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Biker brands ride into UK via new distributor

Heritage Cloth, a new distribution agency, has been set up to launch motorcycle heritage brands Steve McQueen USA and Johnson Motors Inc into the UK.

The brainchild of Michelle Baartz, who is a former head of brand at women’s sports chain Sweaty Betty and was also previously global head of womenswear at Ben Sherman and head of womenswear at Lacoste UK, Heritage Cloth will focus on developing and launching heritage brands in the UK.

Steve McQueen USA and its diffusion line Johnson Motors Inc have not previously been available through a distributor in the UK. Both were born out of the links McQueen had with the motorcycle industry and his love of Triumph motorcyles, which were distributed by Johnson Motors Inc.

Both labels cater for men and women and the ranges include slogan T-shirts, sweatshirts, leathers and bomber jackets, with product hand-crafted in California.

Baartz will begin selling the collections in January and is hoping to showcase them at trade show Bread & Butter in Berlin in the summer. There will be four collections a year and a Steve McQueen USA T-shirt will wholesale at £28, while a Johnson Motors Inc T-shirt will cost £25. Generally, wholesale prices for Steve McQueen USA will be about 20% higher.

Both brands are currently making waves in the US market, with stockists including La retailer Fred Segal and department stores Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. The brands regularly design pieces for rock bands Foo Fighters and The Killers, and motorcycle aficionado and actor George Clooney is also a fan.

For more information, email or call 07739 049328.

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