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June 6, 2022updated 17 Jun 2022 5:40am

WHP Global takes majority stake in Isaac Mizrahi fashion brand

Brand management firm WHP Global is to purchase a controlling 70% interest in fashion brand Isaac Mizrahi from Xcel Brands, Inc.

By Fi Forrest

The transaction, valued at US$68m, includes $46.2m in cash proceeds to Xcel, a media and consumer products company with expertise in livestream shopping, which will retain a 30% minority interest in the Isaac Mizrahi brand.  

Under the terms of a services agreement with WHP Global, Xcel will continue to manage the QVC business with WHP Global and has entered into a new license agreement to design and distribute Isaac Mizrahi apparel in the US and Canada.

The Isaac Mizrahi brand is said to have generated more than $1bn in retail sales since its founding and today is among the top fashion brands on shopping channel QVC. 

“The Isaac Mizrahi business has grown for 12 years straight under Xcel’s stewardship, and we’re pleased to now partner with WHP to continue the brand’s global momentum,” says Robert D’Loren, chairman and CEO of Xcel Brands. “Selling a majority interest in the Isaac Mizrahi brand is a transformative moment in Xcel’s history and represents the first time we have monetised one of our brands since Xcel was founded in 2011.  

“Xcel is now debt-free, with over $17m in cash and $22m of working capital on our balance sheet, which will help fuel a number of our upcoming strategic initiatives as we concentrate our resources on growing our brands, new brand launches and investing in livestreaming technology platforms and partnerships.” 

With the addition of Isaac Mizrahi, WHP Global owns and manages over $4.2bn in retail sales across its portfolio of brands.

Isaac Mizrahi will continue to serve as chief design officer of his namesake brand.

Yehuda Shmidman, chairman and CEO at WHP Global, adds: “We see meaningful opportunities to expand the brand by leveraging WHP Global’s platform and the reach of our fashion vertical, which now includes Anne Klein, Joseph Abboud, Joe’s Jeans, William Rast and Isaac Mizrahi.” 

The Isaac Mizrahi brand features a variety of product categories, including sportswear and footwear. It is available across various distribution channels, including department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Hudson’s Bay.

Last November, WHP Global and Centric Brands jointly entered a deal to acquire Joe’s Jeans from Sequential Brands Group. 

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