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Bebe Teams With Subkoff

Bebe and Tara Subkoff are hooking up.

Bebe and Tara Subkoff are hooking up.

This story first appeared in the January 31, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Brisbane, Calif.-based retailer will launch a Tara Subkoff for Bebe capsule collection, to be sold in stores beginning Saturday. The collaboration will kick off an initiative for the company to collaborate with other cutting-edge designers.

Subkoff is best-known as the founding designer of the Imitation of Christ brand, and the deal with Bebe will be her second collaboration with a retailer. Three years ago, Subkoff designed a line of footwear for Easy Spirit.

“I knew a great deal about Tara’s line with Easy Spirit, and I really felt that she would be a great person to add a bit of edginess to our company,” said Greg Scott, Bebe’s chief executive officer. “Tara also really felt that the line should be on par with our own retail prices. She really wanted the client to be able to buy the clothes for the prices she was accustomed to paying. We worked really hard to make that happen.”

The result is what Scott described as a collection of basic items that “any woman would need.” Using a palette of black, white and red accented with an exclusive “heart print,” the 12-piece Tara Subkoff for Bebe collection retails from less than $100 for tops and skirts to $120 to $150 for pants, dresses and a signature trench. The quilted heart-shaped “Tara” bag retails for $79.

Manny Mashouf, Bebe’s founder and chairman, is on the hunt for more designers with whom to collaborate, Scott said. Through this “design lab,” those selected would have the opportunity to design a capsule collection, but not all of them would get their name on the label.