By  on March 15, 1994

NEW YORK -- Carolina Herrera is joining the outerwear crowd this fall with a licensed collection of wool and precious-fiber dress coats.The line is licensed to Unique Fashions, a private-label coat maker here, and will be sold under the Carolina Herrera Coats label."I've always loved coats and I've done some in my collection in the past," said Herrera, who will design the line. "This is the first time I'm doing a coat collection and I think there are lots of opportunities in the designer coat market, as long as the collection emphasizes quality and fit at affordable prices, and not just a name on a label."While the line is being previewed in the Carolina Herrera Coats showroom at 500 Seventh Ave., Herrera said the full coat collection will premiere at her runway show in Bryant Park on April 11. Lee Scher, president of the division and of Unique Fashions, projects a first-year volume of about $3 million.Erik Gordon, formerly in sales at Bill Blass Leathers and Ressler Enterprises, two coat firms here, has been brought in as vice president of sales for the division. Gordon said the line will wholesale for $200 to $425 and will be aimed at the same better-department and specialty stores that buy Herrera's signature and secondary collections.Gordon said the line will be made in the U.S. for better quality control and faster shipping capabilities. First deliveries should begin in August.Herrera said she is drawing inspiration from her ready-to-wear collection in designing the coats, which will include such features as signature logo buttons and printed linings that are used in her suits and dresses.The collection of 18 to 20 pieces will feature looks that include plush wool velour velvet trim evening coats, as well as day-to-evening looks that include double-breasted military styles, full-length capes, trenches, and suit-look coats. Fabrics include wool, cashmere, camel's hair and mohair."We want to do very special looks that say Carolina Herrera," Gordon said.

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