Nicole Miller majority owner Gordon Brothers has teamed up with Zaralo LLC to expand the designer’s fashion and lifestyle brand.
The partnership with Zaralo is seen as an important step in Miller’s evolution and Gordon Brothers’ plan to expand the brand’s portfolio of licensees, strengthen its e-commerce presence and develop more strategic wholesale and retail relationships, after making a majority investment in Nicole Miller in February.
As part of the deal, Miller will introduce a little black dress capsule collection in mid-October for the upcoming holiday season. The collection is inspired by Miller’s most iconic silhouettes from the archives and will be available on Nicole Miller’s website. Zaralo also offers Nicole Miller dress and sportswear collections for spring 2023.
“Our partnership with Zaralo will drive further growth of the already highly successful Nicole Miller business and allow the brand to continue to reach consumers globally,” said Carolyn D’Angelo, managing director of brands at Gordon Brothers, who oversees Nicole Miller. “Nicole Miller is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and our goal is to ensure that the brand continues to grow.”
Miller said: “It’s been exciting to look at my all-time favorite silhouettes and recreate them for this collection. Gordon Brothers truly understands the brand’s DNA and I look forward to our growing partnership with Zaralo.”
David Lomita, CEO of Zaralo LLC, added, “For our retail partners, we believe the combination of Nicole Miller’s iconic design philosophy and contemporary prints with the quality and practicality Zaralo is known for will resonate with today’s consumer.”
Miller told WWD, “I’ve been trying to get out of manufacturing as much as I can. I want to move the dress collection to our licensee. I’m going to make special and unique and more expensive pieces here, just a high-end collection,” she said. (Zaralo will produce ready-to-wear and the dress collection.)
Miller explained that when she started her business, she started with little black dresses, and moved into multi-colors. “That was one of the main things when I started my business that was really strong,” she said.
The capsule will have 10 pieces, including short dresses, a midi and some jumpsuits. It will retail from $169 to $250, which is more affordable than her previous dresses that were around $300 to $400. The size offer for the capsule will be 0 to 16.
Currently, Miller holds licenses for eyewear, shoes, handbags, luggage, children’s clothing and footwear, and home categories, as well as a European license for children’s clothing and ready-to-wear, and she remains involved in the design of the products.
Describing the dresses and sportswear for spring, Miller said, “Obviously I’m known for prints, and we’re doing artwork from here. We’re also doing a lot of linens and cottons going into spring.
“The quality is good and the fit seems to be good,” Miller added.
“There’s definitely a lot of room for expansion for Nicole, and she mentioned the international expansion of the brand,” D’Angelo said. Miller said she sees potential for expansion in Europe.
Founded in 1999, Zaralo specializes in women’s ready-to-wear and produces private labels for many retail partners. Brands include Zac & Rachel, Nanette Lepore, Sharagano and Nina Leonard.