NEW YORK — Kellwood Co.’s moderate suit and dress division, The Dorby Group, is getting a youth injection at the hands of Richard Silverstein, who was named chief executive officer four months ago.
Since then, Silverstein has made nine key hires to various merchandising and design positions, created a junior dress label called Hypnotix and established XOXO Dresses. The two dress lines have a similar feel — both are sexy and geared to girls in their teens and older — though they differ in price and will be sold in different distribution channels.
Targeted to retail under the $50 price point, Hypnotix wholesales between $14 and $20 and is expected to generate about $5 million in its first year, according to Silverstein. The line was pulled together in about four weeks and features a variety of styles for either day or evening with V-neck, strapless and halter styles featuring details such as prints, satin ribbon trims and pin-on flowers.
Hypnotix is geared to junior departments at several store divisions of Federated Department Stores, May Co. and Saks Inc. It is being headed up by Micheline Lanzetta, vice president of sales, who joined the company from LaBelle Dresses & Sportswear.
Meanwhile, XOXO Dresses will be aimed at better stores, including Macy’s East and West, Marshall Field’s and Windsor Fashions, and is expected to bring in about $5 million to $7 million during its first year, Silverstein added.
“These are two new junior adventures at the same time,” said Silverstein. “Hypnotix can go anywhere and is targeted to be under $50, which is a hot price point for juniors’.”
There also will be special-occasion dresses for prom and other social events, said Tracy Ratner, president of XOXO Dresses. Ratner joined The Dorby Group from Rampage, where she was national sales manager for Rampage junior dresses and CDC dresses.
The daytime dresses — many of which are flirty cocktail styles — run at about $18 to $25 wholesale and the social-occasion styles will sell for $34 to $58 wholesale. XOXO Dresses are priced about $10 higher than Hypnotix on average.
The XOXO Dresses line will hitting stores for the first time on Nov. 30 with about 30 daytime styles and roughly 25 social-occasion styles.The Dorby Group represents about $110 million in volume, according to the company. That figure represents about 5 percent of Kellwood’s overall business.
Kellwood acquired the sportswear, dresses and intimates licenses for XOXO on May 7. The sportswear is expected to generate $20 million in sales for 2003 and more than $50 million in 2004.
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