NEW YORK—Peter Schwadel has acquired the Sansabelt license and all Sansabelt inventory from Authentic Brands, which bought it in the HMX Group acquisition late last year. Schwadel, a menswear industry veteran known for bringing the Bagir tailored clothing brand to the US, is re-launching the Sansabelt brand with Chuck Krieger, who will be sales manager. The two plan to hire seven or eight sales reps across the country and handle large corporate accounts themselves.
Sansabelt was created in the late 1950s as a beltless trouser company. The pants, once favored by Dick Van Dyke and Johnny Carson, have hidden elastic waistbands that keep the pants up, hold the abdomen in and keep the shirt tucked. According to Schwadel and Krieger, it’s still a popular brand among NBA referees.
“Sansabelt has gone way down in volume since the first Hartmarx bankruptcy, but it still has 350 specialty store accounts,” said Krieger. When it came out, it was a fashion label. We’re going to make it modern by making it retro.”
“It has to be reinvented,” added Schwadel. “The pants have to be updated, even though the quality is great. We’re going to use only stretch fabrics.”
The new Sansabelt, which Schwadel and Krieger insist could be one of the biggest brands in North America in the next three years, will have four categories: classic, slim, golf and denim. They hope to keep their specialty store business and land major department stores. Pricing will be mid-range, with a suggested retail of $125.