By  on March 15, 2005

NEW YORK — BCBG Max Azria is adding another layer this fall with a contemporary outerwear collection.

Through a licensing deal with the Winlit Group Ltd. here, BCBG is showing a variety of cloth coats, down jackets, fur coats and leather styles. Geared for the trend-conscious young women who buy its sportswear, the outerwear will be introduced at retail this fall.

Max Azria, chairman and chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based BCBG Max Azria, said, “Outerwear is a specialty. The design and manufacturing is completely different from what we know. Winlit has the knowledge of [outerwear] fabrics, fit and the quality of the manufacturing.” 

First-year projected retail volume is $15 million, and retail sales are projected to climb to $25 million or $30 million by the second year, Azria said.

Richard Madris, executive vice president of the Winlit Group, said “contemporary” is the buzz word in coat departments especially in department stores.

BCBG outerwear has 60 to 70 pieces and four groups — luxury wools, active, furs and leather. The collection intends to compete with DKNY, Via Spiga, Andrew Marc, Michael Kors and Searle.

Wools wholesale from $175 to $325; active, $125 to $200; fur, $250 to $400, and leather, $250 to $400. The collection’s pricing should appeal to shoppers who tend to walk away from trendy outerwear that retails for more than $800, said Beth Kanfer, market editor at Saks Fifth Avenue.

She said she and her colleagues “feel strongly about the collection” largely because of its contemporary, modern design. Saks has made creating a younger point of view a priority for the past few years, she said.

“BCBG’s price points are great, it’s right on trend and it should do well on the floor,” Kanfer said.

Azria agreed. “There are not so many companies doing contemporary outerwear. Most of what’s out there is all too designer or too missy.”

But others are getting hip to the sector. Last week Beyoncé Knowles’ House of Deréon label announced a licensing deal with G-III Apparel to develop its licensed outerwear.

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