focus on growing its three global lifestyle brands (Juicy Couture, kate spade and Lucky Brand) and reflect the sale of the Liz Claiborne namesake brand to J.C. Penney, among other recent transactions. The change is expected to be effective on or about May 15, 2012 at which time the Company will begin trading as Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. (NYSE: FNP).

Liz Claiborne, Inc. on October 12, 2011 announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to sell its Liz Claiborne, Monet and Kensie brands, and has completed the sale of its Dana Buchman brand, for total cash proceeds of approximately $328 million, of which $308 million represents sale proceeds. The Company has also agreed with Donna Karan International to an early termination of its DKNYŽ Jeans and DKNYŽ Active license. Consummation of the Liz Claiborne, Monet and Kensie sale transactions is subject to customary closing conditions, and these transactions are expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011.

  • Agrees to sell Liz Claiborne and Monet brands to J.C. Penney Company, Inc. and Kensie brand to Bluestar Alliance
  • Completes sale of the Dana Buchman brand to Kohl's
  • Agrees to early termination of the DKNYŽ Jeans and DKNYŽ Active license agreement
  • Expects year end 2011 net debt to be in the range of $270 to $290 million
  • Provides updated 2011 and 2012 Adjusted Pro Forma EBITDA Guidance
  • Mexx joint venture closing remains on target for Q4 2011


Below Summary is prior to October 12, 2011:

Liz Claiborne Inc. designs and markets an extensive range of branded women's and men's apparel, accessories and fragrance products. Their diverse portfolio of quality brands -- available domestically and internationally via wholesale and retail channels --consistently meets the widest range of consumers' fashion needs, from classic to contemporary, active to relaxed and denim to streetwear.

The Fashionable History of Liz Claiborne Incorporated ...

In 1976, a relatively unknown dress designer, her textile veteran husband and two partners established, Liz Claiborne Inc., a design-driven company that would revolutionize the fashion industry - from how women dress for work, to where product is sourced, to how it is sold into and at department stores. With less than half a million dollars and a clear focus on design, quality and value, these four partners - Liz Claiborne, Art Ortenberg, Leonard Boxer and Jerome Chazen - created what is now a nearly $5 billion public company.

Established at a time when women were entering the workforce in large numbers, Liz Claiborne and her partners saw the opportunity to provide versatile, fashionable wardrobes that were appropriate for work, but still conveyed a sense of individuality and femininity. A working woman herself, Liz understood how liberating it would be to mix and match separates rather than have to rely on the traditional dress or gray flannel suit. Thus, out of a small office on 40th street in Manhattan, Liz Claiborne the brand was born, transforming the way women dressed and ultimately, how they shopped.

The concept was simple: Provide the ensemble driven sportswear that had been available for many years at designer level prices through the likes of Calvin Klein and Bill Blass, but make it affordable for the working woman.

There was a major stumbling block, however. Up until this point, department stores were by and large classification oriented - pants were in one department, skirts in another and shirts in yet another. To put together a wardrobe a consumer had to go from department to department and hope that the colors and pieces would match. Additionally, department store buyers were classification-focused and were not equipped to buy merchandise from one brand across product lines.

To overcome this, Liz Claiborne executives worked with retailers to test the concept of presenting all of the brand's related sportswear pieces in one department, streamlining the consumer's shopping experience.

As the Company grew, manufacturing and sourcing capabilities became more and more important. For the first several years the company was doing everything it could to keep up with demand and fill orders, largely using domestic manufacturers. Distribution executives were nervous wondering how they could possibly ship 50,000 units per week.

In the mid- 1970s and into the early 1980s the Company again questioned the norm in the apparel industry by testing the concept of manufacturing overseas. Liz Claiborne established a production control office in Hong Kong by mid-1976. However, as volume and orders increased, issues with getting the amount of merchandise needed at the right quality and price levels from the domestic suppliers began to arise, and sourcing more product overseas looked like the most viable way to address this issue. Using a poet blouse - one of the hottest selling, yet hardest to produce items as a test - Liz Claiborne executives contracted a factory in Taiwan to produce a large quantity. The quality and price of the garments that arrived in the warehouse blew everyone away and the rest is history - Liz Claiborne Inc. now sources its products in more than 40 countries around the world and routinely ships five million units per week in the U.S. alone.

Liz Claiborne Inc. became a large company in a small industry very quickly and in 1981 went public to much fanfare. In a time when apparel company IPOs were not well received Liz Claiborne's offering was highly successful. And this was just the 1985 Liz Claiborne Inc. was the first company founded by a woman to be listed in the Fortune 500.

Of the original founders, Leonard Boxer retired from the Company in 1985, and in 1989, after 13 years, Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg announced their retirement from active management. Jerry Chazen, the fourth original partner, became the company's Chairman in 1989. Paul R. Charron joined the company in 1994 as vice chairman and chief operating officer. One year later he became president and chief executive officer, and was elected chairman in 1996. Mr. Charron retired at the end of 2006, after 12 years at Liz Claiborne Inc.

Apparel Search Fashion Industry b2b Directory for the clothing industryIn November 2006, William L. McComb joined the company as chief executive officer. In January 2007, Board member Kay Koplovitz, principal of Koplovitz & Co., a media investment firm and the founder of international cable television programming company USA Networks, became non-executive Chairman of the Board. On July 11, 2007, CEO William L. McComb announced the framework of a new organizational structure that was a crucial step in making Liz Claiborne Inc. into a more brand-focused and cost-effective business that can successfully navigate a rapidly changing retail environment. Accordingly, this new organizational structure puts "brand" at the center, enabling a more consistent, focused approach to brand strategy for all of the names in our portfolio.

The Company now operates via two distinct segments:

  • Direct Brands: brand-centric, vertically organized
  • Partnered Brands: Customer-focused, cost efficient

This structure reflects the distinct needs of each business segment, which have different growth prospects, capital requirements and cultural profiles. Our retail-based Direct Brands division will benefit from enhanced retail infrastructure and capabilities, while our wholesale-based Partnered Brands division will be better positioned to meet the needs of specific customers.

Direct Brands

Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Lucky Brand and Mexx will operate under brand-centric, vertical organizational structures within the Direct Brands Division.

Partnered Brands

Partnered Brands include the Liz Claiborne group (Liz Claiborne, Liz & Co, Villager, Axcess, Claiborne, Concepts by Claiborne), the DKNY Jeans group, Monet group, the Cosmetics/fragrances family of brands and Narciso Rodriguez.


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