BEBOP ADDS KNITS TO REPERTOIRE

Byline: Kristi Ellis

LOS ANGELES--BeBop Clothing Inc., which made its name producing junior denim sportswear, has expanded into knits.
The seven-year-old company produces 90 percent of its product in denim. It will launch a junior knit collection for spring selling.
BeBop's volume has doubled over the past three years to between $35 million and $38 million, according to Marcus Sphatt, founder and co-owner.
"As a merchandiser/designer you need change," he declared. "I know that there is a lot of change out there with retailers right now and you have to be inspired to do new things."
Sphatt will launch the knit line in New York in January, with first deliveries of Feb. 15 and Feb. 29. He has also hired a new vice president/national sales manager, Myles Koplow, to market and promote the line.
"This company is not adding the product out of the need to bring in dollars to maintain its existence," said Koplow, who most recently was a partner in L.M. Marketing Group, a multiline showroom at the California Mart, where he oversaw product development and merchandising for denim and knitwear lines.
"This is a way to offer the public additional product associated with the BeBop label, which is becoming recognized in the market and has developed a following," he said.
BeBop, which does all of its cutting, sewing, design and construction in-house, will design the knit line in the company's 100,000-square-foot facility here.
"We can follow the garment from A to Z, which will help us control costs," said Koplow.
BeBop will target junior consumers from 16 to 30 years old and market the line to better specialty and department stores. Wholesale price points will range from $8 to $22.
Sphatt projects a first-year volume of between $8 million and $10 million.
He also plans to budget $100,000 for co-op and print advertising for the first and second quarters.
"She wants to look like a girl again," said Koplow of the consumer the company is targeting. "She is not wearing grunge or her father's clothes and she has no earrings in her nose."
The spring line, which is comprised of a dozen groupings with four to five silhouettes per group, will be offered in four color palettes: black and white, natural tones, dusted pastels and brights.
Fabrics include garment-dyed, sculptured French terry, French terry, polyester, acetates, rayons and nylons, yarn dyed stripes, houndstooth and jacquard knits.
Silhouettes include pants, shorts, skirts, scooters and skorts. Tops include fitted, cap sleeve, long sleeve and jacket/vest looks.
Sphatt said he is focused on a body-conscious, feminine look. The line also has a Mod look reminiscent of the Sixties and early Seventies.
"It is a new challenge for us," said Sphatt. "The fabrications are not just a simple 10- to 14-ounce denim. We are looking at pointelles to knits to ribs to acetates."

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