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In department store retailing, brand exclusivity is considered a coup. That’s why the newly announced partnership between Belk and Lord & Taylor stands out.

Black Brown 1826 -- an exclusive menswear collection created by award-winning designer Joseph Abboud and sold only at Lord & Taylor -- is now available at Belk. “There are no location or regional overlaps between Belk and Lord & Taylor, creating the potential to have an exclusive, designer-driven men’s brand in our stores,” says John Thomas, Belk executive vice president, private brands. “The unique partnership started as a casual conversation in Asia about how great the product looked in development and manufacturing, and was enabled by our respective relationships with Li & Fung, our agents in Asia.”

Belk will offer an array of Black Brown 1826 shirts, shorts, blazers and denim, all merchandised with the Southern gentleman in mind, according to Thomas. Nearly half of the spring line (specifically in colors or styles) will be exclusive to Belk and sold in 61 of its 303 stores, as well as on belk.com.

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