By and  on February 27, 2002

NEW YORK -- Liz Claiborne Collection is taking a cue from its career customers and paying more attention to the weekend.

As the definition of career wear has become blurred, executives at Liz Claiborne Collection decided it was time to revamp its core division and start offering items that can be worn not just Monday through Friday, but seven days a week.

"We really had the singular vision of career, and now we're dropping the word and focusing on the collection as a whole," said Karen Greenberg, president of Liz Claiborne Collection, which the company refers to as its "crown jewel," last week while previewing the fall line at its Seventh Avenue showroom. "We have done so much research where our consumer is involved and what we realized was she wants more versatility, not just in her work wardrobe, but also what she wears on the weekends."

Liz Claiborne started to introduce bits of the new look of Collection for spring, but the major launch will be in August with deliveries for fall. Greenberg said early reaction to it has been positive -- as the line's best-selling item for spring was also its newest and most forward, a wide-legged cuffed pant.

While not dramatically different than previous assortments, the updated look of Collection is more modern and stylish, featuring higher quality fabrics such as wools and silks, and offering more options than just suit looks. Included are versatile items like shirt jackets, hooded topcoats and corduroy pants that can translate from work to weekend.

"Whether our customer is an attorney, banker or schoolteacher, what she wears to work is based on the day," said Greenberg, who has been at Liz Claiborne for 17 years. "So on Monday, she might have a very serious meeting and want to wear a head-to-toe suited look, by Wednesday she might have more of a relaxed attitude and by Friday, she wants a complete separates approach."

The redesign of the 26-year-old Collection marks the first time Liz Claiborne has revamped the line because consumers were asking for a change.

"We haven't moved as forward with our consumer and we've been a little conservative in the past. Now we've got more forward looks," Greenberg said. "The consumer told us we had not evolved with her and that she wants more style, more versatility. She's not wearing the same thing to the office. After all the research, we realized we had to get out of being landlocked into this word 'career.' And the way to approach our customer is to give her more versatility."

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