Kellwood Company

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Kellwood Company
Industry Apparel
Founded 1961
Headquarters New York, NY
Key people
Joe Lombardi , CEO; Marc Babins, President, Western Region; Caren Belair Group President, Lifestyle & Juniors; Keith Grypp, General Counsel; Patricia Zabita, Vice President, Human Resources
Products Apparel
Owner Sun Capital Partners

Kellwood Company is one of the leading apparel manufacturers in the United States, providing great fashion for over 50 years. Known industry-wide for the ability to identify a white space and design into it with market precision, Kellwood develops, builds and manages brands for success.

Kellwood's portfolio includes Rebecca Taylor, Parker, Devlin, Briggs NY, Democracy, Jax, Sangria, Jolt, Rewind and My Michelle, as well as licensed brand XOXO. This diverse portfolio of Womens, Juniors and Girls apparel covers a wide range of demographics and price points that enable Kellwood to keep pace with the ever-changing fashion industry.

Throughout the years Kellwood leadership has continued to refine the company strategy to leverage its strength of building contemporary and fast fashion brands as well as private labels. Kellwood became an affiliated company of Sun Capital Partners, Inc. in February, 2008.


In 1961, fifteen independent suppliers of soft goods to Sears, Roebuck and Co. merged to form Kellwood Company. The largest of them being Ahoskie Manufacturing Co. owned and operated by George B. Smolen, a company once known as Smolen Manufacturing run by his father, Jacob Smolen. With its formation, the new company had 22 plants in 10 states and 7,000 employees. The original product lines included a wide variety of apparel, camping equipment and bedding.

Taking its name from two former Sears’ executives, Charles H. Kellstadt and Robert E. Wood, The first officers included Maurice Perlstein, president and treasurer; Fred W. Wenzel, vice president; Stanley M. Guthunz, vice president; Ovide de St. Aubin, Jr., vice president; and Howard Michaelson, Jr., secretary.[1]

The company experienced its greatest success under the leadership of William John McKenna, who served as COO and later CEO from 1982 to 1996. For Kellwood Company, McKenna acquired Smart Shirts, Cape Cod-Cricket Lane, American Recreation Products Ltd., Crowntuft Manufacturing Corporation, Slumberjack Inc., D Corporation Inc., California Ivy, Inc., A.J. Brandon, Inc., Parsons Place Apparel (now Sag Harbor), E Z Sportswear (now Melrose), En Chant'e Inc. (now ENC), Goodman Knitting Company, Inc., Dotti and Sierra Designs, and launched a Kathie Lee Gifford clothing label. Also under McKenna's term, Kellwood's sales surpassed $1 billion.[2]

The 15 original companies were:

  • Ahoskie Manufacturing Co.
  • Albert of Arizona
  • Biltmore Manufacturing Co.
  • Calhoun Garment Co.
  • Garver Manufacturing Co.
  • Greenfield Manufacturing Co.
  • Hawthorn Company
  • McComb Manufacturing Co.
  • Monticello Manufacturing Co.
  • Ottenheimer Bros. Manufacturing Co.
  • Oxford Manufacturing Co.
  • Rutherford Garment Co.
  • Siler City Manufacturing Co.
  • Southern Foundations
  • Spencer Manufacturing Co.[3]

In February 2008, Kellwood Company became an affiliated company of Sun Capital Partners, Inc.[4][5]

November 22, 2013, Kellwood and Sun Capital Partners complete the IPO of VINCE. under the ticker, VNCE[6] on the NYSE


In January 2010, Kellwood Company acquires ISIS,[7] an award winning outdoor company focused on women's performance and casual apparel.[8]

In January 2011, Kellwood Company acquires Rebecca Taylor, a contemporary sportswear brand created by New Zealand-born fashion designer Rebecca Taylor and her business partner Elizabeth Bugdaycay.[9] In July 2011, Kellwood announced its acquisition of Zobha,[10] a high performance yoga and fitness apparel and accessories company.[11]

In July 2014, Kellwood Holding, LLC announced its acquisition of Parker.

Brands owned by Kellwood Company[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kellwood Company - Company History". Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  2. ^ "Profile Kellwood". Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  3. ^ International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 8. St. James Press, 1994
  4. ^ "McDermott - Press Releases - Kellwood Company Acquired by Sun Capital Securities Group". Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  5. ^ "Kellwood Company: Private Company Information - BusinessWeek". Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Business Wire (2010-01-11). "Kellwood Acquires ISIS". Business Wire. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  9. ^ "Kellwood Acquires Rebecca Taylor - ST. LOUIS, Jan. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/". Missouri: Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  10. ^ "Women's Fitness Clothing - Yoga and Exercise Clothes Online - Zobha". 
  11. ^ "Kellwood Acquires Zobha - ST. LOUIS, July 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/". Missouri, California: Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  12. ^ "Parker NY". 
  13. ^ "The Devlin Collection". 
  14. ^ "The Kellwood Company". 
  15. ^ "Jax and Sangria". 
  16. ^ "Jax and Sangria". 
  17. ^ "Democracy". 
  18. ^ "Rebecca Taylor". 

External links[edit]