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Dunlap Brings More to Hollywould

Holly Dunlap — and Kellwood's new owner — hope to take Hollywould up a notch.

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A fall Hollywould look.

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Holly Dunlap — and Kellwood's new owner — hope to take Hollywould up a notch.

The brand launched in 2000 as a contemporary footwear label sold exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman. Today, the Kellwood Co.-owned fashion firm, which consists of contemporary apparel, handbags and shoes, is poised for growth. Industry sources said that while Hollywould isn't a huge money maker for Kellwood's parent, Sun Capital Securities Group LLC, it could grow rapidly once it develops into a full lifestyle brand. Hollywould could reach up to $50 million in sales within the next few years, according to sources.

"They [Kellwood] have added a support system to our infrastructure which we did not have before," Dunlap said of the changes she has experienced since her firm was acquired in December 2006. "Despite being part of a large group, they have allowed us to maintain our independent brand spirit."

Meanwhile, Sun has been busy making changes since it acquired Kellwood for $762 million in February, including shutting underperforming brands such as O Oscar, Liz Claiborne brand suits and dresses and its moderate dress business. Additionally, although Sun has traditionally kept on the management of the companies it acquires, it has hired Russell Reynolds Associates Inc. to find a replacement for Kellwood chief executive officer and president Robert C. Skinner Jr., and has let go several top executives.

Dunlap said she is confident Hollywould will continue to thrive under Sun's ownership of Kellwood, and Skinner, to whom Sun referred calls, agreed.

"We are expanding the Hollywould business on multiple fronts simultaneously because of our belief in Holly and the brand," said Skinner Wednesday. "We are investing in her accessories and clothing collections as well as in new retail stores. When we acquired Hollywould, we sensed there was an opportunity to develop the brand into a global lifestyle property, and we continue to believe in the brand's expansion."

Now Dunlap is prepared to launch a full collection of contemporary sportswear (after closing her designer ready-to-wear line last year, Dunlap introduced a small collection of contemporary dresses, which is sold in Bloomingdale's and in 12 specialty stores nationwide), a handbag line, a newly expanded showroom and a plan to open several more freestanding stores.
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