Jason Wu. Why not? This designer has clothes, shoes and handbags. He's in major department stores. He's designed a hit line for Target (TGT - Get Report) and First Lady Michelle Obama has worn his clothes. There is Jason Wu eyewear and a Jason Wu candle for NEST fragrances. He's also designed bath faucets for the Brizo collection. Fashion expert Brendan Cannon of The Cannon Media Group said: "Jason is on the cusp of American greatness. The Target deal solidified him as a major player."
Cannon went on to say that Wu has risen very quickly since being chosen by Mrs. Obama and has proven himself as an exciting designer. "His fashion shows are on the level of European fashion, while his Miss Wu line is accessible," Cannon says. You will hear a lot about Jason Wu, so put that name on your radar.
Kate Spade came before Tory Burch, but she got bought by Liz Claiborne, which then changed its name to Fifth & Pacific (FNP). Kate Spade is now the fastest-growing segment for this company, which also owns Juicy Couture and Lucky Brand. Net sales for the third quarter of 2012 jumped 35% from a year earlier. It would make perfect sense to spin off Spade and unlock that value. In fact, the company makes a habit of selling off pieces. It sold Dana Buchman to Kohl's (KSS) and Liz Claiborne licensing to JC Penney (JCP). The company also sold the Kensie line to Blue Star Alliance in 2011. Plus, spinoffs performed well in 2012. Of the 146 IPOs, seven were spinoffs and, with the exception of LinnCo and WhiteWave Foods, all enjoyed double-digit performance. The only problem may be that Kate Spade is now straying from its original "look." Cannon says the company is going in a different direction to drive sales. Maybe Fifth & Pacific should change its name back to Kate Spade if it doesn't spin out the company. The Olsen twins. Forget about child stars from Full House, this is a fashion powerhouse. The girls have a couture line called The Row, Elizabeth & James, Stylemint and the new Olsenboye line at JC Penney. A perfume is set for this spring. The twins are also creative directors for Superga, an Italian shoe brand. They stumbled with a line at Wal-Mart for teens that reduced their fashion cred, but they recovered by consistently delivering a high-end product. Their message was that this wasn't a vanity project and they truly believed in the rag trade. Cannon agrees. "They don't need the money, and they really are doing this for a love of fashion." However, everyone has their price, and if the bankers come knocking, they may well answer.
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