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VF Corporation

VF Corporation (formerly Vanity Fair Mills until 1969) is an American global apparel and footwear company founded in 1899 by John Barbey and headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The company’s 13 brands are organized into three categories: Outdoor, Active and Work. The company controls 55% of the U.S. backpack market with the JanSportEastpakTimberland, and The North Face brands.

History

In October 1899, John Barbey and a group of investors established the company as Reading Glove and Mitten Manufacturing Company (or simply The Reading Glove) in Reading, Pennsylvania. Incorporated on December 4 later that year, they began with $11,000 in a 320-square-foot (30 m2) factory that was leased for $60/month.

Expanding into silk lingerie in 1913, The Reading Glove was renamed Schuylkill Silk Manufacturing, branding its lingerie line as Vanity Fair. Soon thereafter, the company name changed in turn to Vanity Fair Mills, eventually going public in 1951.

In 1969, the H.D. Lee Company (now Lee) was acquired, accompanied by Vanity Fair Mills changing to VF Corporation. By 1982 VF posted profits of $15.5 million on sales of $184 million. Acquiring Blue Bell Inc. for US$762 million in 1986, VF added WranglerJanSport, Rustler, Jantzen, and Red Kap to its portfolio, effectively doubling its size and making it the largest publicly-held clothing company. VF would also become one of the two largest jeans makers in the world, making up 25% of the market.

In 1998, VF moved its headquarters from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania to Greensboro, North Carolina to be closer to more of its operations. Also in the 1990s, VF would acquire the Bulwark Apparel brand

In the early 2000s, VF’s acquisitions included The North Face and Eastpak in 2000; and KiplingNapapijri, and Vans in 2004. The company sold its ‘Vanity Fair Intimates’ lingerie business to Fruit of the Loom for US$350 million in cash on 23 January 2007. Later that month, VF acquired Eagle Creek. Also in 2007, VF acquired Majestic Athletic on February 28, followed by a $885-million purchase of 7 for all Mankind and Lucy Activewear on July 26.

Eric C. Wiseman became President, CEO, and Chairman in 2008, the same year that VF would acquire Mo Industries Holdings, parent company of sportswear brands Splendid and Ella Moss.

In 2011, VF Corporation announced its intention to purchase Timberland for $2.2 billion, a deal that would close in September that year. On 21 December 2012, VF Imagewear was awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to provide uniforms and insignia for U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. In February 2013, Imagewear was awarded a $50 million contract to manufacture uniforms for Transportation Security Administration officers.

Effective 1 January 2017 Steve Rendle took over CEO and President responsibilities. In 2017, VF acquired Williamson-Dickie’s brands, including Dickies, Workrite, Kodiak, Terra, and Walls. The next year, VF would acquire Icebreaker, complementing its Smartwool brand, as both feature Merino wool in its clothing and accessories. In 2020, VF acquired streetwear brand Supreme for US$2.1 billion.

In 2021, VF announced a definitive agreement to sell a portion of its occupational Work segment to a subsidiary of Redwood Capital Investments, LLC. On June 28, 2021, the sale was finalized, and the 11 divested brands became part of a new standalone company, Workwear Outfitters.

In September 2021, it was announced that the former president of emerging brands of VF Corporation Travis Campbell will acquire the Eagle Creek brand. The sale includes all Eagle Creek assets and liabilities. It does not include any Eagle Creek or VF associates.

Spinoff

In August 2018, it was announced that VF would be splitting into two separate companies. The jeans and outlet stores would be spun off as Kontoor Brands. VF kept the sports apparel and footwear businesses, and moved its corporate headquarters (and around 800 employees) to Denver, Colorado. An 11-story office building at 1551 Wewatta Street near Denver Union Station would become VF’s new corporate headquarters. All brands which until 2018 had maintained separate divisional headquarters (e.g., Jansport) were also consolidated into VF’s new Denver headquarters at that point in time.

Kontoor Brands Inc. became a separate company with the stock symbol KTB in May 2019. Kontoor includes LeeWranglerRock & Republic and VF Outlets. The company had 17,000 employees, 600 at the headquarters, at 400 North Elm Street in Greensboro, and merchandising, design, product development and innovation at Revolution Mill. A support center is located on South Elm-Eugene Street. Lee moved to Elm Street from Merriam, Kansas. CEO Scott Baxter said the name Kontoor referred to the “contour” of the body, but the original spelling could not be used.

BRANDS


  • Supreme;
  • Vans;
  • The North Face;
  • Timberland;
  • Dickies;
  • Altra;
  • Eastpak;
  • Icebreaker;
  • JanSport;
  • Kipling;
  • Napapijri;
  • Smartwool.

   With more than 50,000 employees, VF Corporation (VFC) is considered one of the Largest Public Companies in the World, according to Forbes.

*Information from Forbes.com, Wikipedia.org, and www.vfc.com.

**Video published on YouTube by “VF Corporation

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