Liz Claiborne Inc. Ditching Its Name In An Effort To Be Like The Cool Companies

Liz Claiborne Inc., the company that brought shoulder-padded suits and mild-mannered sweater sets to women everywhere, wants to shed its old unhip association by changing its name to Fifth & Pacific Cos.

Liz Claiborne sold off its namesake clothing line already to JC Penney in October, and is now focusing on its fresher brands like Juicy Couture, Kate Spade and Lucky Brand, says the L.A. Times.

The name change is part of its campaign to distance itself from images of pleated slacks, and to expand globally as it moves away from department stores and focuses on marketing directly to consumers.

“While it’s difficult to replace an iconic name like Liz Claiborne, we believe that Fifth & Pacific Cos. telegraphs who we are today — taking inspiration from New York and California, while describing our reach and our potential,” said Claiborne chief executive William L. McComb in a statement.

The company will officially begin its new life as Fifth & Cos. in mid-May as FNP on the New York Stock Exchange.

Liz Claiborne Inc. is changing its name to Fifth & Pacific Cos. [L.A. Times]

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  1. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    “…we believe that Fifth & Pacific Cos. telegraphs who we are today…”

    Oh, it totally does. Right at the intersection of Pretentious and Vapid avenues.

  2. dwtomek says:

    Nothing like padding your name to give it a more masculine appearance in this dog eat dog world. It worked with shoulders right?

  3. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    How do you pronounce it? Fifth & Pacific Cuz?

    • MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

      I think it’s ‘Fifth and Pacific Coseph’.

      Just like Jos. A Banks is pronounced ‘Joseph A. Banks’

      • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

        Every time I see a commercial for Joseph A. Bank, I imagine some curmudgeon in the room with me, shaking his cane at the TV and exclaiming, “It’s not a bank!”

        If I’m sufficiently bored, this imaginary curmudgeon launches into a story about trying to deposit a check there, and ending up walking out with a suit he didn’t want. Then he’ll tangent off into other subjects, griping about kids these days being on his lawn with loud music and sloppy hair.

    • ahecht says:

      Fifth and Pacific Cosine

  4. Hi_Hello says:

    fifth and pacific … New York and California… hahah I get it.

    I wonder how much and how long did it take for them to come up with that name.

    I like pleated slacks… but now I like flat front.

  5. speaky2k says:

    “…telegraphs who we are today…” – With using terminology like that, all I can think of is pleated slacks and old-timey things.

  6. VA_White says:

    Uncool or not, Liz Claiborne used to make the most comfortable pumps I’ve ever worn in my life. I could wear them all day, on my feet most of the day, and never got tired or sore feet. I had them in ten colors and then I had a baby and my feet changed size. I’ve never found pumps as comfortable – that weren’t ugly – as those.

  7. SteveHolt says:

    FNP for “Fifth And Pacific” on the NYSE? Why not FAP? Oh wait….

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      LOL. That make their customers fappers.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        ..of course, what they have now sounds like “effin pee” – as in, “holy crap do I have to effin pee right now.”

    • drjayphd says:

      Hilarity ensues when, after meager first-quarter earnings, the Wall Street Journal advises its readers thusly: “MUST NOT FAP!”

  8. Ducatisti says:

    Note to Chief Exec McComb, utilizing terms like “telegraph” when trying to sound modern actually accomplishes the opposite effect.

    And no, the name isn’t what’s dating you. Selling your shoulder-padded soul to JC Penney is what made you obsolete.

  9. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    “… we believe that Fifth & Pacific Cos. telegraphs who we are today” …said Claiborne chief executive William L. McComb in a statement.

    News flash to Mr. McComb: Telegraphs aren’t in much use today.

    • dolemite says:

      Well, to be fair, he still gets his stock info from one of those machines that prints out those ribbons of paper.

    • MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

      Shoot. Ducatisti beat me to it by one minute.

      (Ducatisti… Now that would have been a good rename for Liz Claiborne!)

