William Rast Announces New Eyewear Licensing Agreement with Viva International Group

Jan 25, 2010, 17:02 ET from William Rast

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- William Rast, the "New America" denim lifestyle brand founded by Trace Ayala and Justin Timberlake, today announced it has signed a new multi-year licensing agreement with Viva International Group to design, produce and globally distribute William Rast Eyewear and William Rast Racing Eyewear focusing on styles for both the premium and sportswear categories for men and women. Viva is a worldwide leading eyewear company, representing premium and luxury brands, including GUESS, SKECHERS®, Tommy Hilfiger, Escada and Ermenegildo Zegna. The William Rast branded eyewear collections, which will include sunglasses and prescription eyewear, will debut in 2011 and will be available in William Rast's branded stores, as well as upscale department stores and specialty retailers worldwide.

"We are very excited to work with Viva International as our eyewear partner," said Colin Dyne, Chief Executive Officer of People's Liberation, the parent holding company of William Rast. "After meeting with Viva's management and design teams, we believe that Viva's ability to create and distribute high-quality and stylish eyewear for both the sportswear and premium lines will resonate positively with our customers around the world. We are also working enthusiastically to complete a portfolio of William Rast licensing opportunities in fragrance, footwear and accessories to compliment our expansion into the eyewear category."

"We are very proud to be entering into this new partnership with the William Rast brand. As an iconic brand that represents the 'New America,' the collection responds to what the consumer is looking for in eyewear today," said Frank Rescigna, president of Viva. "With such an incredible creative force behind the brand, the possibilities are endless. Combined with a strong sense of style and fashion, a complete design story is portrayed not only in the eyewear collection, but also throughout the full William Rast lifestyle brand."


William Rast, the 'New America' denim culture brand, was conceptualized and founded by business partners Justin Timberlake and Trace Ayala in 2005, and is operated through subsidiaries of People's Liberation, Inc. (OCT Bulletin Board: PPLB). The Los Angeles-based brand designs, markets and sells men's and women's premium contemporary apparel. The clothing consists of premium denim, leather goods, knits, wovens and outerwear. In the United States, the Company distributes its merchandise to better department stores and boutiques, including Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdales. Outside the U.S., its products are sold to better department stores and boutiques throughout the world. The Company also sells merchandise on its website www.williamrast.com and in it's own free standing William Rast retail stores.


Los Angeles-based People's Liberation designs and distributes high-end casual apparel under the brand names "People's Liberation" "William Rast" and, in the United States, "J. Lindeberg." The majority of the merchandise the Company offers consists of premium denim, knits, wovens, leather goods, golf wear and outerwear for men and women. In the United States, William Rast and J. Lindeberg branded products are distributed to boutiques, specialty stores and better department stores, such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. In the United States, the People's Liberation apparel line is distributed exclusively through Charlotte Russe retail stores. The Company also markets and sells J. Lindeberg branded collection and golf apparel through its retail stores in New York City and Los Angeles, and J. Lindeberg golf wear to green grass golf stores and boutiques in the United States. Internationally, in select countries, William Rast products are sold to better department stores and boutiques throughout the world, and in it's own free standing William Rast retail stores.  The Company also sells merchandise on its websites, www.williamrast.com and the America section of www.jlindebergusa.com.


Viva International Group, a Highmark company, is part of the HVHC Inc. group of companies which also includes Davis Vision and Eye Care Centers of America. Established in 1978 as an entrepreneurial company, Viva has steadily grown to become a worldwide leader in ophthalmic frames and sunglass distribution and manufacturing. Viva's current brand portfolio consists of GUESS, SKECHERS®, GANT, Tommy Hilfiger, CANDIE'S®, RAMPAGE®, BONGO®, Harley-Davidson®, Catherine Deneuve, ESCADA, Ermenegildo Zegna, Magic Clip®, Savvy and Viva. Viva was one of the first American eyewear companies to expand internationally and currently has six direct sales offices in the United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Canada, Japan and Hong Kong. Joint ventures and direct sales forces are also maintained in Australia, Austria, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. In total the company has global distribution in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit Viva International Group online at www.vivagroup.com, or call (800) 345-VIVA.

SOURCE William Rast