Contemporary ready-to-wear brand French Connection has signed a licensing agreement for the distribution of jewelry with Almar Sales Co., leading manufacturer and supplier of fashionable accessory products. The collection will launch during Nov. market to ship in Spring 2018.
Almar President Designer Jewelry Mara Perlmutter says the line will feature about 100 SKUs with a core retail price range of $34 to $75 comprised of mostly metal-based contemporary styles. The collection will also include standout pieces crafted from exclusively cut resin and mixed-material styles to complement the metal direction. Silhouettes include necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings designed to be worn individually or layered for a statement look.
“French Connection is a 45-year-old brand, but it’s really having a resurgence,” Perlmutter adds. “It’s a strong contemporary lifestyle brand at Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and also in the specialty market. So far we’ve gotten a great response.”
The partnership, Perlmutter says, was kismet. French Connection was looking to aggressively expand its lifestyle brands (also launching fragrance, home and lingerie) and had recently ended its relationship with Carolee. Almar was seeking a contemporary RTW brand that wanted to expand categories. “We used to be the licensee for Sam Edelman,” she notes, adding, “We were looking to fill that gap in the contemporary trend vein.”
French Connection was a natural choice—Perlmutter says it’s easier for RTW brands to gain traction in jewelry than footwear brands. “With RTW brands, we can capture the girl who shops ‘head to toe’ and more easily design into featured silhouettes (i.e. high necklines vs. V necks) and clearly focus on the lifestyle, DNA and brand values property,” she notes.
The line rounds out Almar’s portfolio including Laundry by Shelli Segal (which trends slightly higher end and more sophisticated) and The Sak, which is more California bohemian. “French Connection is younger, cooler,” Perlmutter adds. “This for us, in terms of building a portfolio, adds contemporary fashion trend aesthetics.”
The target distribution channels mirror French Connection RTW collections, including major department stores (Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor), specialty stores and French Connection retail stores. The collections launch date is for November 2017 market and will deliver to the store in Spring 2018.