The Izod Corporation (officially stylized as IZOD) is a mid-range clothing company that produces dressy-casual clothing, sportswear for men, as well as footwear and accessories. It is part of PVH, forming part of its Heritage Brands division along with Van Heusen, Arrow, Warner's, Olga, True & Co., Geoffrey Beene, and Speedo (the latter licensed in perpetuity from Speedo International in North America only). It is perhaps best known for its short-sleeved piqué polo shirt, formerly produced by Lacoste and featuring the Lacoste crocodile on the left breast, now replaced with an embroidered (or screen-printed on some golfwear) crest. One variation is the "IZ" patch instead of crest. Other Izod classics include the Harrington jacket G-9 model, also v-neck and cardigan sweaters. Today, the Izod brand competes most directly with the similarly-priced Chaps brand owned by Ralph Lauren Corporation, while competing more indirectly on the lower end with U.S. Polo Assn. and on the higher end with Nautica.
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, U.S.|
|United States, Canada, Mexico, India, Europe, Russia, Middle East|
|Emanuel Chirico, Chairman & CEO of PVH |
Francis "Ken" Duane, CEO of Heritage Brands Division
|Products||Mid-Range Apparel, Gifts & Footwear|
In the late 1930s, Vincent dePaul Draddy, an American businessman employed by David Crystal Co., needed a strong name to associate with his quality merchandise for menswear. While vacationing with his family in London, he encountered Jack Izod's tailoring boutique. Izod (himself a well-respected tailor) produced bespoke shirts and created the Windsor tie-knot for King George V, but was ready to retire, and accepted Draddy's offer to purchase the rights to his distinctive name. The A.J. Izod of London clothing company was introduced to the United States in 1938.
Izod of London would become most notable for its pairing with the Lacoste shirt company from 1952 to 1993. Vincent Draddy began to license the Lacoste shirt to add prestige to the Izod line, but he could not find a market for the then-expensive $8.00 retail price (approximately equivalent to $75 in 2018). After Draddy began giving the shirts away to his famous friends, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bing Crosby, Daniel Platt, and John F. Kennedy, the shirts soon became popular with department stores. "Izod of London" became a brand known simply as "Izod Lacoste". While the shirts were equally Izod and Lacoste, they became abbreviated and popularized as "Izod" shirts (which led to the ongoing misunderstanding that the famous "Crocodile" is the "Izod" trademark).
In 1964, Bernard Lacoste took over the management of the company. Significant company growth was seen under Bernard's management. When he became president, around 300,000 Izod Lacoste products were sold annually. The Izod Lacoste brand reached its height of popularity in the US during the late 1970s and became the signature 1980s "preppy" wardrobe item, mentioned in The Official Preppy Handbook. The company also began to introduce other products into their line including shorts, perfume, optical and sunglasses, tennis shoes, deck shoes, walking shoes, watches, and various leather goods.
In 1977, Le Tigre Clothing was founded in an attempt to directly compete with Izod Lacoste in the US market, selling a similar array of apparel, but featuring a tiger in place of the signature Lacoste crocodile. Also, during this period Izod's parent, Crystal Brands, came under the management of General Mills, and purchased the Gant U.S.A. brand.
During the early 1990s, Izod Lacoste struggled to maintain the market dominance it had enjoyed in previous decades. The initial reaction from Crystal Brands was to separate the two names and target two groups of customers at once; "Izod" was re-introduced as moderate pricepoint apparel in department stores, while Lacoste was renamed "Lacoste Chemise", and re-positioned as a luxury lifestyle brand. Eventually this tactic did not provide the financial gain Crystal had hoped and the license partnering ended in 1993. Sportloisirs S.A. purchased the Lacoste brand entirely in 1993, while Izod was sold to Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation in 1995.
PVH repositioned and restored some of Izod's previous relevance while introducing a number of products lines and brands. Complete with an Izod "crest" logo, or patch. In addition to its sportswear, Izod designs a full range of men's suits, shirts, neckties, shoes, outerwear and fragrances, and continues to produce its famous polo shirts. Currently, within the PVH corp. the Izod branded shirt has become part of the biggest shirt company in the United States.
From 2003 to 2007, PVH formed a licensing deal with Kellwood Company to produce Izod-branded women's clothing. Production of the women's line was brought in-house in 2007 until its discontinuation in 2015.
On January 7, 2015 parent company Phillips-Van Heusen announced that it would be closing all 120 Izod retail outlets due to an increasing competitive environment driven by more premium brands in the outlet retail channel. This move will not affect Izod's growing wholesale business to department stores and other retailers. Coinciding with the closure of the retail outlets, in 2015 the women's line was discontinued.
In Spring 2016, Izod introduced the Advantage Polo, a new take on their traditional piqué polo featuring a cotton/polyester blend with natural stretch, moisture wicking fabric, and UPF-15 sun protection. The Advantage Polo remains available today (with various colors and patterns being offered depending on seasonal collection) and now outsells Izod's original 100% cotton Heritage piqué polo. The Advantage brand was later expanded to include other products with stretch and/or moisture-wicking fabric such as fleece sweatshirts and button-down shirts.
On June 7, 2017, parent company PVH announced that it has reached a licensing agreement with Adjmi Apparel Group subsidiary Sports Products of America to manufacture women's sportswear, golfwear, and activewear under the Izod brand beginning February 2018, thus signifying Izod's return to the women's clothing market.
On August 28, 2018, it was announced that PVH would expand the Izod brand to Europe starting with the Fall/Winter 2018 collection, initially in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. PVH claims the launch of the Izod brand should fill in the void between fast-fashion labels and premium American brands. This was followed by more of Europe, Russia, and the Middle East in Spring 2019.
Since Izod's first brand, Izod, was launched in 1938, it has grown considerably to include a variety of essential, performance, and luxury brands.
- Izod (formerly Izod Classix): Izod's original brand for men and women. This line spans from tailored clothing, traditional cotton piqué knit polo shirts, shoes, fragrances, leather goods, underwear, neckwear, eyewear, and watches.
- Izod Jeans: Denim basics and weekend sportswear from the Izod line.
- Izod Saltwater Collection: A collection of men's clothing with relaxed fits. This line typically includes oxford and chambray button-down shirts, chino shorts, lightweight polo shirts, and relaxed fit T-shirts (many with nautical and/or tropical themes).
- Izod Advantage: The performance line of Izod, Introduced in Spring 2016. This line typically features SportFlex stretch fabric and CoolFX moisture-wicking technology.
- Izod Premium Essentials: Introduced in Spring 2017 as Heritage Essentials, renamed to Premium Essentials with the Spring 2018 collection. A collection of dressy-casual clothing for men such as button-down poplin sport shirts, spring/summer interlock knit polo shirts, and wool blend sweater vests.
- Izod Breeze Collection: Originally introduced in Spring 2017 as part of the main Izod collection as The Breeze Shirt, spinoff products were introduced in Spring 2018 and eventually became its own its own distinct collection in Spring 2019. This product line is primarily focused on warm weather cooling with CoolFX technology, and is distinguished from the Advantage line by primarily focusing on cooling comfort rather than athletic performance.
- Izod PerformX: Refers to three distinct lines. The first PerformX line referred to a high-tech sports collection aimed at winter sport gear, golfers, swimming, and IndyCar, often featuring lightweight microfibers and super pima cottons; this line was discontinued in 2015. The second PerformX line was a line of dress shirts featuring non-iron stretch fabric; discontinued in 2018. The PerformX name is currently used for a line of prescription eyewear.
- Izod Golf: The official golf line of Izod, including shirts, shorts, and pants, available for both men and women.
- Izod Holiday: The holiday collection of Izod, featuring fair isle sweaters and holiday-colored tartan button-down shirts.
- Izod Luxury Sports (LX): Izod's 'red label' premium sportswear brand for men, with premium fabrics and finer attention to detail; such as name embroidery. As with the 'blue label' Luxury Sports spans from tailored clothing, sportswear, activewear, and accessories, to leather goods. Once available exclusively at Macy's stores, discontinued in 2014.
- Izod XFG: A line of high-performance golf apparel and activewear, now discontinued.
Izod is primarily sold at department store chains Kohl's, J.C. Penney, and Belk, as well as online retailer Amazon.com. PVH also operates direct sales sites Izod.com and StyleBureau.com. Select Izod products can also be found at some Van Heusen outlet stores. Other retailers may occasionally include some smaller regional department store chains, off-price clothing stores, regional or local clothing boutiques, and warehouse clubs such as Costco.
The former Continental Airlines Arena, in New Jersey, United States was renamed the Izod Center as of October 31, 2007, the National Basketball Association's New Jersey Nets' season opener. The company paid $1.4 million per annum for the naming rights during the first two years of the agreement, while the Nets remained tenants, which dropped to $750,000 per year for the balance of the five-year deal.
In 2009, Izod became the official apparel provider of the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights Series. Izod produces T-shirts, polos, pullovers, hats, and umbrellas for league and team officials and the general public.
In fall 2018, Izod partnered with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Saturday Night Live comedian Colin Jost to promote the fall/winter 2018 collection; this ad campaign became notable for poking fun at advertising clichés in menswear.
- "PVH to shut Izod's retail business".
- "PVH Corp. Announces Licensing Agreement with Sports Products of America for IZOD Women's Sportswear & Activewear". Business Wire. June 7, 2017.
- "PVH Corp. Expands Global Footprint, with Launch of Iconic American Brand IZOD in Europe". Business Wire. August 28, 2018. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
- "Arvind Fashions undergoes major restructuring, plans to exit global brands in red". Apparel Resources News-Desk. April 22, 2019. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
- "Fashionable New Name for Arena", The New York Times, October 5, 2007. Accessed October 11, 2007. "On Oct. 31, when the Nets open their season against the Chicago Bulls, the Meadowlands arena named for Continental Airlines for 12 years will be rechristened the Izod Center. Izod will pay $1.4 million a year in cash for the first two years of the five-year agreement, which will be cut to $750,000 annually in 2009 when the Nets are expected to move to Brooklyn."
- IndyCar lands Title Sponsor Archived 2009-11-06 at the Wayback Machine, indystar.com, November 3, 2009
- "Izod dropping IndyCar Series sponsorship". Indianapolis Business Journal. September 27, 2013. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
- "Izod Just Gave Ken Bone His 16th Minute of Fame". Fortune Magazine. October 20, 2016.
- "IZOD Signs Multi-Year Marketing Partnership with 16x Grand Slam Champs, the Bryan Brothers". Business Wire. March 9, 2017.
- "Aaron Rodgers and Colin Jost Try to One-Up Each Other in IZOD's Hilarious New Commercial". People Magazine. September 5, 2018.