Retail holding company Xcel Brands has sold a 70 percent stake in the brand to fellow licensing firm WHP Global, which also owns Anne Klein and Joe’s Jeans.
Founded by its namesake designer in 1987, Isaac Mizrahi was acquired by Xcel in 2011 for $31.5 million. It generates a large portion of its sales today via home-shopping channel QVC. Xcel will retain a 30 percent interest in the brand.
Mizrahi will continue to serve as chief design officer, while Xcel will continue to manage its QVC business. “I’m very excited to harness the power of my brand,” he said in a statement. “I couldn’t ask for better partners.”
Licensing firms have a reputation for buying famous but faded labels and milking them dry. Will Brooks Brothers, Barneys and others in bankruptcy today meet the same fate?