Tara Subkoff plans collection for Bebe,diffusion line and selling Imitation of Christ - the Fashion Spot
 
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02-08-2007
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Tara Subkoff plans collection for Bebe,diffusion line and selling Imitation of Christ
excerpt from wwd

Subkoff Plans to Sell Imitation of Christ


Published: Thursday, August 02, 2007
By Rachel Brown
Imitation of Christ founder Tara Subkoff is seeking to sell the label to pair the manufacturing, advertising and distribution expertise of a strategic partner with her design talents.

The brand has gained recognition for its edgy clothes and runway shows, but has struggled to keep up with demand. Shipments of the fall-winter collection have been canceled. Subkoff started the line in 2000 with Matt Damhave, who exited the business in 2001.

"Unfortunately, it has gotten too big for me to manage on my own," Subkoff said. "It has been very 'Wizard of Oz,' the man behind the curtain. Everybody thinks it is this big thing, but it is actually just me."

Subkoff confirmed that Imitation of Christ has not been profitable this year, but declined to disclose specifics. She reported interest from one "large company" and "several individuals," but cautioned that a potential buyer would have to look beyond the balance sheet to properly evaluate Imitation of Christ.

"Because we did one-of-a-kind for so long, it doesn't make sense for a company in terms of a business strategy to look at numbers — they have to look at what it is worth in terms of being known," she said.

The boldest of Subkoff's plans is a capsule collection developed with the retailer Bebe called Tara Subkoff for Bebe. Launching for spring-summer 2008, she described the looks as "super wearable, really sexy and modern."

In addition, Josh Sparks, former chief executive officer of Sass & Bide, has teamed with Imitation of Christ to introduce a diffusion line called Imitation. Subkoff said the line is being released to a limited number of boutiques for fall-winter, and wider distribution is expected in the spring-summer season.


Subkoff has no plans to exit the brand entirely. However, she is willing to consider a variety of roles, from creative director to brand ambassador, depending upon the needs of the buyer.

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02-08-2007
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What is the value of this Brand?
How will that be calculated?

Based on my knowledge, there is no real business structure, No Archives, not much in the traditional sense of "business" that exist.
all there is is the Publicity and the name, It would have been better for her to seek some kind of investment, to develop a structure, before considering to sell it.

It will be interesting to see what the diffusion line will look like, as there is no real IOC look, to base it on,
She should have (if that was possible) continued the denim collection, as when i saw it, it seemed to be something that could have generated some kind of cash flow for the brand.

thanks Lucy92 for the article.......

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02-08-2007
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Bebe? oh lord. Easy Spirit is one thing but when I think of Bebe I just think of trackpants and a matching shirt, both emblazoned w/ crystal BEBE on them.

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02-08-2007
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i'm a collector of her garments.

her fall winter collection was quite gothic. its a shame it didnt ship.

still she has a NAME though.

she was on the cover of bust magazine this year. not many designers make covers of magazines.

i'm psyched about the bebe collection. it seems like bebe is really branching out with its parent company acquisition of biba. bebe may be cheesy in a lot of respects but the price and fit is OK.

i have to say im interested in the diffusion line as well.

i like the fact that tara seems to speak her mind about the industry in general. i wish her all the best.

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02-08-2007
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I'm not at all familiar with the label's financials and sales over the years, but zamb is on to something in regards to getting an investor. Why, if she had any sort of love or passion for making clothes for people to wear, did she go so long without a proper business situation going on?

If all you want to do is redesign vintage pieces to make one of a kind pieces, open a small boutique and do just that, don't do it on a high fashion scale.

As for the Bebe thing, that just seems like the oddest marriage. Bebe's all bling-bling clubwear and IOC is all pseudo-intellectual hipster pieces.

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Last edited by Spike413; 02-08-2007 at 04:08 PM.
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02-08-2007
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thanks for posting the article lucy...
nothing could hurt the company at this point...
the best thing that could happen is that she steps back and some real designers take over to produce a collection that might actually sell...

but as even she admits...a buyer is going to have to really build this thing from scratch...
there is no real business to speak of...
just her...
so what she really is looking for is someone to pay her to use her name...
and maybe do some PR work...

'ambassador'...??...
wtf?...that's what they used to call chloe sevigny when she was running around wearing their clothes and getting them publicity......
utterly ridiculous...

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02-08-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike413 View Post

If all you want to do is redesign vintage pieces to make one of a kind pieces, open a small boutique and do just that, don't do it on a high fashion scale.

well,she doesn't even do that anymore. was when matt was her partner but she abandoned that approach to try and design traditionally as it were...which is also a term i use loosely honestly,i don't see what's wrong with that if it's done originally and actually redesigned(a la margiela) which imo,it was more so,when they were doing that. but her technique is basic at best. she's a good stylist and knows how to put on shows,but she isn't an immaculate designer. bebe though...as everybody said...her personality matched with baby phat-like clothing chain....doesn't seem to fit.

and i completely concur,softie.

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02-08-2007
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I'm not a Tara Subkoff fan, although I did like a few of the shoes from the Easy Spirit stuff...it was a good idea.

