By  on July 2, 2008

MILAN — After a six-year hiatus, Rebecca Moses is back in fashion, designing the first women's collection for upscale men's knit specialist Bilancioni.

The collection includes knitwear, wovens, accessories and costume jewelry and will be shown to European buyers next week. An informal presentation to the international press will take place during Milan Fashion Week in September.

Bilancioni is a family-run manufacturer based in Italy's Marche region with 55 years of experience in knitwear.

Chief executive officer Valerio Bilancioni views the new women's line as "an alternative to mass fashion and luxury multinationals. We want the product to do the talking, not the logo and we believe we have the know-how, organization and expertise to do so."

He and Moses met at a yarn fair in January and immediately began to get the project off the ground.

"I found Bilancioni a well-kept secret with a very high-quality level, which reflects my philosophy," said Moses. "I'm increasingly convinced that retailers today seek jewel companies or ones with design and high-quality standards that aren't overly distributed and keep their preciousness, especially at high price points."

Bilancioni's aim is to have 200 sales points worldwide for the women's line; in terms of sales, he expects to match the 13 million euros, or $20.5 million, men's wear revenues in three years. Bilancioni has five directly operated men's wear stores in Dubai; Cannes, France; Moscow; Beijing, and Shanghai as well as 330 wholesale doors.

Moses described her 140-piece collection as a luxury play box, filled with seasonless items for the chic globe-trotter.

She lops or weaves fine Italian and French fabrics and yarns such as silks, linens and cashmeres and built a lifestyle image around knitwear, which is colorful, fully fashioned and often worked on the bias. "It's anything but basic," said Moses. "Women today wear sweaters all the time and no one has time to change their closets around anymore so you need a variety of pieces handy."

Earlier this year, Moses joined forces with Li & Fung Ltd.'s Homestead division to create a home collection called Rebecca Moses Heart Soul Style. The lineup includes soft and hard goods, including tabletop, bed, bath and gifts.

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