Fleet Street - Company Information
Founded in 1964, Fleet Street has grown into one of America's Five largest Outerwear resources. Initially established as a Rainwear resource, the company has continually evolved into one of the most diversified suppliers in the field. Today, Fleet Street provides a comprehensive range of outerwear products to an equally expansive roster of clients at every level of retailing, extending from exclusive specialty department stores to America's largest store groups.
From the start, Fleet Street put a premium on innovation that added value to its products; for instance, it was the first major U.S. maker to IMPORT better Rain Coats from Japan and Hong Kong. Equally important to the firm's growth is its reputation for Quality. Four generations of American women have learned to trust Fleet Street for a coat that fits well and wears comfortably, while retailers have come to depend on the company for coats that sell easily and consistently, year after year.
These advantages are now further enhanced by continual improvements in design and sourcing, as reflected in the Fleet Street Collection's rich fabrications and upscale styling. The same focus on fashion is evident in the Company's licensed collections for Vittadini and Jessica Simpson, as well as its other proprietary brands, including Donatella and FS Ltd. Fleet Street also develops and produces complete private label brand programs for many of the country's top-ranked apparel retailers.
With headquarters on Seventh Avenue in New York City, Fleet Street maintains a state-of-the-art distribution center in Avenel, New Jersey, along with a global sourcing network that includes long-established production partnerships throughout Asia and Eastern Europe, as well as with quality oriented domestic factories.
A family owned firm, Fleet Street employs a staff of more than 300 world-wide, under the direction of Founder Manny Haber and his sons, Ray and Steve Haber.
Showroom Upgrades, Enhanced Collections – And A New Attitude
Fleet Street Ltd.
According to Fleet Street founder and CEO Manny Haber, change is good. But evolution is even better.
“In this business, it is not enough to accept changes, you have to create it,” says Haber. “That takes a deliberate process, not simply chasing orders. At Fleet Street, we know how to move quickly, because we always remember to think first”.
That straight-talking philosophy has grounded Fleet Street’s growth into one of the country’s top five women’s outerwear resources. Founded in 1964, the firm initially focused on rainwear, and quickly made a name for itself through product innovation and smart sourcing, becoming the first major U.S. maker to import better rain coats from Japan and Hong Kong. Fleet Street also earned a reputation for its reliable fit and quality; stores quickly embraced it as a partner they could depend on to deliver coats that sell easily and consistently, year after year.
In the subsequent four decades, the company continually expanded its operations, moving beyond rainwear into full range of cloth, wool and active outerwear, and building a sophisticated sourcing network, with long-standing manufacturing partnerships across Asia and Eastern Europe, and in-house design tea – and one of the few fully-stuffed sample-making operations on Seventh Avenue.
Today, Fleet Street has evolved into one of the field’s most diversified producers, serving nearly every level of retail distribution with its own brads (Fleet Street, FS Ltd., and Donatella) and licensed collections (the designer line O Oscar by Oscar de la Rena; Jessica Simpson in contemporary), along with complete private branded programs for top-ranked retailers. Now, Haber wants to make sure that retail perceptions of his company have kept in step with its growth.
“We have generally been focused more on making great coats than telling our story”, he explains. “Most of our clients know only what we do for them. But few retailers understand everything that we do- or all the ways we can improve their business.”
To increase their awareness, Fleet Street has launched a 2007 marketing initiative that emphasizes the full scope of its operations. For starters, the company has totally rebuilt its New York headquarters, creating a suite of showrooms that highlight the individual brads.
This improved presentation is matched by product enhancements in each line. Retailers viewing the flagship Fleet Street collection, for instance, will immediately note an increased emphasis on distinctive fabrications and modern, shapely silhouettes. Designs combine a dressed-up polish and attention to detail with an essentially uncomplicated, casual attitude: there is the slick simplicity of a maxi-length belted trench coat with over-sized silver Pilgrim buckle; a body-contoured toggle coat capped off with fur trim; and a range of rich-tailored tweeds sporting fresh proportions in their bodies, detailing – and their rescaled plaid patterns.
To drive home the fashion message, Fleet Street has embarked on a comprehensive advertising and communications effort. An out-of-home campaign broke earlier this year: a concentrated investment in nearly half the phone kiosks in Manhattan, the buy spotlights high-impact imagery that communicates Fleet Street’s updated appeal, as well as its resonance as a lifestyle brad. The photos are also featured in a brochure (appropriately enough titled “Revealing the Changing Street”), trade ads, direct mail, e-marketing and the brand’s first website.
“To be clear, this is not a ‘new’ Fleet Street,” Haber says. “But it is a Fleet Street with a lot news to tell – and a lot of pride in how far we have come.”
Fleet Street shines
As much as its in showroom party of January 8 (pictures on page 31) was about showing off its new collections to an impressive army of retailers, FLEET STREET was also showing off its ultra-modern suit of offices and showrooms on the 19th floor of 512 Seventh Avenue. Purpose built for the 42-year-old company, the space features white construction, lots of mirrors, marble floors, both period and modern furniture and its walls are decorated with an extensive collection of modern art So proud is MANNY HABER that he included as guests the partners in NETTER CONSTRUCTION, who did the work, in a building that has some elegant corporate spaces, Haber’s facility stands out, and drew warm reviews from his guests. In addition to its own labels, FS LTD and DONATELLA, Fleet Street has licenses for OSCAR BY OSCAR de la RENTA and JESSICA SIMPSON, and has a substantial business in private label for major retailers.
Ralph Fernandez DVP of Carsons and Manny Haber