Adrienne Landau brand readies for e-commerce launch

Metaphorically speaking, waking a sleeping giant isn’t necessarily a good thing. Regarding beloved niche brand Adrienne Landau, whose business was built on fur outerwear and accessories, Meridian Brands hopes that awakening Landau will yield a fashion behemoth. The licensing firm, which was formed in 2021 in New York upon acquiring the private label design, sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution enterprise HMS Productions, added Landau in 2022 to its quickly expanding portfolio, which also includes mass-market brands Cable & Gauge, Cupio, and Sol & spoke to CEO Olin Lancaster and Landau herself on the e-commerce launch and direction for the revamped lifestyle brand.

Olin Lancaster – Adrienne Landau

According to Lancaster, Adrienne Landau was operating for over forty years but in an ‘isolated to narrow’ category with her fur-driven offerings (Landau converted her line to exclusively faux-fur in 2020), which had a ‘cult-like following’ and strong relationships with top US retailers. (To wit, the brand recently made custom faux furs worn by Beyoncé’s backup singers on the fashion extravaganza concert the Renaissance Tour has become.)

“There was an opportunity to infuse organization and some capital to build the brand significantly, respecting its heritage and brand. A focused, compelling sportswear collection is the first step in the journey,” Lancaster said over email. The agreement is a long-term master licensing deal.  After Meridian has satisfied minimum royalty guarantees, they will also own the Adrienne Landau IP. “We have a point of view and authentic messaging strategy around the product we believe is in a white space: superior quality and design and a clear message: effortless glamour,” he added.

Meridian Brands is moving the message beyond the fur association. Diversification is vital and comes at an interesting time when the debate over which is best, real or faux fur, boils down to personal value systems. Advocates for real fur argue faux is an environmental pollutant. Gen Z, which skews towards circularity in general, is discovering real fur in second-hand shops, usually relegated there after being deemed politically incorrect to wear, and thus, resale value is depleted. Lancaster and Landau, before him, firmly believe in the faux route going now and in the future. “We are committed to sticking with faux and working with our vendor partners to do it in the best and cleanest ways because we truly love our furry friends,” he confirmed.

Fall 2023 – Adrienne Landau

Thus, expanding the offerings is an opportunity to connect with today’s consumers, something Lancaster feels is a welcome challenge as the brand story dips heavily into Adrienne’s art and spirituality tied to the earth. “The quality and intent of the product speaks for itself- when these two values intersect with a new potential brand consumer, we know she will appreciate the message and how the clothes make her feel,” the CEO said.

The new e-commerce site for the newly reimagined Adrienne Landau brand will bow just as the fall fashion season kicks off, coinciding with the NYFW Spring 2024 collections. “We want to connect with the customer personally rather than just create commerce by offering interesting content and brand history as well as dynamic products to communicate the story through product,” he continued, adding, “We are focused on getting a share of the hearts and minds of the consumer. A share of the wallet is transactional; those focusing their investment there will fail over time.”

The site will offer both newly formed Adrienne Landau brand divisions, Quartz and Onyx. With a higher price point of $150 to $1000, Quartz “provides an experiential opportunity to feel like you own the room with a very personal and unique sense of style,” while Onyx, priced at $50 to $400 shares similar qualities but offers “incomparable value compared to the more accessible brands,” according to Lancaster.

“We build great products with compelling value; we don’t build products into key price points,” he said, adding, “Adrienne’s art, which is abstract, colorful, and filled with texture, is at the center of the design inspiration.” Styles feature actual paintings as prints with the Fall 2023 collection referencing artworks entitled ‘Antarctica,’ ‘Climate Change,’ and ‘Colorful Clay.’ The pieces are also equipped with actual crystals, something near and dear to Landau herself, who has been discovering the spiritual and metaphysical properties of crystals and minerals for years.

Fall 2023 – Adrienne Landau

Additional distribution will come via several channels. An in-the-works partnership with Goldner in Germany will allow the brand to utilize the outfit’s vast network as a digital portal operation in nine European Union countries for e-commerce sites there. This could inform physical locations. “We will learn a lot about our consumers there and ultimately how and where to activate a brick-and-mortar strategy with some good intelligence.” Working with Adrienne Landau’s president, Rosemary Mancino, Lancaster also plans to develop a wholesale model soon.

For her part, Landau is happy with the direction Meridian Brands is taking her namesake brand. She has stepped away from the day-to-day, and her role is strategic advisor. Landau weighed in on the purchase to over email, “I trust them to grow and evolve the brand. Meridian wanted to expand its fashion portfolio, and I wanted to extend Adrienne Landau into a lifestyle brand. Timing is everything as is the fit. After they saw the history of my brand and fashion archive, it was obvious that there was a synergy between their vision and mine for the brand.”

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