It looks like Justin Timberlake is bringing sexy back around the world with his upscale jeans, and making some money in the process.
People’s Liberation Inc., the high-end denim brand that touts pop star Timberlake as a partner, is making more inroads in more countries.
The small Los Angeles-based manufacturer, which saw sales rise 27 percent last year despite an ebb in the luxury denim market, recently announced distribution deals for its William Rast luxury line in Italy and Russia.
Add those two deals to the company’s recent arrangements for distribution in Spain, Israel and Japan. The label is already being sold internationally at department stores and boutiques in Germany, the United Kingdom, Greece and the Netherlands.
«International business has grown 300 percent over the past year,» said Colin Dyne, the company’s chief executive.
In North America. the company distributes its products to higher-end boutiques and department stores including Nordstrom. Bloomingdales. Neiman Marcus and Fred Segal.
William Rast jeans start at $200 and go up to $250. The company’s original People’s Liberation label is priced a bit lower, topping out at $189 for a pair of jeans.
The success of the Rast line is showing up on the company’s financial statements.
People’s Liberation reported net income of $53,000 for the quarter ended Dec. 31, a significant improvement from the loss of $295,000 in the same quarter the previous year. Revenue was $5.6 million, up 27 percent. Total sales for 2007 were $20.3 million, compared with $16 million for 2006.
Its stock is traded on the over-the-counter Bulletin Board.
Over the past few years, the price of premium denim has dropped off significantly while competition in the sector continues unabated.
People’s Liberation denim lines compete against jeans produced by such companies as 7 for All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, Joe’s Jeans Inc. and Rich & Skinny Jeans.
«Today for a denim line to do well at $200, it must have a great fit, very cool color washes, intricate detail and silhouettes,» said Janine Blain, who heads the West Coast branch of global retail consulting firm the Doneger Group.
Timberlake co-owns the William Rast brand with longtime friend Trace Ayala.
People’s Liberation Inc. Los Angeles
CEO: Colin Dyne
Market Cap: $16.2 million
P/E *: N/A
EPS *: -$0.03
* Twelve months trailing.
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