Swank: Founded in 1897; Swank, Inc. was acquired by Randa Accessories in 2012.See http://www.swankinc.com/ ANOTHER DAY, another heritage brand reboot.
RAY A. SMITH - WALL STREET JOURNAL
The latest labels to tap youthful, buzzed-about designers to pump new blood into their brands and reach younger men: Haspel, founded in New Orleans in 1909, and Kent and Curwen, launched in England in 1926. The former recently hired Shipley & Halmos designers Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos, while Kent and Curwen sought out British designer Simon Spurr. The partnerships are part of the second wave of menswear's heritage movement, a group that includes J. Press, a purveyor of American prep, which drafted twin brothers Ariel and Shimon Ovadia of Ovadia & Sons whose first collection for the 112-year-old brand debuted last spring.
Dedicated followers of men's fashion could be forgiven for experiencing a sense of been-there-done-that. Back when Thom Browne created a collection with Brooks Brothers in 2007 and Michael Bastian teamed up with Gant in 2009—partnerships that are still going strong—the trend was new and exciting. Some of the more recent pairings haven't generated quite as much wide-eyed enthusiasm, suggesting the onset of heritage-collaboration fatigue.
Volker Ketteniss, head of menswear at trend forecasting agency WGSN, acknowledged that the strategy is "a fairly well-trodden path," but said there's still an appetite "for good product in that combination of old and new." The key to success might be finding the right fit between the traditional brand and the young designer—one that makes sense to fans of both.
The designers and executives behind these three new pairings insist that their collaborations depart from the usual heritage-reboot playbook. And, in some ways, they do.