By  on February 5, 2008

NEW YORK — With the help of Everlast, Zaldy is getting deeper into contemporary.

The designer, who has designed his own high-end namesake collection, is best known for his work designing Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. line. Now he is branching into the contemporary world via a new partnership with The Moret Group's Everlast brand.

In the deal, Zaldy has signed a long-term agreement with Everlast to create the Zaldy by Everlast contemporary collection. The new line will replace the Norma Kamali by Everlast brand, which, after three years at retail, will close.

"Norma was great, she did some great work for us, but she started going in a new direction so we both agreed to terminate our relationship," said Gary Herwitz, chief operating officer of The Moret Group. "Zaldy's collection will now fill that void."

The collection, which will launch at the Fashion Coterie on Feb. 10, is ready to ship for fall deliveries, Herwitz said. The line includes an array of outerwear choices, such as a blue leather trenchcoat, nylon Windbreaker and French terry cape coat. There are solid and printed cotton jersey dresses in colors such as bright yellow, navy and basic black, and long knit zip-up hoodies. The line wholesales from about $125 to $300.

"It's sporty, but also feminine and wearable," Zaldy explained. "When I was working at L.A.M.B., I really gained a great appreciation for the contemporary market. I did my own high-end line for so long and it just became so difficult to make any money. With this line, I can make things that are still very well designed, but the prices are great."

Herwitz said the Kamali collection was generating about $15 million annually. He said he would like to do the same with Zaldy's line and eventually double the sales. Right now, the Kamali collection is sold at major department and specialty stores such as Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Intermix, Scoop and Holt Renfrew also will begin selling the line in Canada.

"When Norma started three years ago, we brought her in to make the Everlast brand a bit cooler," Herwitz said. "We started the line as fashionable activewear, but what we ended up selling were the dresses, so it really evolved from there."Herwitz said he is confident that Zaldy will add an even more powerful fashion element, but still use traditional active fabrics such as nylon, French terry and polyester-Lycra blends. Zaldy said he also will add in some more fashion-forward fabrics such as wovens, fake fur and leather. After Coterie, the line will be available in the 10-Eleven showroom here and in Los Angeles.

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