By  on October 1, 2008

LIJA EXPANDS SPORTS: LIJA is branching out beyond its golf roots. After launching as a golf line in 1998, LIJA for spring 2009 is adding tennis and active categories, as well as expanding the lifestyle collection it launched last spring. Wholesaling from about $30 to $65, the new collections are projected to be sold in about 100 doors, including some of LIJA’s current golf retailers, as well as resorts and specialty stores. “Active and tennis, our most current expansions, seemed to have natural synergies for us as a lifestyle company as well as providing buying synergies for some of our current customers,” said LIJA founder Linda Hipp. Within two years, the company expects the new lines will represent a quarter of its nearly $10 million in wholesale volume.

ADVISORY SERVICE: Carson Kressley, host of “How to Look Good Naked” and formerly “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” is touring New York & Company stores to host fashion shows and Q&As for shoppers. The five-stop tour kicks off on Oct. 20 in New York, then moves to Boston, Chicago and Dallas, before finishing in Los Cerritos, Calif., on Nov. 14. “This tour gives us the opportunity to create brand awareness and show how New York style is translated through our new fashion collections,” said Celia Rao Visconti, New York & Co. executive vice president of marketing. Special space is reserved for the retailer’s reward club members, though other shoppers are welcome, and the company’s Web site will also post videos and Q&As with Kressley.

ROUSSO HELPS SUCK IT IN: Rousso Apparel Group is serving up help for women looking to suck in their waists for holiday. The vendor is launching Skinny Tank, a line of jersey tops and dresses with a nylon spandex panel to slim the midsection. More than 200,000 units of the new shapewear, which wholesales from $13 to $24, have been booked in 800 Macy’s, Dillard’s and Belk doors, according to New York-based Rousso Apparel Group.

CASHMERE CAUSE: Lorraine Bracco and Julianna Margulies stopped by The Magaschoni Apparel Group’s triannual event last week, helping to raise funds for the Center for Discovery, a New York nonprofit organization dedicated to providing supportive environments for people with severe disabilities. Calculations on how much was raised have not yet been finalized.

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