Rosie Assoulin (Wildflower Brands LLC) has signed a partnership with HIM Co. SpA, High Italian Manufacturing, that gets underway with the designer’s 2022 resort collection.
A specialist in manufacturing and distribution, HIM was formerly known as the Onward Luxury Group. With this new venture, Assoulin plans to broaden business in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. There are also plans to bolster its footwear and accessories offerings with a vegan approach.
HIM is not taking a stake in Rosie Assoulin, according to chief executive officer Max Assoulin.
The alliance will give the New York-based designer the opportunity for further scalability and growth. Sold via Moda Operandi, Saks Fifth Avenue, Net-a-porter, Browns, Bergdorf Goodman and other retail outposts, the brand is also available through direct-to-consumer channels.
The company will continue to manage its North American operations from New York, while coordinating with HIM Co. to service and support its European and Asian retail partners. Its new partner also collaborates with such brands as Rochas, JW Anderson, See by Chloé and Proenza Schouler. The deal is geared for giving Rosie Assoulin more creative freedom. Innovative and sustainable materials will be a priority and are in line with Assoulin’s design philosophy.
“The relationship will follow a strict ethical code of conduct as it relates to both labor and the environment,” according to a statement revealing the news Thursday.
Founded in New York in June 2013, the company began by producing everything in the city, and it has continued to manufacture the majority of its collection there. As a result, Rosie Assoulin is “very intimate with the product, suppliers and the people sewing the garments. Someone from our team is there watching it every day. What we wanted to make clear through the release was working with HIM, we have. [There’s] a lot of faith that they as our partners are going to be watching that process equally as diligently, as we do in the States.”
That said, the majority of the collection will be produced in Europe and not in New York, Max Assoulin said.
He said: “Our intention especially in this strange COVID-19 year was to figure out how to make the business more sustainable. How can we broaden a fashion business and do it sustainably for ourselves and our business partners? For Rosie and I, it really boiled down to: ‘How do we do what we do best and around what other people do best?’” he said.
Citing the Assoulins’ strengths as the creative, marketing and design elements, he said they were looking for a way to shore up production which can be challenging as a brand develops. He also noted that the link-up “will give us access to their deep knowledge and infrastructure, assure us creative freedom and allow both companies to focus on their core competencies, and do what they do best.”
A winner of the CFDA Swarovski award for women’s wear, the Brooklyn-born designer is adept at daytime and evening looks. The designer has been innovative during the pandemic. Last summer she introduced a natural wine and in the fall she was a participant in the Hyundai Re:Style 2020 capsule collection. She was one of a handful of designers who created something using discarded materials from car production to create repurposed fashions. For Assoulin, that meant a tote bag made from seatbelt webbing, carpet fabric and foam repurposed from automotive materials. The capsule collection was sold exclusively through Selfridges.