By  on July 20, 2005

NEW YORK — Icelandic Design is going for year-round comfort.

Acknowledging that the sweater business isn't just for the winter months, Longmont, Colo.-based Icelandic Design is launching ID Clare for spring 2006 selling. The line, which will be less expensive and embellished than the Icelandic Design collection, is geared to a younger misses' customer.

"It's a little more modern and made in lighter-weight cottons and cotton blends," said Kristin Kalush, marketing manager at the firm. "We've also added a line of coordinating T-shirts to work with the sweaters, which is something we've never done before. This line is really about fit and comfort, with some novelty details like interesting buttons."

The sweaters include vests, pullovers, cardigans and tunics made of cotton, silk and cashmere blends. The ID Clare line wholesales from $30 to $60, while the Icelandic Design line is $75 to $90. The company hopes to sell the line to its existing clientele of 1,200 better specialty retailers, as well as to a new base of stores, Kalush said. She anticipates that ID Clare will do $2 million to $3 million in first-year wholesale volume. That would be an added boost to the company's $11 million in annual wholesale volume.

"While we are clearly a misses' line, we hope that ID Clare will appeal to a new set of customers," Kalush said.

Founded by Iceland native Gerdur Kristjansdottir in 1980, Icelandic Design was born out of her love for handmade knits, which began as a hobby and expanded into a business. The company opened its North American operations about 20 years ago, and produces its sweaters in China. The lines are sold from company headquarters in Longmont, as well as through its representatives across the U.S. and Canada.

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