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Kokosalaki to Do High-End Denim

Sophia Kokosalaki is venturing into new territory with a denim capsule collection that will bow in July.

MILAN — Sophia Kokosalaki is venturing into new territory with a denim capsule collection that will bow in July.

This story first appeared in the June 5, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The line will be part of the designer’s first precollection launching for spring-summer 2009. Detailed with Kokosalaki’s signature lyre emblem and her graphic stitching, the six-piece line includes jackets, miniskirts, pants and shorts, all in black.

“This collection is very me,” Kokosalaki said. “I wear denim all the time and I always wear black.”

The designer, who was born in Greece, is based in London and holds her runway shows in Paris, described the pieces as “sophisticated and with a London-street-style feel.”

Kokosalaki said she employed Japanese stretch denim treated to obtain a soft touch and comfortable fit.

Kokosalaki’s brand was acquired in January 2007 by manufacturing firm Staff International, which is under the Renzo Rosso-owned Only the Brave Srl umbrella. This group also controls Diesel and Kokosalaki’s business and holds a master license with DSquared. The denim collection will be positioned at the top end of the market, retailing between 250 and 800 euros, or $386 to $1,236 at current exchange. The designer’s brand is available at 90 points of sale around the world. The company declined to provide sales figures.

“I’m very pleased with my business and the relationship with Renzo Rosso, who is very respectful of my work,” Kokosalaki said. “The brand is growing fast, with more accessories and a new jewelry line.”

Rosso said Kokosalaki expressed a strong desire to experiment with denim. This fabric, he said, “has always appealed to main designers around the world and Sophia is very talented and surely no exception in this sense.” Rosso said he viewed this project as “interesting for the consumer and stimulating for the designer,” as denim lends itself to “countless applications in fashion from streetwear to a red-carpet look.”

Kokosalaki said the introduction of a precollection was a business decision, but also a way for her to “separate [her] thoughts into a more accessible, easy-to-wear collection versus a main collection, which is more experimental.”

The designer, a graduate of Central Saint Martins in London, launched her namesake line in 1999 and is known for her romantic collections inspired by her Hellenic background, her intricate pleating techniques and sophisticated draped dresses.