By  on November 16, 2005

NEW YORK — Indigo Palms is ready to show off its chinos.

The division of Oxford Apparel's Tommy Bahama brand launched as a men's jeans company about three years ago. Shortly after, women's jeans joined the mix. Now the company is looking beyond denim and introducing the Indigo Palms Chinos brand, ready for spring retailing.

The small capsule collection includes eight key pieces for women and 16 for men. Wholesaling from $33 for the pigment-dyed cotton piqué polo to $58 for the soft cotton twill jacket, the line also features three pants styles and a linen button-down top.

"When we look at the market and try to anticipate things that are happening, we look at what's going on in the younger market," said Don Kerkes, president of Indigo Palms and Island Soft brands. "With that, we mix in what we are known for, a relaxed atmosphere and lifestyle, and make the clothes appropriate for our more mature customer. She wants to look and feel young, but without looking like she's not dressing her age."

While the collection is small, Kerkes said he expects it to account for 20 to 25 percent of the overall women's Indigo Palms business in its first year. While he would not give volume expectations for first-year sales, Kerkes said the line should be selling in about 100 better specialty stores.

The collection, designed mostly with cotton fabrics, was created with a relaxed point of view. The pieces can be easily packed for traveling, without the fuss of wrinkles.

"These are clothes as a matter of necessity," Kerkes said. "They are just easy to care for, and you don't have to spend time maintaining them."

Kerkes also said the clothes were created with a sense of humor, as with the interior pocket linings printed with a list of U.S. Embassy phone numbers from around the world. "It's in case you get caught with your pants down," he joked.

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