Badgley Mischka is diving into swim as the first fashion show in the tents at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Miami Swim Show on Wednesday.
Launching for resort, swim is the latest category for Mark Badgley and James Mischka, who are best known for their high-end evening gowns.
"When a woman has a beautiful swimsuit with a flowing sarong on, she looks like she is in a beautiful gown," Badgley said. "Our suits have our signature — with draping, embroidery and jewels that are very us."
Since Iconix Brand Group acquired the design house in 2004, Badgley Mischka has developed into a lifestyle brand with 16 licenses in its portfolio, including handbags, intimate apparel and jewelry.
"Ever since we signed on with Iconix, swimwear has always been on the top of our list," Mischka said. "It's a natural extension of evening gowns: glamorous and sexy."
Wholesale prices range from $75 to $125, and they plan to target the high-end retailers who carry their ready-to-wear such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, plus swim specialty stores.
In addition to targeting their rtw consumers, Badgley Mischka also hopes the "not $1,000" price point will attract new and younger clients.
"We aren't doing it just to say we do swimwear," Badgley said. "We want it to be affordable enough to sell suits we will see people wearing at hotels."
The swim line could be about a $2 million business for the $70 million design house, according to industry sources. Iconix has said the brand should be a $100 million business by 2009.
Badgley Mischka licensed the line to A.H. Schreiber Co. Inc., a New York-based swimwear manufacturer that makes swim lines including Longitude and Delta Burke Women's. "We've been looking for a design team to be the crowning line for our company," said Joel M. Schreiber, president of his family's company.
Because of the technical nature of swimwear, licensing the line to an expert was a natural choice, but the designers said they are very involved. "With all of our licensed areas, Mark and I like to be hands-on with design direction," Mischka said.The duo added that they hope men's wear will be the next step.
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“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
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