NEW YORK — Liz Jebara, a twentysomething entrepreneur, wanted to launch a clothing line, but first she wanted to create some buzz.
“We launched our music Web site, Soundgirl.com, to familiarize our customer with the name so that when the product hit stores, girls will have at least heard of us,” said Jebara, an obvious product of the online generation. She said she started the site originally as a branding tool. On the site, visitors could upload poetry and song lyrics and listen to music from all genres. The focus, Jebara said, is to introduce girls to what’s new in the mainstream and underground music worlds.
“We thought, not only will girls have heard of us, but they’ll associate us with something cool and important to them: music. We really want girls to explore fashion as they would music.”
Jebara, however, wasn’t expecting the site to remain apparel-less for a year and a half. “We launched our apparel collection much later than we’d expected,” she said, noting that she finally announced the clothing launch on the Web site in August.
The full Soundgirl collection, being introduced at retail this spring, includes key pieces such as girly cotton blouses, tops, skirts and dresses, as well as a full denim line. Jebara asked her sister, Patty, to design the denim collection. Wholesale prices of the entire line range from $12 to $40. Jebara expects wholesale volume to reach $10 million in its first year.
Soundgirl is essentially a junior brand, but, thanks to some fashion-forward pieces such as custom print Ts and plaid-printed sundresses, Jebara has sparked interest from specialty boutiques nationwide that typically cater to a more contemporary clientele. Currently, the collection is available in stores such as Delia’s, Marshall Field’s, Macy’s West and Nordstrom East. “We’ve actually broken the rules and are hanging with brands triple our price point,” she added.
The all-female staff of eight helps on all fronts, whether it’s maintaining the Web site or conceptualizing ideas for the clothing line.
“We are all young, fashionable and female,” Jebara said. Retro beach looks are key for spring-summer and Jebara will follow with music and vintage-inspired designs for fall.
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