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Gela Nash-Taylor and Pamela Skaist-Levy, the blond duo who brought the Juicy tracksuit to ubiquity in the early aughts, want their old brand back.
WWD reports that the two have "have been reaching out to private equity firms," in search of an investor to help them buy back Juicy from Fifth & Pacific Cos., who is shedding Juicy and Lucky Brand in order to focus on Kate Spade. So far, Skaist-Levy and Nash-Taylor have yet to find an investor to partner with, sources said.
The pair started Juicy Couture with $200 and grew it into a global brand, eventually selling it to Fifth & Pacific (then Liz Claiborne Inc.) for more than $230 million. Skaist-Levy and Nash-Taylor left the firm in January 2010, founding their current, higher-end Skaist-Taylor label that same year.
Though Juicy's profits have been in decline, analysts seem to think there's potential for a revival by putting the founders back in charge of creative direction. "It tells a great story, it could be a redemption story," an analyst at Wedbush Securities speculated.
"Juicy is still a great brand in spite of everything.?It still has a loyal customer base." agrees Mary Epner of Mary Epner Retail Analysis. She thinks there's a market for the kind of loungewear Juicy is known for. "Consumers are interested in athletic apparel. What they want is nice-looking, comfortable apparel. They run around all day long in Lululemon. That's what Juicy used to be. Can someone stay in the same vein and update the look for 2014? That's the question."
· Juicy Founders Look to Buy Back Brand [WWD]
· Juicy Couture Has Been Asked to Kindly Leave Kate Spade's Party [Racked]
· Skaist-Taylor Brings the Tequila Slugging and Boot Stomping for Spring 2013 [Racked]