  10. Pooterfish says:

    I think they’re trying to dodge the rumor that Liz Claiborne won’t design for black women. And that she’s a Satanist.

    http://www.snopes.com/racial/business/claiborne.asp

    • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

      Liz Claiborne, for values of “Liz Claiborne” that can be referred to as “she”, actually won’t design for black women. She’s been dead for the better part of five years, so she’s not designing much for anybody.

  11. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    Liz Claiborne was a very unique and recognizable name – Fifth and Pacific? Not so much.

    • consumeristjohnny says:

      Except the company that was Liz Claiborne does not OWN or SELL Liz Claiborne products. That is owned by JC Penney. They could use Juicy Kate Lucky, but instead opted for a company name, that will have many brands under that name.
      Calvin Klein is not a corporate name. The brand is owned by PVH Corp, which also sells and markets Van Heusen, Calvin Klein, IZOD, Arrow, Bass and G.H. Bass & Co., and its licensed brands, including Geoffrey Beene, Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction, BCBG Max Azria, BCBG Attitude, MICHAEL Michael Kors, Sean John, Chaps, Donald J. Trump Signature Collection, JOE Joseph Abboud, Tommy Hilfiger, and Perry Ellis Portfolio.

      • blivet says:

        “Except the company that was Liz Claiborne does not OWN or SELL Liz Claiborne products.”

        I hate this kind of thing.

  12. Cicadymn says:

    Well….It’s better than Qwikster…

  13. Straspey says:

    My wife works as an executive administrative assistant for a large company here in NY City. She has a number of Liz Claiborne business suits hanging in her closet.

    The name “Liz Claiborne” has always suggested well-made products with elegance and good taste – just like the name “Abercrombie & Fitch” had also done at one time.

    Oh well…

    Why do I suspect that the name “Fifth & Pacific Cos” will translate in to a product which will be less-elegant, cheaply made (and cheap looking) and geared for the “social media” crowd ?

    “Fifth & Pacific Cos- Like us on Facebook”

    A shame, really.

    • consumeristjohnny says:

      Why? THEY DON’T OWN THE BRAND ANYMORE. You can still buy Liz Claiborne still. It is just owned by JC Penney. The company is trying to avoid confusion. If your wife bought a Liz Claiborne dress today, and it was flawed, she would blame the Liz Claiborne Corporation, BUT they don’t make any business decisions regarding the product. Why is this such an issue for people. A business is trying to avoid consumers getting confused and people bitch. Sounds like you people need to get a clue.

  14. Wireless Joe says:

    Just wait until Google street view posts from “5th and Pacific” start rolling in. Like this one in Naperville. There has to be a flophouse or brothel in some American city at that intersection.

  15. GirlCat says:

    “Telegraphs?” Ha! I can call myself Beyonce all I want, but I’m still a slightly overweight, middle-aged white lady who can’t carry a tune.

  16. ancientone567 says:

    It is amazing how you take something good and turn it to mush in one step. This is almost as bad as coke moving to new coke. What a great idea! NOT! And they worst part is they pay these people actual money to ruin the company. ROFL

  17. nocar says:

    Filth & Pathetic Company ?

  18. farker22 says:

    i personally think this is a bad idea and any mba would tell you the same thing.

  19. whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

    Humbug. It sounds like the company doesn’t intend to continue working in the style of the old line. All my good-quality cotton sweaters are from Claiborne. Guess I’ll have to go check out Penney’s.

  20. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    Hipster cat is hipster.

  21. jp7570-1 says:

    Right, cause names like Armani, Ralph Lauren, Dior, Gucci, and many others are passe just because they are old.

    The is a hail mary from failing Claiborne, but ditching their name is not the right move.

  22. I Love Christmas says:

    Did anyone actually read the article? Liz Claiborne (the company) no longer own Liz Claiborne (the clothing line). Therefore, it makes perfect sense for the company to change their name. Now we can chat about their new name being stupid or whatever, but their old name was linked to a brand they no longer own, so of course they were going to change it. In fact, they may have agreed to change the company name when they sold the brand name…