MILAN — Even in bruised economies, Antonio Berardi believes that fashion hounds will always find something to die for — a good enough reason to call his new diffusion line 2 die 4.

The first collection, which is comprised of 120 pieces and is aimed at ages 18 to 25, will bow with spring. The line is produced and distributed by Trieste-based Dressing Spa, which also does some manufacturing for Roberto Cavalli and Gai Mattiolo, under a five-year licensing agreement. Dressing Spa will seal 2003 with sales of about $59.7 million, converted from 55 million euros at current exchange.

Initially, 2 Die 4 will be sold in about 300 salespoints worldwide, a number destined to reach 800 in the next four seasons, according to Rinaldo Lorenzon, chairman at Dressing. The company projects $50 million in sales over the next five years.

“When Dressing approached me, I immediately considered the project because it was a way to design for a younger clientele and to raise brand awareness for my signature line,” said Berardi.

The collection is separates-driven because the Anglo Italian believes that as consumers are bombarded by fashion across the board, from magazines to MTV, women want to cultivate individual styles.

Alongside Berardi’s staple razor-sharp and skinny silhouettes, there will be some slouchy and draped styles. Fabrics include cotton, linen, silk and rayon, in wovens and knits.

Berardi will also offer what he calls “kits,” a three-piece combination of jackets, trousers and corsets that can be customized, depending on the occasion, thanks to inner press studs that determine the hemline or detachable sleeves.

Wholesale prices run from $60 for an elaborate T-shirt to $300 for a leather jacket.

“Stores like H&M and Zara focus on what’s in store, whereas with this line, I’m interested in offering the odd gem, something that catches your eye,” said Berardi.

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