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News / Business / Clark County Business

Ridgefield-based Agave denim bought by L.A. clothing firm

Company will move most of its operations

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian Business Editor
Published: May 25, 2016, 4:02pm

Agave, the Ridgefield-based maker of premium denim clothing for men and women, has been acquired by a Los Angeles women’s casual clothing maker and will move its warehouse and most operations to Los Angeles.

The family-owned clothing manufacturer XCVI, Agave’s new owner, will take over manufacturing and distribution of Agave’s product line of men’s and women’s denim jeans and knit tops, according to an XCVI news release from the two companies. Details about the acquisition were not disclosed.

Agave founder and owner Jeff Shafer will remain as the brand’s creative director, splitting his time between Clark County and Los Angeles, the Los Angeles company said. A small design team led by Shafer, who becomes creative director, will remain in Camas, initially working out of Shafer’s home, he told The Columbian. The team will have three other members, including Shafer’s brother Brad Shafer, a nephew, and one other employee, Jeff Shafer said.

Until the sale, the company had about 16 employees in the local area. Brad Shafer said the sale of the warehouse, at 6210 S. 11th St. in Ridgefield, is expected to close next month.

Agave’s specialty jeans currently are sewn and hand-finished in California. Under the new ownership the Agave clothing line will primarily be produced in Los Angeles, with more labor-intensive pieces produced overseas, said Daniela Zeltzer, XCVI’s marketing and communications director, who runs the family-owned company with her brother, Alon Zeltzer, in the news release.

Shafer founded Agave in 2002 and relocated from Santa Monica, Calif., first to Vancouver and then in 2009 to Ridgefield. Shafer said at the time that and his wife, Lauren, were looking for an alternative to the rushed pace of Southern California.

The company opened a warehouse and distribution center in Ridgefield and over the years has held regular warehouse sales there. The last of those sales is set June 3 through June 5.

Agave also operates a lower-priced online company, called Bluer Denim, that was not included in the acquisition. Shafer said he is working on licensing that company as a separate entity. A corporate entity called Surf Cowboy Inc. will cease to exist, he said.

Founded in 1996, XCVI creates casual clothing for women under its XCVI and XCVI Move brands. It also designs clothing for brands such as Ralph Lauren, Guess, Rag and Bone, True Religion, NYDJ and New Balance. XCVI creates its products in its own facilities in Los Angeles as well as at factory-direct overseas partners, according to a news release.

Columbian Business Editor