By  on May 24, 2005

NEW YORK — Magaschoni is shifting into high gear.

The company recently opened a boutique here, launched a wovens division and beefed up its New York-based staff to support anticipated growth. Known to customers mostly for its wide assortment of knits under the MAG by Magaschoni moniker, the company will also be remerchandised as Magaschoni beginning this fall.

"There is more worldwide brand recognition for the Magaschoni label," Monica Belag-Forman, president of Magaschoni Apparel Group Inc., said of the decision to streamline the branding effort. "We felt more people recognized us as Magaschoni, so all of our corporate identification has been changed to Magaschoni."

Underneath the Magaschoni umbrella it will operate the Blue Label for knitwear and casual bottoms and the new Beige Label for wovens, including suits, coats, dresses and separates.

Magaschoni is a division of the M. Magtague Co. Ltd., which had its origins in 1976 when it was launched as a children's clothing resource for department and specialty stores such as B. Altman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bonwit Teller. It has also been a cashmere supplier to many Seventh Avenue fashion houses. While the company is Chinese-owned, it has its international design headquarters here.

The company sells its own label to 800 accounts, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus Direct, Stanley Korshak and Fred Segal.

About a decade ago, the company launched MAG by Magaschoni for its knitwear and continued to use the Magaschoni label for its social occasion business, which it is now incorporating into Beige Label.

"We see an opportunity in wovens between Elie Tahari and Ellen Tracy," said Belag-Forman.

Beige Label consists of suits and separates and is marked by unexpected details such as paneled collar stitching or pleated linings. For holiday, key looks in Beige Label include a gold metallic trench, priced at $297 wholesale; a tuxedo jacket, priced at $270 wholesale; a jacket with pleated lining, $220; a panne velvet and crinkled chiffon with grosgrain jacket, $175; a crocheted evening lace skirt, $160, and a gold brocade jacket, $182. Overall, Beige Label wholesales between $110 and $300 and targets 200 doors in the first year. Sales projections for Beige Label are $7 million to $10 million, according to Belag-Forman.

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