By  on April 9, 2007

MILAN — Alberta Ferretti is launching a children's line aimed at girls ages 4 to 12 that is to bow for spring-summer 2008 at Pitti Bimbo, the international trade exhibition set to run in Florence from June 29 to July 1.

Alberta Ferretti Girls will be produced by Grant SpA, based in Bologna, Italy, under a five-year license. Grant also produces children's wear for Moschino, which is controlled by Aeffe, owner of the Alberta Ferretti business, and for John Richmond, in addition to its own labels — Miss Grant, Microbe Boy and Girl and U+E.

"I'd wanted to do this for a long time," Ferretti said. "I finally found the company that has the right quality and skilled craftsmanship, as the collection must be in line with my own design sense."

Ferretti said the line was "neither bon ton nor streetwear. I can't stand little girls dressed as women. I find that vulgar, and I think we should plant the seeds of good taste early on. At the same time, I don't want the line to be boring, either. These clothes will be practical, for daily use, easy to wear, fun and feminine. I feel there is a market request for this kind of product."

Mauro Serafini, chief executive officer of Grant, a $40 million business, said, "There is a strong interest in the collection and clients are waiting for it. We believe the high-end market, especially now, is looking for innovative fashion, a refined and elegant product that also has a contemporary, young vision."

The first collection of Alberta Ferretti Girls will be about 90 pieces, ranging from pants to T-shirts and coats in cotton and jersey, often embroidered. Prices were not available, but Serafini said the line will be positioned in the high-end range of the market because of the focus on prime materials. He expects that the line will be available at 400 points of sale around the world in the first year.

"We have an added asset — Mrs. Ferretti is very much into this project, as she's wanted to enter the world of children's wear for a long time, and she follows it personally and enthusiastically," Serafini said.

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