NEW YORK--It didn't take Carmine Porcelli long to find a new job. Porcelli, who resigned as director of licensing for Oscar de la Renta April 22, has resurfaced in the same post at Halston International, a unit of Tropic Tex International Apparel Group. TTI, as reported, acquired the Halston name this year for all products except fragrances and cosmetics. That license is held by French Fragrances. TTI plans to license the Halston name for women's dresses, suits, sportswear and accessories; men's wear, and home furnishings, said Porcelli. The Halston collection will be aimed at the upper moderate market, and Porcelli will direct design, marketing, advertising, labels and packaging for all the licensees. The first lines are expected to hit retail for spring 1997. "The company conducted extensive research, and found that the Halston name was well recognized by 18-to-60-year-olds, with the strongest recall among consumers 28 to 40," Porcelli said. "The name has been around a long time, and younger people have been exposed to it mainly because of the fragrance." The enterprise will be based at 1407 Broadway, where the company is taking the 41st floor. Marc Setton, chairman of TTI, which he founded 12 years ago with his brother, Jack, said wholesale volume for the Halston lines is expected to surpass $250 million in three to five years. "This is what Halston wanted, which was [to reach] all of America," Setton said. "This is prime time for designer names. There are a lot of designer names in the better end and higher, but nothing right now in moderate." Halston will be distributed through department and specialty stores, catalogs and TV. The company is discussing in-store shops with key retailers, although Setton said he is "not a retailer," and probably would not do freestanding stores. TTI posted sales of $350 million last year in its private label and branded apparel business, which includes the names Airport, Richard Simmons, Croquet Club and Kids Today. Setton said an initial public offering could also be in the works at some point.
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