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Iconix Europe targets UK with Madonna Material Girl launch

Simon Brown, the newly appointed managing director of licensing group Iconix Europe, is in talks with retailers, indies and department stores about bringing Madonna’s young fashion brand Material Girl to the UK.

Brown, who took the reins at the group earlier this month, has been charged with bringing the brand - created by the pop star and her daughter Lourdes - and six others to Europe over the next 18 months.

Iconix Europe is a joint venture between US-based Iconix Brand Group and The Licensing Company and has investment from sportswear entrepreneur Simon Bamber.

Brown will replicate the firm’s US model, which licences and markets an 18-strong brand portfolio.

Other Iconix brands set to hit UK shores include young fashion brand Candies, which recently launched a range with pop star Britney Spears; surf brand Ocean Pacific; London Fog, a luxury clothing and accessories brand; eveningwear brand Badgley Mischka and sportswear line Starter. Brown said he would also review the positioning and product mix for streetwear brand Rocawear, which is licensed to SideWalk in the UK and already has about 80 indie stockists in the UK and a small number in Germany.

Brown said: “The key for the next 12 months is to look at how we appeal to customers through the choice [of brands] available and how brands look in store,” he said.

He added that Iconix Europe would also consider opening standalone stores for its premium brands, such as Badgley Mischka, in Europe. It already operates stores for mainstream brand Mossimo in Australia, and plans to open Candies stores and further Mossimo outlets in China through joint ventures.

A brand and retail industry veteran, Brown was most recently brand director at sportswear brand Canterbury of New Zealand, which was bought by JD Sports Fashion last year. Prior to that, he led a bid to acquire the Ladybird kidswear brand, where he worked for nine years, from Woolworths before it was sold to Shop Direct.

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