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VF Corp Names Its Denim Spinoff

Instead of naming the planned publicly traded company after one of its iconic American brands, like Lee or Wrangler, the apparel maker will call the spinoff Kontoor Brands Inc.
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By
  • Bloomberg

NEW YORK, United States — VF Corp. has picked a name for its soon-to-be-spun-off jeans company, and it's a bit of a head-scratcher.

Instead of naming the planned independent, publicly traded company after one of its iconic American brands, like Lee or Wrangler, the apparel maker will call the spinoff Kontoor Brands Inc.

VF Chief Executive Officer Steve Rendle said in a statement the name is a “creative variation of the word contour” that lets each brand maintain its own identity under one umbrella. Scott Baxter, who’ll be CEO of Kontoor Brands, said the name was “inspired by the idea of a perfect fit.”

Choosing a broad if vague name that's not immediately identifiable with a company's products has been a recurring trend in the consumer space of late. Weight Watchers renamed itself WW this fall, while Dunkin' Donuts is becoming simply Dunkin'. Luxury fashion houses are taking a similar tack: Capri Holdings Ltd. — formerly Michael Kors — and Tapestry Inc. — previously known as Coach — have taken new names as they've added more brands. Still, the name Kontoor doesn't exude the rugged Americana VF tries to capture with its Wrangler jeans.

The company announced the planned spinoff in August, noting it wants to pivot away from denim to focus on faster-growing trends such as athleisure and outdoor apparel. It still hasn’t revealed a full leadership team, stock symbol or strategic vision, which will come before the completion of the separation, it said Thursday.

By Anne Riley Moffat; editors: Crayton Harrison and Timothy Annett.

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