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NEW YORK — A new outerwear line from Seattle might evoke images of waterproof ski coats and anoraks, but there’s no Goretex here.
Sharon Roth Hand Tailored, which started in the designer’s basement nine months ago, mixes high-quality Italian leathers, including deerskin, lambskin, calfskin and buffalo, with fine details like hand-sewn stitching and fur trims in mink, sable and Persian lamb.
Styles are simple, but the line is easily worn with jeans or dressed up, according to designer Sharon Roth, a mother of two and former private label designer for companies including Nordstrom and Eddie Bauer.
“[The idea for the line] started after a trip to Europe and I spent all this money on clothes and I wanted to remake the patterns and change them,” Roth said. “I had a passion for leather and I also wanted to raise money for charity.”
After selling about $2 million worth of custom-made clothes to the wives of Seattle’s movers and shakers, Roth set her sights on wholesaling and is currently available at Nordstrom, but said she plans to sell to specialty stores throughout the U.S.
Roth recently traded in her basement design and manufacturing setup for an office in Seattle’s industrial district and enlisted a factory in Mexico for production. The factory, which Roth said looks like it’s straight from Italy, offers her a turnaround time of only three weeks.
“My line is edgy in a non-edgy way,” Roth said. “You can just flop it over your cashmere sweater and great jeans and just go, but it feels like you have this simple, luxurious piece on.”
The wholesale price range for the line is between $195 for a leather shirt and $825 for a fur-lined coat, with most coats running between $475 and $550.
This story first appeared in the September 24, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.