By  on October 30, 2006

NEW YORK — When Tracy Reese got word from retailers that many women wanted to buy Tracy Reese frocks but just couldn't afford them, she whipped up Plenty Frock to remedy the situation.

The designer differentiates the two labels by describing Tracy Reese as "uptown" and Plenty Frock by Tracy Reese, an extension of her Plenty sportswear line, as "downtown." Wholesale prices for Plenty Frock start at $102 and peak at $159.

The 20 styles also will offer women an easy way to look pulled together without too much deliberation, Reese said. "I'm a dawdler in the morning. I like to try things on. But the days when I have to be on time or have a meeting, I wear a dress. I usually wear dresses on Mondays, because I have to get the week started and can't spend time trying on outfits."

In fact, 90 percent of the Plenty Frock collection is geared for daytime, Reese said. More casual than the Tracy Reese collection, Plenty Frock has a slew of minidresses with lots of volume, playing off her ongoing Plenty bodies. The classic group consists of simple, solid red, black and white dresses, including a little white version with puff sleeves and a back bow. In Reese's "Daring" lineup, she features bright colors and the pretty floral prints for which she has become known. Her "Feather" capsule plays on soft colors, feather prints, little beaded accents and metallic laces, all short and ranging from strapless to bubbled to trapeze.

This spring, the new label should generate $1 million in sales, even though the collection only ships to stores in March. Better specialty store chains and independent boutiques, including many Plenty customers, are expected to carry the collection.

Noting that dresses comprise about 40 percent of her signature line, Reese said: "It's everything we're already about, so it made perfect sense. I think dresses are here forever. They are great for when you wake up and have to get up and get out of the house fast and don't have time to coordinate anything."

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