Adrienne Landau Business Gears Up for Second Act With New Partner Meridian Brands

Adrienne Landau has entered a new chapter.

The 43-year-old luxury fur and accessories brand (now with faux fur) has been reborn as a modern lifestyle collection. In a long-term master licensing agreement with Meridian Brands LLC, the Adrienne Landau brand has launched as an expansive collection for fall under the labels Adrienne Landau Quartz and Adrienne Landau Onyx. The collections are differentiated by their price point, fabrics, country of origin and make. Quartz retails from $150 to $1,000, while Onyx goes from $50 to $400.

The faux fur vest from Adrienne Landau Quartz and gold sequin top and skirt from Adrienne Landau Onyx. COURTESY IMAGE FROM ADRIENNE LANDAU

Meridian Brands is led by chief executive officer Olin Lancaster and president Rosemary Mancino. In addition to Landau, its other brands include Cable & Gauge and Cupio.

“We’ve been in acquisition mode,” Lancaster said. “We looked at Adrienne Landau right before COVID[-19], and circled back afterwards. Technically, it’s a master license after which we’ve satisfied our minimum royalty guarantees, we’ll own the IP, as well. We’ve invested in this heavily. It’s a real brand, she’s a real person and real creative force and still has a lot of energy.”

Over the years, Landau made a name for herself in luxurious fur and accessories and dabbled in apparel from time to time. “We got together with her, got to know her really well and looked at her archives and thought they were absolutely magnificent,” said Lancaster. “We felt this was a great opportunity to take a brand that had been around for awhile and was very well respected and had distribution in the best stores. Her business had been small over the years. We have the opportunity to provide working capital to build it back up. We’ve been at it together for a year,” he said.

“They’re perfect partners,” said Landau, who was visiting the showroom that day. “I felt like a bride when I walked through the showroom. They keep me involved, I love it. I feel like they really captured Adrienne Landau, the modern Adrienne Landau,” she said. “I want to wear everything in here.”

Long-term, the strategy is to extend the Adrienne Landau brand into other product categories such as swimwear, sleepwear, hosiery, fragrances, accessories and home furnishings. “Initially we’ve taken it into ready-to-wear,” he said.

A look from Adrienne Landau Quartz collection. COURTESY SHOT

For fall, Landau has sold the outerwear and fur accessories into stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks, and its ready-to-wear into some specialty boutiques and department stores. However, the strategy is to operate the business as a direct-to-consumer brand. The website launches Aug. 15, and the company has established a relationship with Revolve, as well as a partnership with a European fulfillment parter with digital distribution through nine countries, starting in November. “We see this as digitally led, but with wholesale as a complement,” said Lancaster.

A look from Adrienne Landau Quartz for fall. COURTESY IMAGE OF ADRIENNE LANDAU

Mancino said that people know the brand through Landau’s faux fur and cold weather accessories, “so it’s really opening up the lens and the view of building a lifestyle brand.” She said what was important in their approach “was a need in the industry for timeless glamour, beautiful clothes that she can wardrobe in simplicity and build.”

“This is the woman who just wants to look fabulous everywhere, all the time, at any price point. We wanted to make sure we were curating in a way that is luxury-minded at every price. While it’s one brand, there are two labels: Quartz and Onyx with the same intent,” she said.

Landau herself is involved as a consultant, but the brand has a dedicated design team working on the collections. There are design influences in the collection from Landau, who is an accomplished artist and whose paintings adorn the showroom.

Over the years, Landau has dressed stars including Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Patti LaBelle and Diana Ross in both her real and faux furs. In fact, at Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour Premiere in Stockholm last month, the performer’s back-up singers wore Landau’s custom white faux fur coats.

Reflecting Landau’s strong interest in spirituality, the collection features minerals, stones and crystals that are infused into some of the designs and influence the brand’s design philosophy. A crystal is embedded in every garment, whether it’s on the back of the neck or the cuff. Every key piece is named after a crystal.

In a walk through the showroom at 250 West 39th Street in New York, Lancaster and Mancino pointed out some Quartz styles that they’re calling Elements (core pieces), such as tailored jacket with detachable faux fur collar; tailored pants; fur vest, a backless vest, a sweater knit; wrap and a bustier. “Any one of these pieces she can buy as an assortment and can mix and match and layer upon,” said Mancino.

Then there are Enhancement pieces such as blouses and dresses inspired by some of Landau’s prints, halters, a double-breasted faux shearling long coat, long column tank gown, long-sleeved column dress, and faux fur vests. Quartz is manufactured primarily in Italy, along with Turkey and India.

In the Onyx collection for fall are vegan leather trousers, trench jackets, knit pants, pleated skirts, a tweed jacket, high-waisted ruched mesh skirt, sequined tuxedo pull-on pant, sequined tuxedo jacket, vegan leather moto jacket, high-waisted sweater knit pant, knit turtleneck sweater with detachable faux fur cuffs and a faux fur jacket, made primarily in China and other Asian countries.

Mancino noted that department and specialty stores are mixing both lines and bringing in some of each collection.

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