Iconix Brand Group Inks Deal With Genesco to Create Starter Footwear

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Iconix Brand Group Inc. has signed a licensing agreement with Genesco Inc. to become the exclusive U.S. and Canadian footwear licensee for heritage athletic brand Starter.

In a statement, the New York-based brand management company said the deal is for three years. Also, it includes a three-year renewal option that would extend the partnership with the Nashville, Tenn.-based company through Dec. 31, 2027.

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“Genesco is the perfect partner to help Iconix further grow and maximize the Starter brand,” Iconix Brand Group Inc. president and CEO Robert Galvin said in a statement. “Starter has been part of the sports and fashion landscape for almost five decades, and as we celebrate our 50th anniversary, entering the footwear market will allow us to capitalize on the growing consumer demand for heritage brands.”

With the deal, Genesco will design and manufacture Starter footwear for men, women and kids. Pricing will range from $49 to $150. The new line of footwear will launch in spring ’22 in sports and shoe specialty stores.

“Starter’s authentic sports positioning, combined with its affiliation with all major pro and college sports leagues, created a tremendous platform for the extension into footwear,” Genesco Licensed Brands president Andy Gilbert said in a statement.

Iconix Brand Group acquired Starter from Nike Inc. in November 2007 for $60 million in cash.

Starter, which was founded in 1971, was a sports league licensed apparel pioneer, having entered agreements to produce apparel for the NBA, the NFL, MLB, NHL and others. Today, Starter is known for its retro sports style, with famed designers including Rhuigi Villaseñor, who collaborated with the brand in November 2020 on apparel and outerwear items that sold exclusively via Foot Locker and Greenhouse.

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