Printer Friendly


 LOS ANGELES, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Carl Jones, president and chief executive officer of Threads 4 Life Inc., the nation's leading designer and marketer of urban styled apparel, today announced a major change in strategic direction that will consolidate the company's meteoric gains of the past three years, and move Threads 4 Life to its next major plateau of growth.
 Threads 4 Life, which last year won the INC Magazine "Entrepreneur of the Year" award and was named by Black Enterprise Magazine as the number one black company in the nation, designs and manufactures sportswear under the Cross Colors and Karl Kani labels.
 Jones said that Threads 4 Life will immediately begin to transition to a licensing company and significantly de-emphasize its "hands-on" manufacturing capability. He pointed out that "While we will certainly maintain a manufacturing position, it will no longer be `in house' but rather with `manufacturing partners,' who will make and ship products with our designs."
 He pointed out that "with the phenomenal growth we have achieved since we began in 1990, we have built a strong foundation of knowledge and constituencies. I determined, however, that to achieve the next level of growth, Threads 4 Life must embark on a new avenue, one that will allow us to broaden our opportunities for the great design expertise upon which our business was built. That strategy, naturally, includes licensing.
 "Licensing will provide us with a freedom to produce new products for new markets. Our time will be better spent, I believe, developing and designing for our quality licensees.
 Jones also announced Threads 4 Life's first major licensee - Skechers Inc., founded by the former chairman of L.A. Gear, Robert Greenberg. Skechers, in a "licensing partnership" with Threads 4 Life is now producing and marketing the Karl Kani and Cross Colors footwear lines.
 "This is a perfect example of our new strategy," Jones pointed out. "We wanted to enter the footwear market for some time now, yet we did not have the expertise or the logistical knowledge to achieve that objective. In our licensing partnership with Skechers and Robert Greenberg, clearly one of the nation's leading and most successful creators of fashion footwear, we will certainly attain our goal of adding a wildly successful footwear line to the Karl Kani and Cross Colors signatures.
 "Delivery of the Karl Kani footwear line has already been extremely successful according to a broad spectrum of retailers," Jones stated. He added that "many stores are reporting tremendous consumer response, with many styles selling out in the first week." Jones also pointed out that earlier this week Threads 4 Life launched the first stage of a continuing $500,000 television advertising campaign for the Kani footwear line on MTV, Black Entertainment Network (BET) and network television. "We will be announcing the details of a full blown national advertising program for the line early next week," Jones said, adding that "We will also be launching a major Cross Colors footwear advertising campaign in April 1994, around Easter."
 Threads 4 Life said it is offering a full range of licensing opportunities in broad spectrum of industries, including men's, women's and children's apparel lines, as well as an extensive range of accessory lines including eyeglasses, underwear, athletic bags, hats, socks, belts and wallets. "Clearly, the range of opportunities in this area is immense," Jones said. "The demand for license agreements is currently so significant that it will allow us to select entities of the highest quality for licenses, thus maintaining our excellent reputation for quality, style and design."
 Threads 4 Life also announced that it has retained Apparel Connections International, one of the nation's leading licensing agents, to advise and assist the company in the development of the "licensing partnerships." Chuck Gilman, chief executive officer of Apparel Connections, said, "The phenomenal success of the Karl Kani and Cross Colors lines makes this a rare opportunity in the licensing industry. We are looking forward to working with Threads 4 Life and developing a broad range of quality licensees for the Cross Colors and Karl Kani labels."
 Jones also announced that he has retained a number of sales and management consultants to strengthen the company as it moves from its early entrepreneurial stage to new levels of business and financial maturity.
 With regard to some negative rumors about the viability of Threads 4 Life, Jones stated, "In connection with the execution of this new strategic plan, we have been downsizing our workforce in some areas that relate to production. As we move forward, towards our goal of having our products produced by outside `manufacturing partners,' there is a natural and significant reduction in headcount. This reduction sparked a host of negative rumors, which were just that: rumors. We are designing apparel, we are producing apparel, we are booking orders and we are shipping. Moreover, with our new direction and strategy determined, our staffing levels are now appropriate to achieve our objectives. And, we will be introducing our new lines at MAGIC, the major menswear trade show of the year, in Las Vegas next February."
 -0- 12/2/93
 /CONTACT: Steven D. Stern, 310-471-5123/

CO: Threads 4 Life ST: California IN: TEX SU:

LM-MF -- LA029 -- 9938 12/02/93 15:52 EST
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 2, 1993

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters