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Vince's 4th Quarter Sales Went Up 20% With No Creative Director

Things are looking good for the contemporary label, which also had a $200 million IPO.
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Yoox wasn't the only company to have a solid fourth quarter: Things are going well for New York-based contemporary label, Vince, as well. The company has had an eventful year including changes in its creative control and a very lucrative IPO. And Thursday, the company released its fourth quarter and fiscal 2013 results and both have gone up significantly. Q4 sales went up 20.5 percent from the year before, and total sales from 2013 increased an estimated 19.9 percent (full results won't be released until March 27). Comparable-store sales were up 12.2 percent, marking the company's 17th consecutive quarter of comparable-stores growth.

The positive results follow the company's IPO, which hit the market in November and raised $200 million. Vince is currently trading at $26 per share.

The brand's e-commerce and other direct-to-consumer channels (i.e., brick-and-mortar stores) seem to be responsible for most of the sales growth. CEO Jill Granoff said that in the fourth quarter, direct-to-consumer sales went up 37 percent, while wholesale sales increased 17 percent. Granoff attributed that growth to "strong comparable store sales growth, the addition of six net new retail stores and solid sales growth in our e-commerce channel." The brand relaunched its website in February.

The fact that the brand switched creative hands twice in 2013 doesn't seem to have had much of an effect, at least not a negative one. The company brought on Doo-Ri Chung last January and she left in October, meaning, presumably, that she was responsible for the styles on racks during the fourth quarter. The company gave president Karin Gregersen the additional title of chief creative officer and said it did not plan to replace Chung, instead having Gregersen oversee the existing design and merchandising teams. It makes sense, as long as Vince, clearly a commercial brand, is giving its customers what they want -- cozy, great-quality knits and other nice-looking wardrobe staples -- the creative direction isn't really that important.

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