A new partnership aims to revive one of the most memorable labels of the Y2K era.
After emerging from bankruptcy in 2020, denim and lifestyle brand True Religion has undergone an internal restructuring and consumer-facing rebrand. Now the company has entered into a new licensing agreement with Concept One Accessories and Capelli/Ballet, divisions of the GMA Group. The duo will distribute cold weather accessories for men, women and children, True Religion headwear and fashion jewelry, as well as women’s handbags, small leather goods and hair accessories.
Launching in August, the collection will reference the designs that made True Religion famous, from horseshoe stitching to Buddha logos. Creative director Zihaad Wells will continue to lead the design.
“This partnership marks an important step in the resurgence of True Religion and we look forward to a very fruitful relationship,” said True Religion CEO Michael Buckley. Concept One is the license partner of Aeropostale, C&C California, Brooks Brothers and Fubu, while Capelli New York designs and manufactures footwear, accessories and jewelry.
The agreement is Concept One’s most extensive brand licensing commitment to date, “and represents our new go-to-market strategy that we will adopt as we approach new brands and licenses,” said the President and CEO, Sam Hafif. The company generated more than $1.2 billion in retail sales across 12 categories, with European and North American retail chains, he added. “
With True Religion, we see an opportunity to drive $50-75 million in retail sales,” he said. “We are thrilled with this partnership and the power of the True Religion brand. »
True Religion Executive Vice President, Wholesale and Licensing Paul Rosengard said the strategic partnership “builds on our commitment to elevate and nurture the True Religion customer experience, enabling all genders to enjoy of our brand in more categories”.
While the company emerged from 2020 with a “healthy balance sheet”, according to CEO Buckley, store closures during the pandemic saw revenues plummet 80% before True Religion filed a Chapter 11 petition. Denim brands struggled during the height of the lockdown. In recent months, the label has relied on collaborations and collections with pop-culture icons to reignite interest. True Religion tapped luxury streetwear giant Supreme last year for a 2000s-inspired line featuring baggy denim cargo jeans, denim jackets, hoodies and beanies and released a capsule collection with rapper 2 Chainz’ ten years after releasing the “TRU REALigion” mixtape.
Longtime fan Chief Keef, who released “True Religion Fein” in 20012, helped the brand celebrate its 20th anniversary earlier this month. “I actually wore True Religion head to toe at my first show and when this opportunity came up, I jumped on it,” the rapper said. On May 5, the duo collaborated on a line that included jeans, jackets, tracksuits and accessories in blue and black denim as well as pink and blue.