NEW YORK -- Young designers Jennifer Buckley and Scott French of Betty Wear Inc. have come a long way since starting their innerwear firm in 1991.
Buckley and French, each 28 years old, and their independent backer, David Rothberg, plan to open the first of what they hope will be a series of Betty Wear specialty shops.
The freestanding 400-square-foot shop, which opens May 5 at 293 Essex St. in Millburn, N.J., will carry the firm's two daywear and sleepwear labels -- Betty Wear and Every Wear -- as well as a line of men's sleepwear called Wally Wear.
"We will be targeting affluent, suburban areas that will pose no conflict with existing retail accounts," said Rothberg, noting that the innerwear lines are distributed to major specialty and department stores, primarily in urban areas.
Rothberg said that if the shop generates first-year sales of between $100,000 and $200,000, additional shops will be opened in other upscale suburbs around the country. Startup costs for fixturing and a year's rent for each shop should total between $40,000 and $60,000, he said.
Rothberg, who also is owner and president of Leslee Knits Inc., a men's sweater contractor, started backing Buckley and French 2 1/2 years ago.
"I think we'll be able to get a really good handle in this store on what sells in suburbia," said Buckley, who handles merchandising and design. "We'll be able to test new styles and see what works at retail, and it will be an opportunity to merchandise the collections the way we want."
French, whose forte is finance and operation, noted that the shop will also be a "perfect vehicle" for newly introduced groups of silk and laces, as well as a line of basic daywear and sleepwear items under the Betty Wear label, all with an innerwear/outerwear flavor. Until now, the Betty Wear signature has been mix-and-match patchworks of woven cotton.
Rothberg, whose company handles production for Betty Wear, added, "Hopefully, we'll catch a lot of the vacation crowd, but the real push will be for fall. That's when we'll get an indication of how business will fare."Meanwhile, wholesale volume has been pushing ahead for Betty Wear. Buckley and French project total company sales this year will double to about $2.5 million. This is a far cry from the firm's first-year sales volume of a little over $150,000. At the time, the design duo kept overhead down by working out of a small apartment they shared that doubled as a studio.
In October, they moved into 2,500-square-foot offices at 37 West 17th St. that serve as design studio, warehouse and sales showroom. They employ a staff of five, and this line is handled by sales representatives in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Miami.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye