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Comune has created a pop up brand called Sandanista exclusively for PacSun in the U.S.
Comune founder Frank Delgadillo said several market trends gave him the idea, including how kids are moving away from logos and are more interested in styling.
He also wanted to create a lower-priced line with design that is fashionable yet not complicated that would appeal to a wider audience at the malls.
(Right: Comune Founder Frank Delgadillo at Comune's offices in Costa Mesa. Shop-eat-surf file photo.)
Working with one major retailer was key, because the goal was to create the line within Comune’s existing infrastructure, and he did not want to hire a separate sales force and design team.
PacSun seemed like the perfect partner because the retailer has been good to Frank throughout his career, he said, including during his Ambiguous days, and has wide distribution at malls across America.
Sandanista is a full collection – denim, casual pants, knits and Ts – and is priced about $10 to $15 less than Comune clothes.
Prices range from $45 for a woven to $48 to $52 for denim.
Currently, Sandanista is carried in about 100 of PacSun’s approximately 900 doors, and early indications are that it is being well received, Frank said.
He was happy to start off small, and wants the brand to grow only if demand is there instead of shoving too much product in too many stores.
While Sandanista is being distributed exclusively by PacSun in the U.S., the retailer’s buying team doesn’t necessarily buy the full collection each season, but rather the pieces the team believes will work best in its stores, Frank said.
I asked Frank if he would ever sell Sandanista to other retailers in the U.S. as well.
He said as long as PacSun is happy and the relationship is intact, he envisions the line remaining exclusively with them.
Frank made a similar distribution deal for Sandanista with Beams in Japan.
Meanwhile, Comune, sold in boutiques, better boardsport stores and Urban Outfitters, will double sales this year.