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PacSun Heads to the Museum for Latest Partnership

PacSun’s Chief Executive Brieane Olson is keeping the apparel company close to the pop culture mindset of its younger demographic, through a continuous slate of brand collaborations.

The Anaheim-based retailer holds over 50 different accounts with a variety of apparel firms that diversify its stock both in stores and online, such as Fear of God, Adidas and Vans.

These accounts also include non-apparel institutions and celebrities whom the company believes can help merge the various interests of its younger consumers.

Olson, who rose to the co-chief executive position in March and then sole CEO in June, has worked with various actors and musicians such as Storm Reid and A$AP Rocky to release swimwear and streetwear collections. Leaning into mainstream interest, PacSun began collaborating with F1 auto racing last year by producing apparel with exclusive designs and released its third collection last May.

Met Life

PacSun’s latest partnership shows the company’s strategy of using influences other than celebrities and sports for fashion ideas.

In late August, PacSun released the fourth installation of its 2022-2023 collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, focused on historical art displayed at the New York City museum.

The apparel collections, which featured Van Gogh paintings, New York buildings and now Greek and Roman sculptures, have received an “immensely positive response” with many pieces selling out according to officials.

The latest capsule includes Met-inspired hoodies, tees, a corset top, a bomber jacket and patterned-denim pants that range in price from $25 to $90.

“We look forward to continuing to explore art and design in new ways with PacSun,” said Stephen Mannello, the museum’s head of retail and licensing, in a statement.

Olson believes that connections with brands and places like F1 and the Met will help PacSun grow in relevancy and revenue. The retailer is close to achieving $1 billion in annual sales after declaring bankruptcy in 2016.

“It’s really about our continuation of consumer affinity, and keeping our community engaged by creating unique intersections between fashion and other important factors in their life,” Olson told the Business Journal prior to her appointment to CEO.

“I think we have the strongest brand pipeline in the industry and look forward to continuing to turn out the most impactful and relevant collaborations for our consumer.”

Vans Partners

PacSun is not the only local apparel firm attempting to stay on track with modern trends.

While trying to recover from an over-dependence on its classics footwear line, Costa Mesa-based Vans also has a constant flow of shoe and apparel collaborations that highlight the company’s attempt to be relevant among consumers.

This year, the retailer has released designs from skateboarders and surfers to snack companies to high-end designers and popular television shows.

Collaborators from this year include Haribo gummy bears, New York fashion label Collina Strada and TV show Cobra Kai.

Creating more relevant products is a part of the actions Vans has taken to strengthen the company’s financial performance. Parent company VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) reported Vans’ first-quarter revenue was down 22% to $738 million.

“We remain intently focused on the actions to turn around the brand,” VF’s Chief Financial Officer Matt Puckett told analysts in August.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.

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