Press Clips: Youth fashion leader Mudd breaks new ground internationally

September 01, 2002

With its feet firmly planted in the U.S., Mudd now is taking its penchant for youth-targeted fashion design far across international waters and into stand-alone store territory. Well-known for its denim fashions targeted to teens, for the first time, the seven-year-old Mudd brand will have stand-alone the Far East. The first franchised flagship store, called House of Mudd, opened in Seoul, Korea, in August, a total of six opened in the same timeframe. Thirty-eight stores, including flagship and smaller stores, are expected to be up and running by end of year, according to Kelly Payfer,, who recently was promoted to vice president, international business development, InGroup Licensing, Muddıs licensing agent. Square footage for the stores ranges from 4,000 to 5,000 square feet for flagships to 500 square feet for smaller stores.

The international initiative is headed up by Hong Kong-based Worth Pacific Holdings, Ltd. (WPH), which signed on as the sole Mudd licensee to produce all its Asian merchandise and oversee the store rollout. New York-based InGroup Licensing brokered the deal. A core international management team and more than 10 local distributors and franchisees in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia will support the Mudd Asia venture, according to Angela Lu, chairman of WPH. The international expansion will put Mudd in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia, Thailand, Russia, and Vietnam. Why the Far East? ıThe Far East is an untapped market for a brand like ours, ı says Payfer. ıWe saw a niche to fill with the Mudd brand.ı Why stand-alone stores? ıIn Asia, much of the shopping experience for consumers is through branded shops, ı she continues. To stir excitement for the launch of Mudd Asia, a fashion show was held in May in Guangzhou, China, for members of the media and franchisees.

With wholesale sales in excess of $500 million, Mudd expects Mudd Asia to more than double its revenues in the next two to three years. Since its beginnings in 1995, the Mudd brand has grown to include more than 20 international and domestic licenseesıfrom footwear to home furnishings. Some of those licensees will supply product to Mudd Asia franchises. To further aid in Muddıs international effort, InGroup Licensing has moved its headquarters to 1407 Broadway, New York, and will share space with WPH.

In other Mudd news, InGroup Licensing signed up New York based SBH Intimates to launch a line of girlsı and juniorsı intimate apparel. Target launch date to retailers such as Kohlıs, JCPenney, and Mervynıs has not been determined.