Jacquelyne Love's husband Mike is a former Beach Boy, but she isn't about to spend her life in bikini tops and jeans. And the California-based designer doesn't expect her customers to either.
Having designed a more casual collection for a few years, Love has now introduced a ready-to-wear line for spring. Before she went to work designing it, Gloria Gelfand, who has taken on the role of Love's director of merchandising, quizzed executives at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman about what they were looking for. Their advice was to come up with sophisticated options made of interesting fabrics. Love has come up with plenty of options — 52 styles that wholesale between $165 and $799.
The assortment's range is designed to give retailers more versatility when making their buys, Gelfand said.
Special occasion items are a major portion of the line in part because of the increasingly popular 1 p.m. reception. Booking hotels and catering halls for Friday and Saturday night receptions can be difficult, said Gelfand, during a preview of the collection at the company's showroom at 214 West 39th Street in New York.
"There will be 2.7 million weddings this year in the U.S. and 685,000 bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs a year. More people are dealing with that one o'clock reception. They want clothes that are not too fussed up," she said.
First-season projected wholesale volume is $500,000, with better specialty stores being the targeted market, Gelfand said.
Made mostly of lightweight double-faced fabrics, the collection consists of such items as a bubble dress, a tuxedo with wide-legged trousers, cropped jackets and two-piece cocktail ensembles.
Love has also designed the E Group by Jacquelyne Love collection made of organic fabrics, which will make its debut this spring and will wholesale between $29 and $150. Geared more for contemporary departments, the line has already generated a good deal of interest among buyers, to a great extent for its environmentally friendly appeal, Gelfand said.
"There's no question it's something that is happening," she said.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"