DALLAS — Knitwear is the focus at One Girl Who, a new sweater line hitting stores this fall.
The collection will feature some 150 styles and 400 pieces, in solids, stripes, embroideries, appliqués and prints. Fine and heavy gauges, basics to novelties, man-made fibers, silk and cashmere will also be included. Olive and pink hangtags bear upbeat definitions of the target shopper, such as "One Girl Who knows where she is, knows where she is going."
"I want to take over the sweater world," said co-owner Bruce Gifford. "The sweater business in the U.S. is huge."
Gifford put total annual apparel sales in the U.S. at $240 billion, with sweaters holding a 10 percent market share, although the NPD Group reported Monday that the total amount spent on apparel last year decreased 1.7 percent to $163 billion.
The tactic for Gifford and his business partner, Dan Jaffe, is to offer a branded sweater collection that interprets designer trends at better prices and is sold only to specialty retailers. First-month bookings in October were $600,000, and Gifford projects $4 million to $7 million in first-year revenue.
"The big lines like Cyrus, August Silk and Joseph A. are in department stores, and as soon as you sell department stores, it becomes very difficult to sell specialty stores for many reasons, especially pricing," Gifford said. "Macy’s wants $29.99 promotions, and the specialty stores want quality and customer service, so it’s hard to do that with one label."
Gifford, who has 20 years experience in the sweater business, most recently as the owner of the defunct Molto Fino, oversees finance, production and distribution. Design, merchandising and sales are managed by Jaffe, a principal in the former Apparel Industries, who retired temporarily after consulting with Joseph A.
The fall collection is divided into three groups, with items wholesaling from $39 to $90. A selection of two-ply cashmere sweaters from $75 to $90 offers solids, stripes and intarsias, including a heather beige moon-and-star pattern with a matching scarf. Another group is comprised of lightweight knits, like a poppy-embroidered multicolor silk and nylon tank for $49, while a third assortment emphasizes heavier-weight knit blends, such as a wool and acrylic double-zip jacket for $59.
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“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
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