An official at Los Angeles-based Koos Mfg. said Wednesday the company is preparing to unveil its second new brand of the year, Double A jeans, in October.

This follows the relaunch next month of the Big Star brand in the U.S., as reported.

Double A, a graphic-driven sportswear line developed by designer Dave Mullen that had been available in a handful of specialty stores around the country, is expected to begin shipping for summer 2003 retailing, said vice president of marketing Tom Brenner.

For most of its 25-year history, the company focused on private label jeans production. That changed in 2000 when owner Yul Ku agreed to back the relaunch of the AG Adriano Goldschmied line, designed by Goldschmied, one of the two founders of Diesel.

That business, a collection of high-end jeans retailing for $120 to $150, over the past three years has grown into a popular brand at better department stores.

Brenner said the Big Star and Double A lines will slip into price tiers beneath AG, with Big Star jeans retailing for between $60 and $98 and Double A selling between $42 and $60.

Brenner said the three lines will be made at the company’s Los Angeles factory, with some of the Double A product coming out of its Mexican location. By manufacturing the products itself, the company contends it can offer higher quality at competitive prices.

“Mr. Ku has a real basic notion: how much money you can put into the garment and still be profitable,” Brenner explained.

To drive the expansion of the branded business, the company recently hired two additional designers: Silvio Marcha, formerly of Guess, was named design director, with David Borgatta, formerly of Abercrombie & Fitch, coming on board as a designer.

Brenner said he expected Double A to generate between $15 million and $20 million in sales next year.

As the company ramps up its branded business, it plans to shift its full-package private label production to its Mexican location, Brenner added.

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