James Campbell Acquired by Hampshire Group

by Harry Sheff

Hampshire Group has acquired the privately owned James Campbell Brands from Maverick J, LLC a Rick Solomon Company for an undisclosed amount. The James Campbell group of better menswear brands include brands James Campbell, J.Campbell, Cultura International and Malibu Cowboy. The Calif.-based brand is distributed to better specialty stores and department stores, including Nordstrom.

A look from James Campbell's current collection
A look from James Campbell’s current collection

Designer and merchandiser James Campbell, who founded the brand in 2006, will remain in place, as will his team.

Hampshire Group estimates annual revenue for James Campbell to be about $8 million with a much better margin than Hampshire gets from its licensed businesses and its manufacturing operations.

“We’re going to expand the brand into different categories—they do mainly wovens so we’ll start doing knits and sweaters. They were doing clothing in a very minor way so we’re working on a concept to expand that.” said Hampshire CEO Paul Buxbaum. “They’ve done a little business in Canada; we’ll expand into other markets as we see traction over the next few years.

The acquisition is part of a diversification strategy led by Buxbaum, who says he has more deals in the works for this year. “We’re looking at several acquisitions right now,” said Buxbaum. “We’re in deep discussions with some well-known brands about how we can put them on our platform.”

One accidental deal is for the Scott James brand, which has rejoined Hampshire after the sale last summer back to its designer, Scott Kuhlman, fell through.

“We now have Scott James back again without Scott Kuhlman,” explained Buxbaum. “We’re going to look at a possible relaunch in the market. We’ll evaluate the product lines and put together a team and see how it could re-enter the market in a different way.”

Hampshire Group’s core business has been knitwear; it acquired Honduras-based manufacturer Rio Garment in 2011. Current CEO Paul Buxbaum, who was previously chief executive of Haggar, came on as a board member around the time of the Rio deal and became CEO following Heath Golden’s departure from Hampshire in January 2013.