Carol Spieckerman's Right Brain On: Old Navy's New Brand Maven

In her latest contribution as a Retail Wire panelist, Carol comments on Gap going outside to snag Old Navy's new fast-fashionista. 

Here's what she had to say..

It's nice to see Gap departing from its insular past by snagging a real fast-fashion maven (let's hope that he brings, not just the fast, but also the fashion). Gap had a window of opportunity when Uniqlo was playing wait-and-see. Hopefully it won't be too little too late as Uniqlo puts pedal to the metal in the U.S. (with designs on world domination).

Read the full discussion

Carol Spieckerman Talks Lifestyle Branding, Acquisitions, (and Mad Men) with Iconix COO, Yehuda Shmidman

In September, I had the pleasure of sharing the podium with Yehuda Shmidman, Chief Operating Officer of Iconix Brand Group, at LIMA’s inaugural Retail and Brand Conference in New York. Iconix (NASDAQ: ICON) is the second largest licensor in the world and, in the aggregate, the company generates over $12 billion in annual retail sales by managing and marketing a diverse portfolio of more than 25 consumer brands including PEANUTS / Snoopy, London Fog, Royal Velvet, Mossimo, and Joe Boxer. Mr. Shmidman also heads up global business development for Iconix and this year he was included in the “40 Under 40″ list by Crain’s New York.

In the first of two parts, Shmidman discusses lifestyle branding, Iconix’s diversification strategies, and the company’s recent brand acquisitions. The following is an excerpt

Carol Spieckerman: You’ve certainly been busy since I last saw you in New York in September. Just in this last week, we’ve heard about another exclusive deal with JC Penney, as well as the big announcement that you’re acquiring Sharper Image.

Yehuda Shmidman: That’s right.

Spieckerman: I think that’s a good place to start. Sharper Image is following Borders and Linens ‘N Things as the latest retailer to go from being store-based to more of a pure intellectual property model, and now you guys own it. In the old days, these brands would have just faded away. If the stores went away, the brand went away. What do you see as the possibilities today?

Shmidman: I believe that brands are valuable. So, regardless of whether a brand started as a retailer at one point, or as a shoe brand, like we did with Candie’s, or started in some other form, the intellectual property behind it has tremendous value and that’s what we look to leverage, to grow, and to continue to market. So for us, it’s not so much where a brand came from but where it can go, what it means to consumers, and what the emotional connection is.  Read the rest of the interview...

Read Part II

Carol Spieckerman On Walmart's Big Apple Apparel Exit

Carol Spieckerman speaks to WWD's David Moin about the closing of Walmart's apparel office. According to her, the farewell is about focus, not failure.

Read "Rethinking Apparel Again, Wal-Mart Shuts N.Y. Office"

article by: David Moin for Women's Wear Daily

published:  10/26/2011

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