Authentic Brands licenses PVH for HMX furnishings

by Harry Sheff

PVHNEW YORK—PVH signed a five-year deal with Authentic Brands Group for furnishings under the Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx brands. The deal, which covers the US and Canada, also includes the offshoot brands Hickey and HSM 1887. The neckwear, dress shirts, underwear and loungewear collections are expected to launch for spring 2014.

“We are enthused to have partnered with PVH, the best-in-class licensees and can think of no better partner to maximize the distinguished brands Hart Schaffner Marx and Hickey Freeman in the North American market for shirts and ties,” commented Authentic Brands Group (ABG) CEO Jamie Salter.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” said PVH’s Mitchell Lechner. “Both brands have a terrific heritage in clothing and furnishings and this deal will afford an opportunity to start marketing them to better department and specialty stores.”

Asked about manufacturing, specifically whether or not any of the categories will be made in America as Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx suits are, Lechner said it’s too early to tell. “It could,” he said. “We do have the opportunity for domestic manufacturing (we do it with many of our better brands). We’ll look at what makes the most sense for each of the brands, whether it’s domestic, Italy or China—we just haven’t locked it in yet.”

This new deal marks a return to PVH for at least one brand. Hart Schaffner Marx neckwear was made by PVH until recently, when HMX’s previous owners decided to bring many licenses in-house.

Doug Williams, whose W Diamond Group acquired the operations of the former HMX Group and now produces Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx tailored clothing under long-term license from ABG, added that the Hickey by Hickey Freeman label will be coming back soon.

“The Hickey label hasn’t really been used,” he said. “We’ll bring it back in clothing, dress furnishings—really across the board. It’s an opportunity to expand the Hickey brand to a younger consumer and then graduate them into the Hickey Freeman brand. HSM 1887 is an opening price business we do with Dillard’s (not exclusive) in tailored clothing that will be expanding into shirts and ties.”

Authentic Brands has also licensed Concept One for Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx belts, wallets, small leather goods, hats, gloves and scarves.