Brand Management Firm, Sequential Brands Group, Buys Jessica Simpson Brand from Camuto Group

By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist

It would appear that Jessica Simpson’s star is continuing to rise as her namesake line has been acquired by Sequential Brands Group Inc. from Camuto Group for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock.

Brand management firm, Sequential Brands Group Inc., owners of Ellen Tracy, Linens-N-Things, Avia and others, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in the Jessica Simpson brand, which includes the Jessica Simpson Collection master license. Simpson, 34, will continue to own the balance of the equity of her company and chose Sequential as her new business partner.

The brand, which reportedly does $1 billion in retail sales, has been something of an anomaly in the celebrity-designer brand space in that consumers and the industry alike have embraced the label and mutually championed its success while so many other celebrity brands have faltered.

The late founder and CEO of Camuto Group, Vince Camuto, who died in January, bought the master license for Jessica Simpson in 2005 for $15 million. After launching in footwear, Camuto steered the brand successfully through licensees and retail partnerships to include 31 product categories, including footwear, fragrance, apparel, fashion accessories, maternity apparel, girls’ clothing and a home line. The line has 2,500 points of distribution worldwide, including Nordstrom, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Dillard’s and Belk.jessica simpson.001

The Camuto Group will continue to manufacture and distribute Jessica Simpson brand footwear as a long-term licensee. The balance of Simpson’s other licensing agreements are expected to stay in place, including Parlux Fragrances, Jones Jeanswear, Trebbiano LLC, and G-III Apparel Group.jessica simpson.002

“I am extremely honored to partner with Sequential Brands Group to continue the growth and integrity of the Jessica Simpson Collection. Working together with the powerful management team at Sequential and with all of our trusted retailers and licensees, including Camuto Group, there is no limit to our success. I’m as committed as I was 10 years ago. Here’s to the next billion,” said Simpson.

Jessica Simpson is an entertainment and style icon who successfully built an incredibly strong fashion brand with best-in-class licensees and leading retail partners. Together with Sequential’s global activation platform, we believe the brand will continue to grow in current markets and in new markets around the globe.

Yehuda Shmidman
CEO Sequential Brands Group

The deal is considered by many in the industry as transformative for Sequential Brands Group, who currently generates $2 billion in global retail sales. According to industry sources, Sequential is looking to grow the Jessica Simpson brand to $2 to $3 billion via global expansion and additional licensees.

Sequential is traded on NASDAQ and doubled revenues to $24 million compared to $12.3 million a year ago. Current brands include And 1, Avia, footwear brand Nevados, Linens-N-Things, Ellen Tracy, Revo, Caribbean Joe, William Rast, The Franklin Mint and Heelys.