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Friday, Jun 21, 2024

Liberated Expands in Costa Mesa­

Liberated Brands has taken an additional 41,055 square feet of subleased office space at The Met campus on Anton Boulevard in Costa Mesa, about half a mile from South Coast Plaza. The sublease, to start in May, runs through 2027.

The company’s headquarters remain on Monrovia Avenue in Costa Mesa.

JLL represented Liberated in the deal, which closed in March, for all of the sixth and seventh floors of the 12-story building at 555 Anton Blvd.

Synchrony Financial is subletting the space and will stay in the project.

The bank was represented by Cushman & Wakefield’s John Gallivan and Amanda Mann.

Mitch Lundquist and Steve Wagner of JLL represented Liberated Brands.

Liberated’s move follows a year of client growth, resulting from acquisitions and through its partnership with New York City-based management firm Authentic Brands Group, which specializes in acquiring and exploiting brand names from companies in financial difficulty.

Its properties include Sports Illustrated, Forever 21 and Reebok.

Liberated was formed by and majority owned by Volcom’s Chief Executive, Todd Hymel, along with several members of Volcom’s management team. Authentic owns a minority stake.

Liberated initially took over management and control of the Volcom brand in 2019. It recently began managing various operations for many Authentic-owned brands.

These functions include managing product designs, sales and distribution, typically for lines of active, outdoor and sports apparel.

OC Brand Takeover

After Authentic Brands bought Huntington Beach-based Boardriders and its retail portfolio last September, Liberated took over the operations for Boardriders’ brands Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, RVCA, Honolua Surf and Boardriders itself.

Liberated now manages the retail and e-commerce operations for Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, RVCA, Honolua and Boardriders. It’s also the license partner and wholesale distributor of Billabong, RVCA and Honolua for some of the companies’ core product categories, including adult activewear, swimwear and headwear.

The Boardriders portfolio was said to generate annual retail sales of $2.9 billion at the time of the acquisition.

A month after taking over Boardriders, Authentic and Liberated said the latter would take over the international growth efforts for the newly acquired brands, as well as DC Shoes, Element, VonZipper and other Authentic-owned brands.

This included oversight of a retail network of more than 200 locations across Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Indonesia.

Last year marked the largest addition of retailers for Liberated since its founding.

“This expansion has led to nearly doubling our domestic workforce,” Liberated’s Chief Operating Officer Brad Holman told the Business Journal.

This is “an exceptional property that will accommodate our growing team,” he added.

The group acquired the core licenses for Boulder, Colo.-based Spyder in 2021 to run its apparel sourcing, product design, marketing, wholesale, e-commerce and retail store operations.

In 2022, Liberated acquired Captain Fin Co. and became the sole owner of the Costa Mesa-based builder of surfboard fins, clothing and surfing accessories.

The company said it currently sells products in more than 100 countries through department and specialty stores, in over 400 of its company-operated retail stores and 48 company-owned websites.

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