Doubling its sales in the past 18 months, junior denim line Tyte is hot to sustain its momentum. It’s launching a knit bottoms line for holiday 2003 and has two licenses in the works along with its first national ad campaign hitting for 2004.

“We’re retailing and receiving positive buyer feedback,” said Alden Halpern, president and chief executive officer of 4Whatitsworth Inc., parent company of Tyte.

Set to ship Nov. 15, the 17-piece knit collection revolves around a base of heavy, 13-ounce French terry with 5 percent Lycra spandex, ornamented with zipper pockets, side tapings and patches of nylon and silk. Full-length and capri pants, cargo styles, skirts and scooter pants — shorts with a flap of fabric in the front to give the appearance of a skirt — are key silhouettes. Transitional colors of white, powder blue, summer olive and pink hallmark the holiday assortment.

Halpern said the product will hang in the denim department of stores, standing out from other athletic lines.

“We’ve kept the weight heavy, creating an item in a neglected category that’s dressy enough to wear out,” he said.

A bigger spring 2004 collection, featuring silk linen and hoodie jackets, breaks for the Los Angeles junior market in October.

The line’s wholesale price points range from $8.50 for scooters to $13.50 for pants. First-year sales projections are between $3 million and $5 million.

Tyte’s expansion front also includes two licenses in the works kicking in Jan. 1. Letters of intent have been signed with companies for junior knitwear tops and one to take over Tyte’s two-year-old children’s business.

“We sell children’s to…our existing accounts and we need someone who can expand that distribution,” Halpern said.

To further position the brand, he said the company will launch a five-month ad campaign beginning in January in Seventeen and YM, featuring a sassy, yet wholesome message.

“We want to become a household name,” Halpern said.

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