Justin Davis-Rice helped set up Australia’s Pleasure State lingerie in 2004 with ex-Bendon designer Kay Cohen, and was later brought into the Bendon fold when he was appointed a director in May 2010.
Then, in August 2011, millionaire Eric Watson merged his Bendon lingerie business with Pleasure State, and Davis-Rice took the reins of the business.
More recently, in May 2016, Paul Cherny, the former chief executive of Australian womenswear brand Camilla, was appointed as Bendon CEO and Davis-Rice assumed the role of executive chairman. The partners have since worked together to shape the future of the intimate apparel group.
Speaking at the time, Davis-Rice said: “Over the past two years, we have taken a number of steps to strengthen Bendon’s industry leadership resulting in tremendous progress in penetrating key markets, growing our global presence, and innovating in new product categories.”
Today, Bendon is a world leader in intimate apparel. Globally, the company’s brands are distributed through over 4,000 doors across 34 countries as well as a growing network of 60 company-owned Bendon retail and outlet stores in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Bendon’s stable of iconic brands includes Heidi Klum Intimates, Heidi Klum Swim, Evollove, Pleasure State, Stella McCartney Lingerie and Stella McCartney Swim.
In January 2017, the group announced its intent to merge with Naked Brand Group, a US-based underwear business listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
It has entered a Letter of Intent and hopes the merger will grant it immediate access to US capital markets, allowing further global growth.
The merger is also expected to boost Bendon’s global wholesale and retail distribution channels and allow it to capitalise on the expertise of Naked’s CEO, Carole Hochman, to strengthen its portfolio.
Davis-Rice said: “As a publicly traded company in the US, we expect to have an opportunity to accelerate our growth and strengthen our position as a global leader in intimate apparel, swimwear, innerwear fashion and lifestyle brands through both organic growth and strategic acquisitions.”
Location: Bendon’s corporate office is based in Auckland, while the group’s design, marketing, wholesale and retail teams are based in Sydney.
Focus: Lingerie manufacturing and retail
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