G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. (“G-III") traces its roots back to 1956 when Aron Goldfarb, a Holocaust survivor, immigrated to the United States and established his own outerwear company located in the heart of New York City’s Garment District. As early as 1972, G-III began to diversify its offerings, when Morris Goldfarb, its current Chief Executive Officer and son of its founder, joined G-III. Morris introduced an entrepreneurial spirit to G-III which has propelled the company for more than forty years. Almost immediately, G-III expanded its sourcing, becoming one of the first companies to import outerwear from South Korea. This established a strong connection between G-III and the Pacific Rim manufacturing zone, which remains intact today. In 1981, G-III began expanding by launching its first division, Siena Leather Limited, an aspirational luxury leather sportswear company that catered to high-end department stores. In 1989, G-III became publicly traded and began intensifying its expansion efforts.
The early 1990’s was a period of rapid growth for G-III as it worked to broaden its outerwear offerings. Beginning with the Colebrook & Co. label, G-III launched a textile outerwear collection. In addition, G-III began manufacturing men’s outerwear, also under the Colebrook & Co. label. In order to further G-III’s reach, it started producing licensed merchandise for the National Football League through a partnership with two-time Super Bowl champion linebacker, Carl Banks. When G-III recognized the consumer’s preference for name brands, the Company began partnering with nationally recognized brands such as Kenneth Cole, Jones New York, Nine West and Cole Haan to produce branded outerwear under license agreements. By partnering with these national brands, G-III altered the landscape of how outerwear was marketed and sold in department stores in the United States.
G-III continued to license nationally recognized brands throughout the 1990’s in order to fill out a matrix of both men’s and women’s products. Seeking to expand on the success of its partnership with the National Football League, the Company established agreements with other sports organizations such as the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League and over 100 U.S. colleges and universities.
In July 2005, G-III acquired two very important businesses on the same day. By purchasing Marvin Richards and Winlit, G-III consolidated with two of its largest competitors and set the stage for a transformation of G-III, which included a significant expansion of management, merchandising, manufacturing and design expertise. An immediate benefit of the Marvin Richards acquisition was the addition of licenses for men’s and women’s outerwear under the Calvin Klein brand name. The purchase of Winlit granted G-III licenses for men’s and women’s outerwear under the Guess? brand name. These extra licenses propelled G-III to the forefront of the outerwear business. The acquisition of Marvin Richards had other benefits as well, as G-III expanded its Calvin Klein offerings to include women’s suits, dresses, performance wear, sportswear, handbags, luggage and cold weather accessories. G-III has become the second largest licensee for the Calvin Klein brand.
In 2007, G-III added to its dress portfolio with the acquisitions of Jessica Howard and Eliza J. At the same time, G-III expanded its license agreement with Ellen Tracy to include the production of women’s suits and dresses. These assets allowed G-III to establish itself as a powerhouse in the dress market. By 2011, G-III was manufacturing and shipping dresses under the following brand names…Andrew Marc, Calvin Klein, Eliza J, Ellen Tracy, Guess?, Jessica Howard, Jessica Simpson, Kensie, Marc New York and Vince Camuto. G-III is now one of the most dominant dress manufacturers in the United States.
In February 2008, G-III purchased Andrew Marc, a well-known brand. Andrew Marc, established in 1982, was a nationally recognized aspirational luxury outerwear company. G-III sought to develop Andrew Marc into a meaningful lifestyle brand and, as a result, G-III became a licensor for the first time. Andrew Marc now has license agreements for a number of different product categories. G-III has also used its in house capabilities to expand Andrew Marc to additional categories such as dresses, women’s handbags and men’s denim and related sportswear.
In 2008, entering the retail arena, G-III purchased the Wilsons Leather retail outlet chain, which now includes over 135 stores in over 30 states. The expertise of the Wilsons team has allowed G-III to expand retail with the opening of a limited number of Andrew Marc outlet stores and Calvin Klein Performance stores.
Continuing diversification efforts, G-III seeks to broaden the Company’s reach in crucial areas. For example, building on the Company’s license to produce Calvin Klein sportswear, G-III entered into an agreement in 2011 to design and manufacture sportswear under the Kensie label, a feminine yet edgy women’s lifestyle brand. G-III also has licenses with Kensie to produce other apparel and accessories.
In August 2012, G-III acquired Vilebrequin, a leading global provider of swimwear, accessories and resort wear. Vilebrequin sells its products through a large network of company owned and franchised specialty retail stores and shops, as well as through select wholesale distribution. G-III believes that Vilebrequin is a powerful brand and expects to add more company owned and franchised retail locations, increase wholesale distribution around the world and develop the business beyond its heritage in men’s swimwear, accessories and resort wear. This addition provides G-III with a premier brand selling status products worldwide.
G-III’s most recent acquisition took place in November 2013, when the company purchased G.H. Bass, a timeless heritage footwear brand that was founded in 1876. G.H. Bass is known as the original creator of the penny loafer.
An entrepreneurial culture flows throughout the organization at G-III. It has been essential in driving its diversification efforts and has enabled it to change its business model from being solely an outerwear producer to becoming a diversified apparel company. Today, G-III is proud to have a comprehensive portfolio of over 30 licensed and proprietary brands, including…Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Cole Haan, Guess?, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, Dockers, Jessica Simpson, Vince Camuto, Ellen Tracy, Kensie, Mac & Jac, Jones New York, Ivanka Trump, Nine West, and G.H. Bass, among others. G-III also has licenses with the four major professional sports leagues, as well as over 100 U.S. colleges and universities. In addition, G-III currently designs, manufactures and markets an extensive range of apparel, including outerwear, dresses, sportswear, beachwear, women’s suits and women’s performance wear, as well as luggage and women’s handbags, small leather goods and various accessories.
Still located in the center of New York City’s Garment District, G-III’s goals for the future are consistent with its storied past…produce great products that enable it to reach a broad spectrum of consumers; partner with nationally recognized brands to appeal to a brand conscious apparel market; and, perhaps most importantly, engage the entrepreneurial spirit that got it here by constantly seeking attractive new licenses and acquisitions to expand its reach and abilities.