WEEKEND EXERCISE HITS MASS MARKET

Byline: Karyn Monget

NEW YORK--Weekend Exercise Co. is selling its first line of activewear and bodywear, called 44th Street Athletic Club, to mass marketers.
First-year sales projection is $4 million, said Norm Zwail, president of Weekend Exercise.
The line will include bestselling basic and fashion looks that have been interpreted from the firm's established better-price lines, which include Marika, Aerodynamics, and the licensed Baryshnikov labels.
"Mass merchants have a thirst for new vendors, and they want to be just as contemporary as department stores," said Zwail.
"We've made a major commitment to this business and are aggressively pursuing mass merchants throughout the country.
Zwail further noted, "Mass merchants are doing very well with the bodywear and activewear categories, and definitely want more of that business."
First deliveries began this month of key items such as boxer shorts, variations of bra tops, vests and hooded jackets. The line will be merchandised each month with deliveries of core neutral colors accented with brights. For spring, neons will be the key color story.
Fabrics include blends of cotton, polyester and spandex, woven nylon, and cotton knit. Prints include stripes, florals and geometrics.
Wholesale prices will start at $5 for woven nylon shorts and go to $15 for a unitard or oversized hooded top.
Weekend Exercise created a design team and sales force for 44th Street. Lori Singer has been promoted to vice president of private label, a new post for the company, and will be responsible for developing, merchandising and sourcing 44th Street products. She had formerly been director of West Coast sales for six years.
Steven Oshatz is national sales manager for 44th Street. He was formerly a sales representative for the company's Marika and Aerodynamics bodywear lines for 11 years, and for the licensed Baryshnikov line for seven years.

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