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BERNARDO’S NEW ACT: Bernardo Fashions is delving into bridge sportswear. Known for its machine-washable leather and suede collections, primarily in outerwear, the brand is introducing machine-washable goat suede in bridge-priced separates....

BERNARDO’S NEW ACT: Bernardo Fashions is delving into bridge sportswear. Known for its machine-washable leather and suede collections, primarily in outerwear, the brand is introducing machine-washable goat suede in bridge-priced separates.

This story first appeared in the October 8, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Woolite has co-branded the new group, which is designed to soften with each wash, said Stuart Pollack, president. Bernardo’s goat suede collection includes skirts, pants, blazers, vests, jackets and halter tops, and ships to stores in January. Retail prices will range from about $100 for a miniskirt to around $190 for a jacket.

The company came up with the concept because of “demand from bridge customers that want something soft with a better hand,” Pollack said.

Pollack declined to comment on projected volume, but said Bernardo has generated $130 million at retail in two years. Part of the appeal of the new product is that it does not require dry cleaning, which can be costly for suede.

ON WITH THE SHOW: The second annual Think Leather Think India trade show will be held Oct. 14-16 at the Metropolitan Pavilion. India exports nearly $2 billion worth of leather products annually, making it the second-largest leather exporter in the world.

The show will feature apparel and accessories from 16 leather exporters selected by the Council for Leather Exports, a Chennai, India-based nonprofit organization. The group has 3,000 members representing nearly 90 percent of the country’s leather industry.