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WHP Global Expands Anne Klein Into Intimates

Brand management firm WHP Global is extending its women’s fashion brand Anne Klein into the intimates category through a licensing agreement with Vandale Industries, Inc. The Anne Klein Intimates collection is slated to launch in Fall 2021 and will be carried on and in select department stores, e-commerce sites and specialty retailers in both the U.S. and Canada.

Anne Klein Intimates will include a collection of bras, underwear, daywear intimates and shapewear designed to encompass the brand’s ethos of providing sophisticated, timeless, and well-priced fashion to today’s modern woman.

Vandale appears to be a natural fit for WHP given its status as an importer and distributor of women’s intimate apparel. Its products in daywear, sleepwear, shapewear and activewear can be found in department and specialty stores across the U.S. and Canada.

“Vandale is a leader in the intimate apparel industry. We have been fortunate to partner with Vandale in the past and we have seen their ability to create strong product with great placement,” said Effy Zinkin, chief operating officer at WHP Global in a statement. “Partnering with Vandale for Anne Klein intimates represents our drive and focus to grow the Anne Klein brand with the best, most influential partners in each category. As we continue to deepen the brand assortment, we view the addition of Anne Klein Intimates as yet another step towards strengthening our core women’s business.”

Vandale distributes product under its own private brands, as well as its licensed brands, which include Anne Klein, Izod, Jessica Simpson, Rampage, Dollhouse and Hard Candy.

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“Anne Klein is an iconic American brand that has managed to emerge from the pandemic as strong as ever through continued investment in marketing and constant communication with its customer,” said Kim Kalosinis, vice president of sales and merchandising at Vandale in a statement. “With those tenants as pillars, Anne Klein intimate is able to fill a void in the market of ladies’ lingerie focusing on fit, comfort styling in great Anne Klein prints and staple colors. We look forward to creating a collection that will offer high quality ladies intimates at a desirable price point.”

This move into intimates is the last expansion under WHP, which has brought Anne Klein into key markets including China, Mexico and India, and added new categories including a line of women’s denim apparel, a home goods line and a full line of cold weather goods, hats, belts, and hair accessories.

WHP is a newcomer to the apparel space, only having launched in July 2019, with the ambitious plan to invest up to $1 billion in consumer brands by 2024. Anne Klein was the first brand WHP acquired, with the firm announcing the deal upon its public launch. WHP bought the fashion company from Premier Brands Group for an undisclosed sum.

The company’s aspirations make it a competitor to other major brand management companies such as Authentic Brands Group and Marquee Brands, with all three looking to spread their portfolio via new acquisitions. As apparel retailers lost their footing both prior to and during the Covid-19 pandemic, brand management firms looked to scoop up properties that may not have been maximized to their full potential. Most recently, Authentic Brands has expanded this effort into acquiring full retail operations that have been unsuccessful in recent years, partnering with Simon Property Group to acquire Brooks Brothers and Lucky Brand Dungarees out of bankruptcy.

In March, WHP acquired men’s fashion brand Joseph Abboud from Tailored Brands for $115 million, with the companies entering a licensing agreement to continue selling the brand across the Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A Bank, K&G Stores and Moores banners. Since its launch, WHP has been backed by $350 million in investments managed by Oaktree Capital Management.

So far, Anne Klein and Joseph Abboud are the only brands under WHP’s portfolio, but the brand manager estimates they do a combined gross merchandise value (GMV) of $1.4 billion annually. According to WHP, Anne Klein generates more than $700 million in global retail sales with product distributed by partners including Steve Madden for footwear and handbags, Kasper Group for sportswear, E. Gluck for watches, Herman Kay for outerwear, ONE Jeanswear Group for denim, Komar for loungewear, Sunham Home Fashions for home goods, and Marchon for eyewear.