Tabar, Inc., a private label technical sport glove design and production firm which has built handwear for the outdoor and sports markets for more than 32 years, is merging with Fownes Brothers & Co., Inc., a 236-year-old company in the broader cold weather accessory retail market.
Together they will serve both the technical outdoor and fashion sides of the glove and accessory business, from Fifth Avenue to Mount Everest and everywhere in between.
Effective immediately, Tabar becomes a wholly-owned division of the Fownes Performance Group. The announcement was made jointly by Gary Schloss, president of Tabar, Inc., based in Bethel, Conn., and Even Dunlop, principal and chief operating office of Fownes Brothers, based in New York.
Tabar, known as the “go to” company for the design and sourcing of leading edge, turn-key glove and accessory programs, will combine its strength in technical handwear for the outdoor, hunt/fish, cycling, industrial and tactical markets, with the support of Fownes Brothers’ extensive back office, sourcing, and production, including company-owned factories in Asia.
Tabar will maintain its design offices in Bethel, CO, and Bellingham, WA., and plans to join the midtown New York Fownes Brothers showroom at 16 E. 34th Street, one block from the Empire State Building.
“The line between technical sport and fashion has blurred over the years. Consumers expect both qualities when it comes to product. This merger makes this expectation a seamless reality,” said Even Dunlop of Fownes Brothers.
“This merger combines Fownes’ leather glove heritage with Tabar’s technical expertise, allowing Tabar’s talented design team to expand into a variety of new categories.”
The two firms have collaborated over the years and saw this alliance as an opportunity to broaden the products it can offer clients. Fownes Brothers provides privately branded headwear, neckwear and handwear to retailers including Nordstrom, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Bloomingdales, American Eagle, and J.Crew.
Tabar designs and manufactures handwear for retailers such as EMS, REI, Eddie Bauer, and MEC, as well as a wide range of manufacturers.
Adds Tabar's Gary Schloss, “Becoming part of the Fownes Brothers traditional resources allows Tabar the ability to be a truly vertical source within some areas of our product offering a real benefit to current and potential clients.
“Tabar will also have direct access to patented technologies such as touchscreen-friendly capacitive materials, and we are also expanding our technical abilities around heat retention and generation, audio and Bluetooth integration, as well as LED lighting and high visibility solutions for the technical handwear category,” according to Schloss.
Says Dan Ramos, senior product manager equipment for The North Face in Alameda, Calif., “This is truly the best of two worlds. Fownes has been making dress and casual gloves for literally centuries. Tabar has been covering the technical side for three decades gloves you can depend your life on. Bringing these companies together will ultimately benefit the end consumer with the best handwear available today,” Ramos believes.
Tabar was honored as a top 10 “Best Places to Work” in the outdoor business by Outside Magazine for four consecutive years, from 2009-2012.
Fownes Brothers was established in the U.K. in 1777 and continues to be privately held by the same family for over 100 years.