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Scotch & Soda: What we know about new owner Bluestar Alliance

By FashionUnited


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Image: Scotch & Soda

Scotch & Soda is getting a chance to write a new chapter. On Monday 27 March, US brand management company Bluestar Alliance announced that it is taking over the brand and relaunching it. What the plans are for Scotch & Soda under the new owner is not yet known, but we can take a look at Bluestar Alliance's strategy to see if potential hints can be found here.

  • Bluestar Alliance was founded in 2006 by Joseph Gabbay and Ralph Gindi.
  • Its headquarters are in New York.
  • With Scotch & Soda, the company's portfolio will be home to 13 brands.
  • The company currently has 300 licences and 100 shops worldwide.

Bluestar Alliance describes itself as a management company that 'manages and markets consumer brands between luxury and mass market', according to the website of the brand-new owner of Scotch & Soda. The basis of the company is 'managing, restoring, acquiring and upgrading a brand'. Bluestar not only owns a dozen brands, it also has hundreds of licences. The brands found in its own portfolio are also further distributed through licences in various parts of the world. This could hint that Scotch & Soda will also jet out on the licensing front under the wings of Bluestar Alliance.

Bluestar Alliance: the new owner of Scotch & Soda

In its 17-year history, Bluestar Alliance has made a total of 28 acquisitions, according to information provided by the company. Not all of these companies are all still in the brand's portfolio. Currently, only Hurley, Bebe, Justice, Brookstone, Tahari, Kensie, Limited Too, Tahari ASL, Catherine Malandrino, Nanette Lepore, English Laundry and Kensie Girl are still part of the portfolio. How long brands typically remain in Bluestar's portfolio varies. For instance, the brands Chereskin, Sharper Image and Michael Bastian were sold after only three years. The Liz Lange and Completely Me brands stuck around a bit longer, at around five years. Larry Levine was only sold after seven years under the wings of Bluestar.

When looking at the relevant brands on the basis of when they were resold by Bluestar Alliance, it is noticeable that these have expanded in one or more ways. For instance, the Larry Levine brand is known for its outerwear, but introduced a shapewear line under the Bluestar umbrella. Pregnancy brand Completely Me, on the other hand, expanded into a regular ready-to-wear line. For the Michael Bastian brand, created by the American designer of the same name, the partnership with Bluestar actually meant an expansion in distribution channels and a roll-out to several mid-market department stores. The management company accordingly highlights this particular strategy on its website. "The company's investment mandate is to identify and buy consumer brands where it can leverage and extend brand value in current categories to a wider audience." However, the company stresses that the brand heritage will be preserved with each company it acquires. Besides expansion across new categories, it also emphasises expansion in distribution, as exemplified by the case of Michael Bastian.

When brands leave Bluestar Alliance's portfolio, news reports tend to state that the US company has "achieved its goals with the brands" and is therefore proceeding with a sale. So it remains to be seen how long Scotch & Soda will remain in the hands of Bluestar.

Bluestar Alliance has informed FashionUnited that it will reveal more about the strategy it has in mind for Scotch & Soda in the next few weeks.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.NL. Translation and editing from Dutch into English by Veerle Versteeg.

Bluestar Alliance
Scotch & Soda