Berlei Europe and Berlei Australia have reunited to form a global sportswear and lingerie brand after more than 30 years of operating independently.
Berlei, part of Pacific Brands in Australia, and Berlei Europe, part of the Courtaulds group of companies, both trace their roots back to the original Berlei brand, formed in 1917 by brothers Fred and Arthur Burley in Australia.
As part of its growing international business, Berlei entered the UK market in the 1930s, but the UK and Australian businesses have operated wholly independently since the 1980s.
The partners said the joint venture represents a visible unification of the brand and an acknowledgement of its shared heritage.
The merger will also see tennis champion Serena Williams, who has been the face of Berlei Australia for two years, become an ambassador for the new global brand.
Elise Recour, general manager of Berlei Europe said: “This announcement signifies a landmark moment in our collective brands’ history and the start of an exciting new chapter which will see our resources combined and market reach increase dramatically.”
Kate Hann, category and international general manager for Berlei Australia commented: “Berlei is a market leader in bras in Australia and the new partnership enables us to work alongside each other to build a worldwide brand which is recognised throughout both the northern and southern hemispheres.”
The newly-formed international team will work together to create a new collection which will be available for retail from 2016. In the meantime, the business will concentrate on forming a single global platform supporting the brand.