Xcel Brands
Mar 13, 2017

Xcel Brands, Inc. Celebrates Judith Ripka's 40th Anniversary of the Formation of Her Iconic Jewelry Brand Which Has Achieved Over $2 Billion in Lifetime Sales

This Year Marks Judith Ripka's 20th Anniversary with QVC

NEW YORK, March 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Xcel Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:XELB) announced today that Judith Ripka, a luxury jewelry brand in its portfolio, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in business and 20th anniversary with multichannel retailer QVC®. The brand celebrates the milestone with over $2 billion in total lifetime sales across all retail channels. The Judith Ripka brand joined the Xcel Brands portfolio in 2014.

"Judith's success is remarkable and a testament to the true staying power of her brand," commented Robert D'Loren, CEO of Xcel Brands. "Her talent is undeniable and accomplishments as a businesswoman serve as an inspiration to all aspiring entrepreneurs. We are excited to celebrate this milestone with her, and continue driving success for Xcel's entire portfolio and partners."

Judith Ripka, founder and Chief Designer for Judith Ripka, is one of America's most successful female entrepreneurs and influential icons in jewelry. She began her career with The May Department Stores Company, where she was an assistant jewelry buyer to Dawn Mello, a legendary figure in retail who later became the first female president of Bergdorf Goodman. After seeing a void in the market, Judith began creating her own designs and pieces, sharing them with friends and family. She sold her first design — a bead necklace — to the Finlay Stores, which operated leased jewelry departments in eight hundred stores. While raising three young boys, Judith began her business, traveling between New York City where she maintained her factory and Long Island where she made her home. Since then, the brand has become known for an immediately identifiable design DNA rooted in a timelessness and tradition which will appear forever modern. Her jewelry makes function an integral part of form and highlighted special textures, makes closures a prominent part of the artistry of the pieces and champions interchangability amongst the pieces. Made with 18k yellow gold and sterling silver, collections feature earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces, and an array of stones.

"From a very young age, I had set my mind on designing jewelry. To me, jewelry was about love — the love I had for my family and the love my mother taught me to see in the world. Each piece of jewelry I design is an expression of the beauty in all the little things around me as shared through the eyes of my mother," commented Judith Ripka. "I am thrilled to be celebrating this milestone with Xcel Brands and grateful to those who have supported me along this journey. I have always reached for the sun, moon and stars, and knew I had to follow my passion and dream of becoming a jewelry designer. I am very much looking forward to the brands' next chapter and many more milestones to come."

The Judith Ripka brand has a presence in high-end department stores, better independent jewelry stores, and through QVC, which combines retail, media and social to create an engaging shopping experience. As one of QVC's leading fine jewelry brands, Judith Ripka jewelry is featured numerous times a month through QVC's broadcast programming and ecommerce platforms and is highly sought-after by customers. On March 23rd, the brand will celebrate its 20th anniversary on QVC with a special feature and series of vignettes that highlight Judith Ripka. Among her many milestones, Judith Ripka was chosen as one of "The Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World" and is a recipient of the DeBeer's Award for Outstanding Jewelry Design. She was also honored with the prestigious Albert Einstein Spirit of Achievement Award in recognition of her philanthropic endeavors.

"Judith is an icon among the jewelry industry and among QVC customers," commented Ken O'Brien, Senior Vice President of Merchandising for QVC. "She has surprised and delighted our customers through the years with exquisite product and this milestone is a true testament to her commitment and passion. We are so proud to have played such a pivotal role in Judith's history and look forward to seeing what the future holds for the brand."

Xcel Brands, a brand management and media company, was founded by Robert D'Loren in 2011 with a vision to reimagine shopping, entertainment and social as one. In addition to Judith Ripka, the company owns the Isaac Mizrahi, H Halston, C. Wonder and Highline Collective brands. Xcel Brands is pioneering an omnichannel sales strategy which includes the promotion and sale of products under its brands through direct-response television, internet, brick and mortar retail, and e-commerce channels.

ABOUT XCEL BRANDS, INC. (www.xcelbrands.com)
Xcel Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:XELB) is a brand management and media company engaged in the design, production, licensing, marketing and direct-to-consumer sales of branded apparel, footwear, accessories, jewelry, home goods, and other consumer products, and the acquisition of dynamic consumer lifestyle brands. Xcel was founded by Robert W. D'Loren in 2011 with a vision to reimagine shopping, entertainment and social as one. Xcel owns and manages the Isaac Mizrahi, Judith Ripka, H Halston, C. Wonder and Highline Collective brands, pioneering an omnichannel sales strategy which includes the promotion and sale of products under its brands through direct-response television, internet, brick and mortar retail, and e-commerce channels. Headquartered in New York City, Xcel Brands is led by an executive team with significant production, merchandising, design, marketing, retailing, and licensing experience, and a proven track record of success in elevating branded consumer products companies. With a team of over 100 professionals focused on design, production, and digital marketing, Xcel maintains control of product quality and promotion across all of its product categories and distribution channels. Xcel differentiates by design. www.xcelbrands.com

ABOUT JUDITH RIPKA LTD. (www.judithripka.com)
Judith Ripka Ltd. is an American luxury jewelry brand that appeals to women of impeccable taste worldwide. Over the brand's 40-year history, it has become known for an immediately identifiable design DNA rooted in a timelessness and tradition which will appear forever modern. Available in the fine department and specialty jewelry stores around the world, Judith Ripka Ltd. 18k Gold and Sterling Silver designs have been worn by notable celebrates such as Cindy Crawford, Kate Hudson and Rose Byrne.  A favorite among fashion trend setters, celebrities and style conscious women everywhere, Judith Ripka Ltd. was ranked as one of the top five fine jewelry brands in the US by Women's Wear Daily in 2013. www.judithripka.com 

QVC, Inc., QVC, the Q and Q Ribbon Logo are registered service marks of ER Marks, Inc. and QVC, Inc.

Media Contact:

Stephanie Taylor 
Xcel Brands, Inc.
staylor@xcelbrands.com
347-727-2483