The ladies behind the phenomenon that was Juicy Couture's velour tracksuit, Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor, left the brand they founded in 2010, eventually going on to found their own label Skaist-Taylor. But they may be headed back.
WWD reports that the girls are trying to buy back Juicy Couture from Fifth & Pacific Cos. (formerly Liz Claiborne), who acquired the brand in 2003. And they might--Fifth & Pacific is reportedly looking to sell Juicy to raise money for the expansion of Kate Spade.
Despite an apparently strong retail business (thanks in large part to outlets), Juicy Couture has yet to generate the level of excitement it did when its founders were in place and $100+ tracksuits were still desirable.
But if they do return to the brand, could Skaist-Levy and Nash-Taylor make it cool again? The stuff they make now definitely has the same "California luxury" feel as their designs for JC, but is a bit more rock 'n roll. It's cute and thus it sells well--everywhere from Neiman Marcus to Net-a-Porter to Nordstrom.
They're not exactly pushing the boundaries of fashion, but their stuff is certainly more exciting than anything we've seen from JC in a while. A more affordable version of it could work for the brand and the shoppers who are still interested in it. Retail experts also seem to think Skaist-Levy and Nash-Taylor could be just what the brand needs.
“If anyone can turn the brand around and give it back its energy, they can,” Gary Wassner, co-ceo of Hilldun Corp., told WWD. “They know who they are designing for. The product never evolved once they left the company.” Mary Epner, who heads up Mary Epner Retail Analysis, told the trade, “Consumers are interested in athletic apparel. What they want is nice-looking, comfortable apparel. They run around all day long in Lululemon. That’s what Juicy used to be. Can someone stay in the same vein and update the look for 2014? That’s the question.”
Could a new era of the Juicy tracksuit be upon us? Stay tuned.