Following the November sale of its namesake brand, Liz Claiborne has announced it will change its name to Fifth & Pacific, effective May 2012.
The company—which retains the brands Kate Spade, Jack Spade, Lucky Brand, and Juicy Couture—proclaims on its new website:
Fifth & Pacific is the intersection of our intrinsically American brands. It is where California cool meets New York chic. It is the fashion destination of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and the open, casual feel of Malibu. From New York City, to the coasts of Los Angeles and Shanghai and beyond, Fifth & Pacific telegraphs who we are today — a brand-focused company serving our customers across the globe with high-quality, imaginative, and inspired products.
I had to read that paragraph three times to confirm that it was, in essence, saying that the new name geographically connects the retail brands, er rather, it telegraphs that we’re a totally global brand.
Gobbledygook aside, the name is also highly reminiscent of several other recent, high-profile fashion launches: Gilt’s Park & Bond (see our review of that name here), Nordstrom’s Treasure & Bond, and Gap’s short-lived Forth & Towne.
Also, one part of the name refers to a street, the other an ocean.
And it’s a mouthful.
But you know what? None of that matters all that much. Paying customers will be cognizant only of the retail brands, which may change over time. The naming assignment here was to develop a somewhat fashionable-sounding parent company name that was innocuous, pronounceable, flexible, extendable, and available—as a trademark, URL, and intuitive stock-ticker symbol (FNP).
These things are harder to do than you might think, and on these measures, the name succeeds.
Overall Grade: B