By  on April 3, 2008

NEW YORK — Oved Apparel Corp. is getting into contemporary.The parent company of such urban brands as Dr. Jay's, Akademiks and Mecca, as well as PRPS, a high-end denim brand, and Company 81, a sporty men's label, has become well known in the men's wear arena. Now Oved has invested in the women's category with the acquisition of young contemporary brand Boy Meets Girl by Deesh, a six-year-old label founded by Stacy Morgenstern Igel. Oved purchased a majority stake from Morgenstern Igel and all rights from JARS Designs, the brand's former licensee. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but market sources said the label was likely purchased for about $8 million."We are confident that Boy Meets Girl will contribute to our brand strategy," said David Oved, president of Oved Apparel. "Stacy Morgenstern Igel is a talented designer and has a great energy, and we see great potential for brand development."That brand development has already begun. With Morgenstern Igel still at the creative helm, the brand is now based out of Oved's headquarters at 31 West 34th Street here. Since the brand has been known for its signature boy and girl profile logo, Morgenstern Igel said she will interpret it in new ways, such as in an allover print on a hoodie or in a more subtle way, as on a zipper pull. Also, she said, the collection has become more focused, with 60 percent of the line made as activewear with hoodies, tanks and pants as staples and 40 percent fashion based, showing novelty tops, dresses and jackets. Wholesale prices range between $20 and $60, which is, on average, about $10 less expensive than it used to be."I'm really going after that young contemporary customer, since there is such a void in that arena," Morgenstern Igel said. "The best way to describe the young contemporary customer is stylish, edgy and sexy. She is a young modern girl ranging in age from 16 to 35. She has grown up in the world of celebrity, she is technology-savvy — she has the Internet at her fingertips, writes and reads the fashion and trend blogs and is making her own unique style. I think it is all about the attitude. Also, in this ever-changing economy, being at a great price point is key to building brand loyalty."While Morgenstern Igel said she wants to carefully grow the brand over time, plans are in the works for brand extensions, as she said she would like to launch accessories ranging from socks to handbags. Also, in about three years, Oved hopes to open Boy Meets Girl freestanding stores."Right now we are focusing on our wholesale and hoping to grow that business," Morgenstern Igel said. The line is sold in about 60 specialty stores worldwide and has just been picked up by Neiman Marcus Cusp for fall. Morgenstern Igel said she expects to reach $25 million in wholesale volume within the next five years.

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