By  on September 15, 2009

NEW YORK — Christian Cota, who is presenting his spring collection today, is joining the growing list of young designers branching out into second lines.

On Thursday, Cota will unveil Agua Cota — a more casual alternative to his main collection at contemporary price points. The idea to start the offshoot came to him about a year ago, when customers began to ask him for clothes suitable for casual occasions such as the beach. Cota decided to create a line that was travel-friendly and made of fabrics that could be easily packed, from linen to jersey, silk gauze and bamboo jersey.

“This would let me broaden my customers, especially in a lot of Latin American countries, as the price point is much less,” the Mexico City native said. “Stores in Argentina and Mexico love my other line but just can’t afford it. This is a great way for them to have what I do here, and sell it there.”

Agua is the Spanish word for water, and the collection is inspired by it, from the wavelike draping to the prints, which Cota designed himself. The line also includes swimwear.

Cota said Agua Cota lets him explore “ease and comfort, and more about the lifestyle of the person, while with the main collection, I can explore and push fashion more.”

Cota launched his line two and a half years ago and is now in his fifth season. He sells his main collection in stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Capitol in Charlotte, N.C., and Forty Five Ten in Dallas, as well as international stores like Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong and in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Among the Agua Cota looks is a pique jersey hooded jumpsuit, a silk ruffled top and a printed silk gauze minidress. The suggested retail price point for Agua Cota ranges from $100 to $495, compared to $495 to $4,500 for the Christian Cota Collection. The company did not disclose wholesale price points.

Cota projects $1.5 million in wholesale volume for Agua Cota’s first-year sales.

The new line will be wholesaled through the Scarlett showroom in Manhattan, and the plan is to target upscale department stores and contemporary stores as well as resorts. The designer will unveil the new line at his showroom at 215 West 40th Street.

“[Agua Cota] allows me to express myself in a way that I can’t in the other collection,” Cota said.

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