Liz Claiborne and Narciso Rodriguez part ways

In a joint statement Liz Claiborne Inc. and Narciso Rodriguez announced that they have agreed to terminate their business relationship initiated in May 2007. As a result of this agreement, Narciso Rodriguez will regain full ownership of the trademarks and business bearing his name. The financial details have not been disclosed. “Initially we both saw significant opportunities to develop the collection in multiple product categories, channels and geographies, but differences emerged as to how best to achieve this organic growth, and we have decided to terminate our business relationship by mutual agreement,” said William McComb, Liz Claiborne’s chief executive, in a statement. In May of 2007, Liz acquired a 50 percent ownership interest in the Narciso Rodriguez name and trademarks, and said it would form a new company to develop the brand.

The partnership marked Liz’s entry into the luxury designer segment, and Liz, whose brands include Juicy Couture and Kate Spade, was hoping to license the Narciso Rodriguez brand and extend it into accessories. Mr. Rodriguez said: “I am pleased that Liz Claiborne Inc. and I have found a mutually beneficial agreement. Ownership of my trademark and the company will give me the ability to explore a multitude of new opportunities and realize our full potential as a luxury brand.” Termination of Liz Claibornes involvement meens that Rodriguez for the first time has complete independence over the label he founded in 1997 in partnership with Aeffe SpA. The focus for the label will now be on finding a president and exploring various licensing opportunities.

Image: Narciso Rodriguez s/s 2009

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