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.
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