Brand owner WHP Global signed a long-term master license with Mexican lifestyle group IBV Licensing, which expects to launch its branded first line of women’s apparel, sportswear, home and accessories starting in late Fall 2020. Anne Klein-branded retail stores are slated to come next, opening in Mexico by Fall 2021.
WHP Global is a new brand management platform affiliated with Wave Hill Partners, an advisory practice headed by Yehuda Shmidman, the former CEO of fellow brand manager Sequential Brands Group. Backed by a $200 million equity commitment from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, WHP made the Anne Klein brand its first acquisition in July.
WHP plans to spend up to $1 billion in capital over the next five years on acquisitions. While the intellectual property assets of any consumer brand could be its next acquisition, Shmidman’s background in fashion suggests that the apparel and accessories sector could form the bedrock of brands that will become part of the company’s portfolio.
Most of Anne Klein’s footwear and sportswear sales stem from the U.S., although the recent expansion into China and the upcoming distribution in Mexico indicates that the overseas markets will become drive future growth.
“As we continue to invest in the Anne Klein business, we are pleased to see that demand for the brand around the globe is growing in tandem,” Shmidman said, adding that WHP sees additional “global growth opportunities in our future.”
“With its timeless fashion heritage and classic styling, we are thrilled to welcome Anne Klein to our portfolio of brands,” Patricio Ibarra, co-CEO of IBV Licensing, said. There is a significant opportunity for the brand to thrive “both in stores and online,” he noted.
“Anne Klein is a highly recognized brand in Mexico, and we are confident that Mexican consumers will receive it with great enthusiasm. The brand is iconic, elegant and classic, qualities with which Mexican consumers identify themselves,” said Jack Meschoulam, IBV Licensing’s other co-CEO.
Since the July acquisition, and separate from the partnership with IBV, WHP has inked a master license with 7GEGE for distribution in China, and a jeanswear license to launch Anne Klein Jeans with One Jeanswear Group.