This morning True Religion announces their licensing agreement with GMI that will diversify their product mix. Lifestyle is the keyword. This is only after six months since Michael Buckley took the post of President. If you remember when his appointment was announced he was cited as having "played a critical role in taking Diesel from a wholesale denim-based brand to a complete lifestyle brand."
True Religion Apparel, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRLG) today announced it has signed its first-ever licensing agreements for True Religion Brand Jeans branded lifestyle products including footwear, headwear, scarves, and gloves further diversifying its product mix and extending the reach of its brand into a broader lifestyle collection.
Under an exclusive agreement, GMI Corporation has licensed the worldwide rights to manufacture and sell True Religion branded men's and women's shoes, sneakers and boots, as well as sandals in both adult and children's sizes. GMI, based in Italy, is the current licensee for Levi's-branded footwear, and has earned a stellar reputation, spanning more than 40 years with top-selling apparel industry veterans, for quality, tailor-made shoes. Distributing throughout Europe, Asia-Pacific and the United States, GMI plans to launch the True Religion Brand Jeans footwear line at the WSA footwear and MAGIC apparel shows in Las Vegas in February 2007 and is expected to begin shipping to retailers in the fall of 2007.
True Religion also selected Paramount Apparel International, Inc., to design, develop and market worldwide the company's original branded headwear, scarves and gloves under an exclusive agreement. With more than 75 years of experience designing, manufacturing, embellishing and sourcing headwear for leading fashion and athletic apparel companies, including Nike and Timberland, Paramount plans to launch the new True Religion Brand Jeans program at MAGIC in February 2007 and begin delivering to retailers in the second quarter of 2007.
"We are extremely excited about these new ventures and are confident that both companies will serve as ideal partners to debut footwear, headwear, scarves and gloves next year and to continue to build a following for the True Religion brand," said Michael Buckley, president of True Religion Apparel, Inc. "We chose GMI for their ability to both make high-quality, trendsetting footwear and to promote them in the hottest showrooms around the world in Milan, New York and Hong Kong. Additionally, Paramount is sought-after for their high quality product and shares our core values with respect to innovative design and superior quality control." Buckley noted that the combined minimum guarantees on the two licenses will contribute more than $9 million to True Religion's operating income over the life of the agreements.
"GMI and Paramount are both standouts every year at the WSA and MAGIC shows, and we are truly excited to expand our product offerings with these new licensing agreements," said Jeff Lubell, chairman and chief executive officer. "This brings us one step closer towards our goal of becoming a vertically integrated, premium, global lifestyle brand, and we are thrilled to partner with GMI and Paramount on an exclusive basis. We are confident our customers will embrace the look that will be offered next year in our enhanced product offerings."
Press Release via Yahoo