By  on April 8, 2008

Bluestar Alliance, the private equity fund that purchased a majority stake in Liz Lange Maternity in November, has signed a licensing agreement for Liz Lange maternity apparel with Zoomers Inc., the parent company of Planet Motherhood.

Thanks to Zoomers' broader maternity capabilities, the line, which will wholesale from $40 to $90, will add categories like premium denim and expand into more knits, T-shirts, prints and swimsuits.

"Our biggest challenge always with our high-end line was manufacturing," said founder Liz Lange, who will continue to design the collection. "So to be able to find a partner with their manufacturing capabilities opens a whole new world for us."

Bluestar chief executive officer Joey Gabbay expects to triple the distribution of the line, which was in about 200 upscale specialty stores, including Nordstrom, before it closed after fall 2007.

Liz Lange's three retail stores have closed, but the company plans to open a single boutique in either New York or Beverly Hills for fall.

"I opened retail stores 10 years ago because there were no stores that carried maternity, and that was the only way I could get my clothes to customers," Lange said. "Today the landscape has changed and there are lots of specialty stores offering maternity."

Lange said the next licensing agreement will likely be for a maternity intimates line.

The designer continues to do a lower-priced Liz Lange for Target maternity collection.

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