Retail Brand Alliance (RBA) is completely allied behind its chief asset, the 194-year-old Brooks Brothers apparel business. Formed in 2001 as a holding company, RBA acquired Brooks Brothers that year from UK department store operator Marks and Spencer for about $225 million. It set about returning America's oldest clothing brand to its classic roots and expanding the chain internationally. The clothier has grown to about 325 stores worldwide, including about 180 locations in the US. It also has seven Country Club branded shops which feature a stately but more sporty line of apparel. Italian billionaire Claudio Del Vecchio owns RBA, which he acquired from his father's company, Luxottica Group.