ABS By Allen Schwartz has been the culmination of a life devoted to fashion. Schwartz’s history in the fashion world has taken him from being the original founder of Esprit de Corp all the way to ABS, where the company has been committed to providing women with their fill of exciting fashion.
In 1988, ABS launched its flagship retail store on the luxurious Montana Avenue in the Santa Monica, Brentwood area of Southern California. With corporate headquarters in Los Angeles, ABS also markets its clothing at its 7th Avenue showroom in New York City.
The brand’s merchandise is distributed in such stores such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom, as well as through fine specialty stores and high-end websites. Globally, ABS by Allen Schwartz has a presence in Europe, Asia, Canada, South America and exclusive distribution in the Middle East.
ABS has key licensees in footwear, denim, career sportswear, jewelry, cold weather accessories, eyewear and handbags. Allen B, an exclusive line for JCPenney, is designed by Allen and his design team.
The ABS product is exclusively made in the USA. “Our goal has never been to be the biggest,” Schwartz says. “I have always believed volume is vanity, profit is sanity. Manufacturing here means we can identify when we need to change midstream.”
Over the last three decades, ABS has been at the forefront of many fashion developments. Schwartz says the company pioneered the boyfriend jacket in the 1990s and was ahead of the industry in embellishing denim with studs, stones, embroidery and lasers. The company also has dressed many celebrities, including Heidi Klum and Britney Spears.
“We merchandise every day, and we work to develop products every minute and every hour of every day,” Schwartz explains of the brand. “Here in Los Angeles, we have a 30,000-square-foot design room upstairs with shipping and customer service downstairs.”
In 2003, Allen joined with Armand Marciano, one of the original founders of Guess? Jeans. Marciano is involved in all logistics and oversees licensing opportunities, which gives Allen the chance to focus on product, new brand development as well as marketing.
As the company strives to stay ahead of fashion cycles, it is looking for new ways to grow the business and brand awareness. ABS recently started its own Instagram account, and the company is looking to set up its own e-commerce operation.
The new Blue Pearl by Allen Schwartz lifestyle sportswear line is an exciting new development for the company as well as a possible flagship retail store in Brentwood. “We have a lot going on between supporting our licenses, creating our own e-commerce business, opening another retail store and continuing to polish the brand,” Schwartz says.
ABS will continue to develop strong licensing partnerships with those that understand its culture, and it will always strive to stay on top of the trends.
“We must continue to grow our business opportunities and get our e-commerce operation going while maintaining our core business and unique place in fashion,” Schwartz says.