Mainstream menswear label Oakman has become part of the Gabicci group following a licensing deal between the two parties.
Design, production, sales and distribution of Oakman, which is best known for its casual trousers, is being handled by Gabicci with immediate effect. Oakman is owned by Yorkshire-based supplier Saville Heaton, which has announced that it intends to cease trading by the end of the year.
“We have taken a licence to use the Oakman name for 18 months with an option to renew for a further five years,” Jeff Keogh, Gabicci managing director, told Drapers at Moda Gent, where a small initial range for spring 15 was being shown. “Oakman had told stockists it was not delivering for this autumn and we have taken over only a few of its spring production samples, but going forward we will soon be able to put our stamp on it.”
Initial conversations on the deal started only six weeks ago. Gabicci and Oakman share a similar network of mainstream independent retailers, although Keogh has been trying to establish exactly how many Oakman accounts are still live. It is expected that Gabicci’s agents, where feasible, will carry Oakman.
Oakman’s strength in trousers complements Gabicci’s expertise in tops. Entry price for Oakman is £14.95 wholesale for its basic polyester trousers. Its “cool feel” cotton casual trousers costs £23.95 and its popular sulphur-dyed range of cotton chinos costs £26.
Brothers William and John Heaton informed the trade in the spring that they intended to wind down Saville Heaton, which was built up by their late father David. It is understood that they are still looking to do deals to dispose of other labels in the group, which include Cab Co and Life & Limb.