- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
British independent womenswear brand Goat, founded by Jane Lewis in 2001, is rebranding as ‘Jane’ after selling its global trademark to 1661/Goat Group for an undisclosed sum.
The move follows a longstanding legal dispute, when Goat Fashion began a trademark infringement lawsuit against the sneaker and streetwear platform, 1661/Goat Group, who tried to sell apparel, and apparel accessories, under the Goat label.
“This re-brand is born out of a good resolution and comes from a position of strength,” founder and creative director, Jane Lewis told FashionUnited in a telephone interview. “We are very pleased to be re-branding and excited about this new chapter.”
Lewis noted that the resolution was reached amicably, and it was her decision to rebrand, “we have not been coerced or pressured into anything,” while adding that she was pleased that she stood up for her brand that she has built.
Lewis, added: “Becoming ‘Jane’ is very timely and a seamless transition actually, I’ve always been the creative director and all the design are by my hand, historically and currently. This company DNA is a direct reflection of my aesthetic, I see every piece through design to sampling.
“The rebranding feels like we’ve come full circle, a little bit like a refresh, a consolidation and affirmation of all the work I’ve put into my business. This will not be a radical rebrand of my clothing, there will be a continuation of the brand’s core DNA and handwriting. All that will change is the name.”
There was an excitement in her voice telling the news, after two decades, that the business will bear her own name. Even the branding design is the same, a hand-drawn font created when Goat was set up, and still belongs to her, now spells the word, Jane.
Lewis added that while the label will be called ‘Jane,’ it will also be referred to as Jane Atelier in the URL and on social media.
When Lewis launched as Goat, it was because her material of choice was cashmere, and while cashmere is still present in her collections there is much more focus on jersey in her upcoming collections.
“Truthfully, I was young and inexperienced,” said Lewis when discussing how she came up with Goat as her brand name at launch. “I’m not classically trained and this was my first foray into fashion and I didn’t feel confident to call it after my own name, but now after being in the business for 20 years, building a reputation and a company, I feel now is the time. I didn’t feel like I had earnt my stripes in the beginning, but I do now.”
Jane Lewis rebrands her label Goat as ‘Jane’
The first collection under the new ‘Jane’ branding will be for pre-autumn/winter 2021, a collection Lewis states “stays loyal to its subtle, stylish and discreet aesthetic” with references to the sixties and seventies that has always inspired the brand.
Sticking with the motto “less is more” the collection aims to offer women a “multifunctional and highly versatile capsule” filled with A-line dresses and skirts, pussy-bow blouses and statement collars, as well as high-waisted crop flares, tailored options and floral dresses.
Jersey also continues to be a strong part of the collection, whereas most brands over the past year have opted to use jersey for loungewear and athleisure, Lewis has opted for a more retro-inspired take, looking to how the material was used in the fifties and sixties to produce a capsule featuring flared high-waisted trousers with patch pockets, tailored blazers and a V-neck sleeveless pencil dress with a strong nod to Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
“Jersey is extremely versatile, while recently it has been used as casual wear, for us we treat the fabric in a more retro-inspired way, to offer a slightly more casual approach to try to address the 24-hour needs of our clients, without compromising our handwriting,” added Lewis.
During the pandemic, Lewis said the label has managed to trade “quite successfully,” while adding it hasn’t been without its challenges. The brand consolidated and reduced the breadth of its collection, so as not to have residual stock and adding what she calls “unnecessary risk”.
Success has also been driven by online, her direct-to-consumer channel has been used “effectively” especially when catering for its international clients alongside her wholesale stockists including Harrods and Matchesfashion, who Lewis also added have been “overwhelmingly in favour, and very sweet” regarding the rebrand.
“This is a happy evolution,” explained Lewis. “The name change opens up, I hope, other avenues within the business, such as collaborations and to expand into other areas that I may not have been able to do as easily as Goat.”
While Lewis has already previously done childrenswear, she said the next chapter could include collaborations with brands in categories such as sunglasses, home, fragrance and bags.
Lewis added: “I would like to collaborate with brands that I admire. I think two companies that come together with two different strengthens makes for a successful collaboration. I think there’s often collaboration for the sake of creating content, but it’s not really mindfully done.
“If I can bring my aesthetic to somebody else’s product that I can’t produce or couldn’t produce to the standard and the level that somebody else can that’s where I see the benefit. I wouldn’t make anything gratuitous just for the sake of, because that would go against my own principles. I don’t believe in design for design sake or collaboration for content sake.”