Adam Lippes is back at the helm of his namesake brand. The designer has bought back his name and intellectual property rights from brand marketing firm Kellwood, WWD is reporting. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Lippes also bought himself out of a non compete clause, meaning that the designer could partner with another company in the future.
Kellwood, which also owns Vince, Rebecca Taylor and a handful of other brands, acquired Lippes’ ADAM label two years ago, and while they’ve no doubt grown the company, introducing a HSN collection and staging large runway shows, in the end the fit just wasn’t right. Lippes said he wanted to move away from the big business corporate structure and that cultural differences got in the way of their ability to effectively work together. When Kellwood’s CEO Michael Kramer left the company for JC Penney in November 2011, it was the final straw for Lippes.
“Mike was really trying to invigorate the company and do different things,” Lippes told WWD. “It was challenging to integrate the two companies after Mike left. When they took over production, they wound up shipping very late. We were coming from two different places — a New York-based designer and St. Louis-based brand marketer.”
Lippes said he wanted to bring back the “charm and intimacy” of the business before Kellwood was involved, adding that he will stage a small presentation instead of a full runway show this coming season. Lippes will continue to work with his three-person design team, and will relaunch his signature Adam Lippes collection, as well as women’s and men’s basics under the Adam label, along with a handful of accessories.
“We are able to really think about the brand and do it as we think it should be instead of having all of these other big voices coming and telling us what to do,” he told WWD.
Needless to say, we can’t wait to see what Lippes will cook up for his first collection without Kellwood this September.