Kellwood and Meister Split

Los Angeles–based designer David Meister and Kellwood Co. have parted ways, according to an email sent to contractors and suppliers that said the last day of work for “most David Meister employees” would be March 14.

Meister has operated under the Kellwood umbrella for 15 years under a licensing agreement that will not be renewed, according to the memo. Kellwood is an affiliated portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners Inc. Its brands include Rebecca Taylor, XOXO, Jolt, Sag Harbor, Jax, My Michelle, Briggs, Rewind and Democracy. In November, Kellwood’s Vince brand raised $200 million in its initial public offering.

According to the memo from Kellwood Chief Executive Officer Lynn Shanahan, the two companies are “focusing on different paths. Kellwood is further expanding its already thriving contemporary, juniors and misses apparel businesses while David Meister is continuing to build his known and respected high-end, evening and day-dress business.”

The memo further states that David Meister brand President Audrey Felli will work closely with the brand’s retail partners on the transition and the company is “seeking other opportunities within Kellwood and Vince for our David Meister team.”

The final David Meister season under Kellwood will be Summer.

Employees were notified on March 6, and the Kellwood website still has David Meister listed among its brands. On March 3, Meister appeared on the “Today” show to discuss fashions seen at the Academy Awards.

Kellwood officials and Meister did not return calls and emails requesting comment about the change.