In the world of brand extensions, fashion brands have a relatively easy path from clothing to fashion accessories. It is not uncommon, for example, to see brand names that may have started their lives associated with fine clothing become equally known for handbags, jewelry and perfume.
Yet another fashion brand is taking that route: Sperry Top-Sider is forging a relationship with Geneva Watches. Geneva will launch a line of Sperry fashion and sports watches in the spring of 2013.
Geneva Watch Group CEO Jeff Gregg says there is a "resurgence in American heritage brands among the Gen Y and Millennial consumers" and Sperry will help Geneva "expand our reach to this important group." The watch collection bearing the Sperry Top-Sider name will include vintage design elements drawing inspiration from the "Authentic Original" boat shoe silhouette and from the dashboard gauge-tech of vintage motor boats.
Sperry Top-Sider is one of those iconic American brands that started quite by accident. Paul Sperry watched his dog run across the ice in Connecticut. That became the inspiration for the Authentic Original Sperry Top-Sider first introduced in 1935, a boat shoe known for its traction and performance. Since then, Sperry has focused on footwear for men, women and children, but in recent years has added some clothing and accessories to its line.
Craig Reingold, Sperry Top-Sider president, says the company is "receiving hundreds of requests for Sperry products beyond footwear" from its customers. In addition to the new line of watches, "Sperry fans should stay tuned as there are more Sperry accessories forthcoming early next year," said Reingold.
Geneva Watches is a brand that has made something of a reputation creating timepieces under license for other brands. Sperry Top-Sider joins Kenneth Cole, Tommy Bahama, Speedo, and Ted Baker London as brands that have their own watch lines.
Geneva also produces its own proprietary brands including Freestyle, a high performance watch targeting the youth and surf markets, Gametime, providing team sports logo watches for the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and major universities, and luxury watch brand Breil Milano. Geneva also designs and manufacturers watches and clocks under private label for most of the world's largest retailers.