On the subject of Bebe, I was in the Columbus Circle BeBe the other day. I would normally never go in there but I was desperate to find some kind of simple dress that I use for my after-workout dash to the train and they were having a sale. And to be honest, the stuff is usually so utterly ridiculous to me that I am a bit fascinated by it.

anyway in the front there was 'higher end' stuff, called something like "Collection Bebe" (I don't know...), some of which almost resembled something I might consider wearing. I have no idea who designed it but there was the interesting element to the piece here and there. It was priced starting at $100, going into $600 for some pieces I believe. Overall though the construction was not great, and the materials were so flimsy I doubted they'd even last through a single wearing. Some of the things were falling apart on the rack. It was all black, ivory, and white, I think with some gold or silver thrown in here and there. None of it was anything I'd expect to find in a Bebe store normally though. So yeah, it appears they're trying to branch up and out...

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02-08-2007
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i wonder how much it sold for...

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03-08-2007
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uuh-it hasn't sold dear...

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23-08-2007
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more on imitation, from wwd...




Quote:
When retailers started asking Imitation of Christ's Tara Subkoff to come up with a diffusion line, she knew she couldn't do it on her own.

During her quest to find a partner, she met with Josh Sparks and knew she had met her match. Sparks, former chief executive officer of the Sydney-based Sass & Bide, was clearly suited to help start the new line, simply called Imitation.

"Working with Josh instills me with absolute confidence that he is the right person to inherit this opportunity, and bring this company to the next level," she said.

Imitation, which will launch in the spring after a small capsule collection in stores for fall, is in Sparks' hands. In fact, Subkoff has removed herself completely from Imitation and is not involved in the design or production of the label.

"Tara approached me late last year and we initially discussed her desire to find a partner or to sell the Imitation of Christ brand," Sparks explained. "We came to a conclusion that the best thing to do was to launch a contemporary collection and free her up to concentrate on Imitation of Christ, which would be the higher-end line."

So Sparks took the reigns, purchased the Imitation name from Subkoff and hired designer Kasia Bilinski, who had worked in design for such labels as Tse, Richard Chai, ThreeAsFour and Naum. Based here at 336 West 36th Street, Sparks said Imitation is very different from the IOC collection designed by Subkoff.

"I'd like to maintain IOC's penchant for the innovative and the avant-garde, but with an emphasis on accessibility and wearability," he said. "IOC has that vintage inspiration. Imitation will have that, but it will be stripped back with a more modern edge."

Sparks said the idea was to create a collection of clothing that moves away from decoration and embellishments in order to focus on quality fabrics made from Italian silks, angora and lightweight wool. He also said a strong design focus was put into the lines and carefully placed seams to create a flattering fit.

"I want people to see the design of the garment, rather than the embellishments," he said. "This is meant to be an accessible luxury brand. It's beautifully designed, but at a price people can afford."

The line, which includes tunics, T-shirts, shorts, dresses and skirts, comes in a range of earth tones from beige, charcoal, ivory and sand. Each piece is meant to be layered or worn in various ways, such as with the buttoned vest that can be wrapped around as a skirt. The line wholesales from $55 to $190.

The capsule collection will be available at such retailers as Fred Segal Flair and Satine in Los Angeles, Joan Shepp in Philadelphia and Kirna Zabęte here. Sparks said he hopes to get the spring collection into more high-end specialty stores on a global scale. He expects to reach $4.5 million in wholesale volume for the first year, and plans to reach $25 million within three to five years.

"We have the supply chain to handle growth, but we want this to be a careful rollout and focus on growing a global contemporary brand," Sparks said.

Sarah Easley, co-owner of Kirna Zabęte, said she looks forward to selling Imitation this fall.

"Fashion is really fun when you can layer in lots of pieces," she said. "What I love about Imitation is that you can experiment with the textures and the shapes. It's a chic layering look. I also love that the line works so well with some of our higher-end lines, which is the bulk of what we sell. I can easily see someone layering a piece from Imitation with Lutz & Patmos or Balenciaga."

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10-09-2007
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tidbit from wwd

IMITATION OF FASHION WEEK: "I'm so relaxed — I feel like fashion week is going in slow motion," said Tara Subkoff, whose Imitation of Christ line is not showing this season. "I've never been a tourist for New York Fashion Week before." The designer had not planned to attend fashion week at all, but decided at the last minute to come back from a month in Bali to attend friends' shows, like Cynthia Rowley and Max Mara. She said she is attending shows this week "since I am trend forecasting," (though she carefully avoiding saying for whom). Subkoff added she will also unveil a design collaboration soon.

i wonder if she will get a job as a consultant at another brand.

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10-09-2007
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i doubt it...who would hire her...?
her own brand failed...

maybe she could go back to acting..
she was pretty good at acting like a fashion designer...

:p

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10-09-2007
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I much prefer her Norma Kamali rip-offs, tbh. This new stuff is basically regurgitated Sass&Bide. Never understood the mass appeal of either Imitation of Christ or Sass&Bide, rly.

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10-09-2007
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Oh well, the original celebutard collection on the rocks. To have called it a collection is a misnomer, they were nothing but rags.

Incredibly Obvious Crap.

Who is she kidding, inheriting the opportunity. Of what?!
A line built on sheer BS hype is exactly that.

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Last edited by Bidwell; 10-09-2007 at 10:17 AM. Reason: typo
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