Steve Madden Set to Buy Brian Atwood

Related: Steve Madden, Brian Atwood
Steve Madden Set to Buy Brian Atwood

Steve Madden is getting into the luxury game - WWD reported Steve Madden Ltd. purchased Brian Atwood from The Jones Group.

Madden said he was interested in the brand because "Brian Atwood is a premier designer and he's also American, which I love, although everybody gets upset when I say that. When you go to the floors at Barneys, there aren't many American designers. Brian is a Midwest boy and he's brilliant. We like that."

He also commented that, "We're already in contemporary. Now we're in superluxury as well. We're excited to be in both businesses."

Brian Atwood shoes will not be crossing over into Steve Madden stores thought. "We don't want to confuse the customer. We will open stores eventually as the market dictates and the desire for it increases. First we're going to try to identify and target open-to-buys in department stores. I'm going to work with Brian on making the right shoes and helping wherever we can," Madden said.

The new structure allows Atwood the ability to expand both his Brian Atwood and B Brian Atwood collections.

"I always had a buyback option in my contract," said the designer, who revealed that the deal took about eight months of negotiations. "The main thing is that I have operational and creative control of my business in Milan. For B Brian Atwood, Steve and I will follow the guidelines outlined in our IP entity."

The Madison Avenue store for the Brian Atwood designer collection closed recently because it was part of the Jones' real estate portfolio. He is currently seeking possible new flagship locations.

Atwood is also looking into expanding his luxury line. "The collection is just women's shoes, but handbags are possible. So is a men's capsule collection. The men's market has changed a lot. Men are more interested in fashion," he said.

The new team of Madden and Atwood haven't ruled out possibility bringing in new investors to help fuel the global expansion. Atwood commented that "door is open to those conversations" and Madden added that they'll be "opportunistic" regarding their options.

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