LOS ANGELES — Everything’s Archie.

In fact, a few members of the gang from Riverdale High are joining such icons as Hello Kitty, Mickey Mouse and Barbie on clothing aimed at the contemporary set.

Betty and Veronica, the blonde and brunette lovelies from the “Archie” comic book series, are making their apparel debut at the Kitson boutique here in a three-month exclusive deal.

The Betty & Veronica 30-item collection of apparel, accessories, jewelry and home accents results from a three-way partnership that pairs the celeb retail haunt with Miramax Films and Archie Comics Entertainment LLC. In an unusual move, Miramax has signed on to merchandise the characters before its planned release of a live-action film called “Betty & Veronica,” slated to open in 2006 or 2007.

“We think these characters can stand on their own merit — you look at them and it’s a no-brainer,” said Lori Sale, executive vice president of worldwide promotions for Miramax, noting Kitson was an “obvious choice.” “[Kitson owner Fraser Ross] always has a first. What I’ve seen as a consumer at his store, I see three years later at other stores.”

Indeed, Ross has helped hype such brands as Von Dutch Originals and Paul Frank Industries. His quirky inventory, which draws Hollywood’s A-listers from Halle Berry to Mischa Barton, and his collaborative efforts are also a draw for new vendors and designers.

The Betty & Veronica in-store shop will be highlighted by signage and a black and fuchsia color scheme. Targeting shoppers ages 12 to 55, the eclectic offering will include T-shirts and tanks in cotton jerseys, cap sleeves, and ringer styles with screenprints and jeweled embellishments, athletic sweat sets and cashmere sweaters. For the T-shirt-weary, there’s other bibelot such as handbags, coin purses, compacts, lip glosses, caps, votives, milkshake glasses and diner mugs.

Retail prices will range from $12 for a compact to $40 to $85 for T-shirts to $125 handbags and $450 for a cashmere sweater. Ross expects the line to generate monthly sales of $100,000.

For Archie Comics, formed a year ago as the merchandising arm of Archie Comic Publications Inc., the time was right for the 63-year-old property — which ships 800,000 comics a month — to capitalize on its appeal. It has commitments from 25 licensees, including East Brunswick, N.J.-based Van Mar, which is handling sleepwear, and Wish Licensing in the Northridge community of Los Angeles, which is overseeing junior tops.“This is not about nostalgia, but it’s a current and contemporary comic revolving around teenagers in high school with challenges and fun — a theme that doesn’t lose its appeal,” said Archie Comics president Allan Grafman.

Diverging from its traditional flashy marketing campaigns, Miramax will aim for a more subtle promotion strategy with a kickoff party at Kitson in May, when product hits the store. Kitson will also sell the line on its Web site — shopkitson.com — and the store will even get a plug in the May comic book issue of Archie, when Betty and Veronica visit the outlet and get into an argument about who has the best fashion sense.

Plans by Miramax and Archie Comics call for expanding the clothing to other Archie characters — so fans of Jughead, Reggie and Ethel needn’t fret — and rolling the line out to about a dozen other stores, like Scoop and Henri Bendel in New York within the year, Sale said.

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