Liz Claiborne Acquires UrbanSportswear Brand Enyce

The ownership of urban sportswear brand Enyce has changed hands. Late last year, Enyce owner Sport Brands International sold the brand for $114 million to Liz Claiborne Inc. The move came about when Enyce’s former owner, FILA USA Inc., was purchased by SBI, says Enyce President Evan Davis. “I think that [SBI] really wanted to focus on the reestablishment of FILA as a brand,” Davis says. “I think that one of their levels of expertise was not on what we do…so I guess they thought it was a good time to sell us.”

Launched in 1996, New York-based Enyce designs and markets sportswear through its Enyce and Lady Enyce brands. Estimated 2003 net sales for the company were $95 million. Despite the change in ownership, Davis does not expect to lose creative control.

The main focus for Liz Claiborne will be gaining exposure to urban consumers and helping Enyce grow. “We want to further penetrate different parts of their line, like Lady Enyce, which is underpenetrated right now,” says Karen Murray, Liz Claiborne’s group president for menswear. “It’s only 16% of the business and we really want it to be–and they do as well–want it to be a larger percentage of the business.” Liz Claiborne also plans to help Enyce grow its big and tall business.

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