By  on March 17, 1994

NEW YORK -- When Crunch introduced its new lines of licensed activewear and bodywear last week, it wasn't for members only.

More than 200 partygoers turned out at Dish, a restaurant on West 82nd Street here, to take a look at Crunch's new offerings. Models wearing bike shorts, leotards and short skirts got a workout themselves trying to fight through the crowd.

Having sold sweatshirts, T-shirts, shorts and other standard activewear in his three Crunch health clubs in the city for more than a year, Crunch president Doug Levine said he expects the new apparel to generate between $5 million and $7 million in first-year sales. The lines are basically for women, but includes some unisex items.

With wholesale prices ranging from $8 to $35, the lines will be sold in department stores, as well as at Crunch's clubs. The new lines will also be sold on On Q, the weekday lifestyle channel to be launched by QVC in May. Noting that On Q segments will be taped at Crunch clubs, Levine said, "The real wild card is going to be how well this stuff sells on On Q."

Fashion Trend International, based here, is the licensee for Crunch's bodywear products, and Silverwear, based in Brooklyn, is the licensee for Crunch's activewear. Crunch's new activewear will be shipped to stores by the end of May, according to Mia Kaufman, the vice president of Silverwear.

On Q, which will be targeting consumers between the ages of 25 and 45, expects Crunch's "updated, contemporary look" to have tremendous selling potential, according to Kim Banchs, one of On Q's buyers.

"We'll be able to show a woman walking into Crunch wearing a Crunch skirt, working out in Crunch bodywear and then going out to dinner in a Crunch outfit," Banchs said. "We'll cover all areas."

Freelance designer Camille Evans designed both the activewear and bodywear, totaling 49 pieces in all.

Evans said she is also working on a pro line of activewear for Crunch.

"It has nothing to do with fashion. It has more to do with sports," she said. "This is only the beginning, so we wanted to go into the market cautiously."

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