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Licensing News: Hi-Tec Adds Apparel, Target Bows Maternity

Target Delivers on Maternity

After the success of Target’s latest private-label brands for kids, the bullseye has found a way to hook moms from the start.

The retailer has teamed up with maternity line Ingrid & Isabel to launch Isabel Maternity by Ingrid & Isabel. The new collection is a value-driven counterpart to the maternity company’s main collection, which launched in 2001.

Given the short timeframe for maternity wear, the new collection will cater to moms who want to look and feel good without spending too much. The new line will feature 120 items, ranging from seamless basics to trendier pieces to functional items like the Bellaband for Target.

“With all of our new brand launches, we’re focused on addressing our guests’ evolving needs and their desire for style, value and newness. Isabel Maternity is a prime example of that,” said Mark Tritton, EVP and chief merchandising officer, Target. “We know pregnancy is an important life moment, and we’ve set our sights on becoming the ultimate destination for moms-to-be. That begins with helping mom look and feel her best during all stages of her pregnancy and after. By partnering with Ingrid & Isabel–a true trailblazer–we hope to make mom’s journey into motherhood more easy, comfortable, fun and of course stylish.”

Moms-to-be can expect to find many of the attributes from the upstairs collection in the Target line.

“It all comes down to innovation and focus on fit. We tested every item on real, pregnant women to ensure we were producing a reliable and flattering fit for every stage of pregnancy and beyond,” said Ingrid Carney of Isabel & Ingrid.” The activewear and denim options are also outstanding—they feature our patented Crossover Panel, which offers moms-to-be some much-needed back support as the belly grows.”

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Hi-Tec Steps Into Apparel

Outdoor footwear brands Hi-Tec and 50 Peaks are expanding into apparel. Parent company Cherokee Inc. announced last week that it has entered into license agreements in several key growth categories, aimed to leverage the brands’ existing positions in the outdoor and active markets.

Tharanco Group will manufacture Hi-Tech and 50 Peaks men’s and women’s apparel. Cherokee tapped Interbrand to make accessories, including socks, gloves and hats for the two brands.

“Our portfolio of brands enjoys an authentic and rich heritage. We are proud to have the opportunity to expand our vision through these new partnerships,” said Ed Van Wezel, Hi-Tec Sports International Holdings B.V. CEO.

Cherokee Inc. acquired Hi-Tec in 2016 for $95.8 million with plans to convert the business to a branded licensing model. As part of a strategic post-acquisition plan for Hi-Tec, Cherokee Global Brands CEO Henry Stupp stated that the company is partnering with “industry-leading footwear, apparel and accessories specialists to ensure that the full potential of our Hi-Tec portfolio is realized.”

In December 2016, Cherokee inked a licensing agreement with Carolina Footwear to manufacture and sell Hi-Tec footwear.

Stupp added, “We have completed this important initial phase in just over six months through our agreements with Carolina Footwear, Tharanco and Interbrand. These deeply-connected, retail-savvy partners will allow us to quickly scale our newest outdoor and active lifestyle brands across multiple channels and categories.”

The new collections will be available in department stores and specialty and outdoor retailers throughout North America beginning early 2018.