After seemingly rescuing the Anne Klein label, WWD reports that Jones Apparel Group will be cutting off the line after the next shipment to stores. While Toledo will stay at Jones for the duration of her contract her days as Creative Director are numbered…– Joanne Molina, Senior Editor
NEW YORK — Jones Apparel Group is saying goodbye to the Anne Klein designer collection and its creative director, Isabel Toledo.
Tuesday, the apparel conglomerate said it was pulling the plug on the
collection after just two seasons to focus on growing the bridge Anne
Klein New York and better-priced AK Anne Klein collections.
move signals a major reversal of strategy for Jones, which launched the
designer collection with much fanfare in February for fall retailing.
While the upscale line was never viewed as a volume business for Jones,
it nevertheless promised to set a much-needed new tone for the brand
and serve as a halo for the other divisions.
were praised by the fashion press and opened up new retail
opportunities for Anne Klein in stores such as Barneys New York (which
Jones sold to Dubai investment firm Istithmar for $942.3 million in
September), Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, as well as specialty store
Ikram in Chicago. Resort, which typically hits stores next month, will
be the last shipment. The spring season, which was shown on the runway
during New York Fashion Week in February, will not be produced.
move is likely to send shock waves through the industry, since Toledo
and her illustrator-husband, Ruben, are well liked and highly respected
for their creativity.
Jones’ choice to shutter the collection
business also underscores the growing challenges of launching a
designer brand with costly runway shows and marketing campaigns in
today’s tough retail climate.
Toledo is expected to help wind
down the designer business and remain on board until her contract ends.
While Jones executives declined to disclose details of Toledo’s
contract, a source close to the company estimated that she was
contracted to stay on for approximately one more year.
appreciate all that Isabel has done for the Anne Klein brand through
her creative direction and her vision of the Anne Klein woman," said
Wesley R. Card, Jones’ president and chief executive officer. "Anne
Klein is perfectly suited for today’s environment, and that’s why we
continue to focus on Anne Klein’s better and bridge lines, as well as
footwear, handbags and accessories."
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