Bluestar Alliance, the parent company of Nanette Lepore and Catherine Malandrino, is set to serve up a side-order of nostalgia.
The New York-based brand management firm recently revealed it had bought the trademarks to tween retail chain Limited Too and plans to open up to 200 stores over the next five years.
Limited Too first came on the scene in 1987 as a spinoff of The Limited women’s retail chain and ruled the ’90s as the go-to mall store for glittery apparel and accessories for preteen girls. At its peak it had about 600 locations, but the chain was discontinued in 2008 when owner Tween Brands converted most of its stores into Justice.
Now Bluestar has big plans for a comeback. The company acquired the Limited Too nameplate from Sun Capital Partners, the private equity firm that owns The Limited, in order to capitalize on the “special place” the label occupies “with the millennial moms who are now having children of their own.”
Unlike the Limited Too of yesteryear, Bluestar COO Ralph Gindi is in discussions to distribute the merchandise in department store shop-in-shops and e-commerce in Fall 2016—just in time for back-to-school season—though some stand-alone storefronts are in the works, too.
Several licensing partners have signed on to produce goods for different categories that “stay true to the brand DNA and mantra of ‘It’s a Girls’ World,’” as Rebecca Karakasli, vice president of marketing, put it: Longstreet Apparel for girls’ sportswear; Jay Franco and Sons for bedding and bath products; United Legwear for hosiery and sleepwear; and H.E.R. Accessories for jewelry, hair and cosmetic collections. Partnerships for additional categories such as apparel, home décor and accessories are in talks.
Joey Gabbay, CEO of Bluestar, described the upcoming revival as filling “a void in the market where fashion, fun and value are all in sync.”