Paul Davril, Inc. to Launch Kenneth Cole Reaction Men's Sportswear
Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. and Bernard Chaus, Inc. announced today that they have signed a licensing agreement for Chaus to manufacture and sell women's sportswear under the Kenneth Cole Reaction label. Kenneth Cole Productions also announced that Paul Davril, Inc., its longtime Kenneth Cole New York licensee, would be launching Kenneth Cole Reaction men's sportswear. The launches represent a major step in the Kenneth Cole Productions' strategic initiative to build Kenneth Cole Reaction as a full lifestyle brand and to elevate the positioning of the Kenneth Cole New York brand. Both the women's and men's Kenneth Cole Reaction sportswear lines will be available commencing with Spring 2006 deliveries.
Paul Blum, President of Kenneth Cole Productions, said, “We are pleased to welcome Chaus, a leader in sourcing and design, to our group of licensing partners. Adding Kenneth Cole Reaction women's and men's sportswear to our existing classifications will continue our expansion strategy and enable us to achieve our corporate goals of creating a full Kenneth Cole Reaction lifestyle brand. We also look forward to building on our strong relationship with Paul Davril, Inc. and are enthusiastic about the opportunity to expand on their well-demonstrated capabilities to build a significant Kenneth Cole Reaction men's sportswear business. We are also excited about the repositioning of our Kenneth Cole New York sportswear, which we believe will take our brand and business to the next level.”
Under the women's sportswear agreement, Chaus will produce and distribute Kenneth Cole Reaction women's sportswear, which will be sold nationwide at major retail department stores and select specialty stores. The collection will offer high-quality fabrications and styling at better price points. Chaus will ship the first deliveries of Kenneth Cole Reaction women's sportswear for Spring 2006. The companies also announced that, in connection with the licensing agreement, Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. has made a $6 million equity investment in 6 million newly issued shares of Chaus common stock.
Josephine Chaus, Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of Chaus, stated, “We are very excited about the opportunity to partner with Kenneth Cole and his talented team to develop and launch Kenneth Cole Reaction women's sportswear. Kenneth is among the most creative designers and marketers in our industry today, and the Kenneth Cole Reaction brand name is exceptionally well known and respected. We are delighted that, in addition to signing the license agreement, Kenneth Cole Productions has demonstrated its confidence in our capabilities and potential by investing in our stock. We look forward to using our expertise to build the new line and capitalize on its immense potential.”
Under the men's sportswear agreement, Paul Davril Inc., will be launching Kenneth Cole Reaction sportswear for Spring 2006. PDI has been the licensee for Kenneth Cole New York men's sportswear since 1997 and expanded into Kenneth Cole New York women's sportswear last year. The launch of Kenneth Cole Reaction sportswear will allow Paul Davril, Inc. to elevate the positioning of the Kenneth Cole New York men's and women's sportswear collections. These collections are expected to deliver higher levels of design and quality, consistent with the successful Kenneth Cole New York footwear and accessory strategies. Kenneth Cole New York sportswear will be sold in a more exclusive distribution and at more contemporary price points.