By  on October 14, 2009

NEW YORK — J.Mendel’s bond to Bergdorf Goodman just strengthened with several strategic moves.

This fall, the furrier, which in the past offered a smattering of fur accessories in its freestanding stores, launched them exclusively at Bergdorf’s alongside a new fashion jewelry collection. Pieces include fur hats, scarves and vests in mink, fox or chinchilla, as well as jewelry, which is inspired by Joan Miro and consists of silk necklaces, with Swarovski crystals and cultivated mineral stones.

Among the accessories is a bronze crystal and lava bead cluster necklace for $1,895 retail, a black interwoven necklace for $495, a sheared mink riding cap for $1,250, and a cropped leather vest with a fox collar for $1,590. Overall, the accessories wholesale from $210 to $1,085.

The pieces will have double exposure on the 57th Street side of the store’s main floor, and the company’s fourth-floor shop, which recently underwent a strategic change. The 1,700-square-foot space, which sells the house’s fur coats and ready-to-wear, was previously leased. Last May, J.Mendel and Bergdorf’s decided to turn the rtw into a wholesale business, meaning the specialty store now buys the rtw.

J.Mendel president and chief operating officer Susan Sokol said the new setup gives the company an opportunity to work closely with Bergdorf’s team. “Before, as a leased vendor in rtw, we were more of an outsider,” Sokol said. “Now, we are part of the family. They own the merchandise and it’s part of their vendor matrix now. It behooves them to embrace the product and sell it through.”

Sokol said the plan is to triple the rtw business at Bergdorf’s over the next three years. Industry sources estimated as a leased department, J.Mendel was generating about $1.5 million in retail sales in rtw a year.

J.Mendel is continuing its leased strategy for the fur.

The move is in line with the overall strategy for rtw, for which it plans to double the wholesale business in the next five years. For fall, the company increased the number of doors from 19 to 60, adding such stores as The Montaigne Market in Paris; Holt Renfrew in Toronto; Linda Dresner in Birmingham, Mich.; Wilkes Bashford in San Francisco; Jamie in Nashville, and Coplon’s in Charlotte, N.C., and Richmond.

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