Well, that was short lived. Perry Ellis' collaboration with Duckie Brown, in an attempt to penetrate the luxury market, has ended a year into the collaboration. The partnership was meant to go toe-to-toe against Brooks Brothers' Black Fleece collection (designed by Thom Browne) J. Crew's multiple collaborations, and other lower priced companies that have tapped high-end designers to broaden their fan base and offering. Daniel Silver, one half of the Duckie Brown duo, announced the split last Tuesday after co-designing two full collections for the brand that were priced as high as $150 for shirts and $1,000 for outerwear.
The New York Times quoted Silver, The contract has come to an end. We are so pleased we were able to do two fabulous shows for them, and we were able to make the name Perry Ellis part of the fashion conversation, and we wish them the best of luck.
We're still in the dark about why the collaboration ended so soon, but it's believed that the Perry Ellis brand was a hard sell because of its reputation for being the go-to brand for the older customer. History repeats itself for the brand that ran into this issue 10 years ago with their womenswear collection that was designed by Patrick Robinson and only lasted three seasons.
Perry Ellis' president, Carmine Petruzello, confirmed the split and said, The experience taught us that the higher-end market was not ready for this collaboration, but we will continue to be inspired by these two terrific collections as we move forward with renewed focus on our mainline Perry Ellis brand.
This is an issue that JC Penney ran into as well. It turns out that even though menswear is slowly catching up to womenswear in profitability and creativity, it is still, at the end of the day, slow. Unfortunately for Perry Ellis, their core customer has no intention of changing anytime soon.
Via [New York Times]