NEW YORK — Come spring, Kenneth Cole is hoping to create a big Reaction in the better sportswear department.
Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. and Bernard Chaus Inc. are ready to launch the Kenneth Cole Reaction apparel line for spring 2006. Chaus holds the license to manufacture and sell women's sportswear under the Kenneth Cole Reaction label. This is the first time the company is launching sportswear under the Reaction brand, which already has shoes, bags, eyewear, a fragrance and outerwear.
But the launch of Reaction apparel signifies more than just a new clothing line for Kenneth Cole.
"You will begin to see Kenneth Cole New York becoming more high-fashion, aspirational and more architectural in design," said Doug Jakubowski, senior vice president of Kenneth Cole Reaction. "That line will move into the bridge area and into our 60 retail stores, while Kenneth Cole Reaction will be the better brand for our department stores. It's all about raising the bar of the whole brand. It also makes clear that these lines are two points of view that can be under one roof, but not confusing to the consumer."
Paul Davril Inc., Kenneth Cole New York's women's and men's wear licensee, will launch Kenneth Cole Reaction men's sportswear, also for spring.
The first delivery of Kenneth Cole Reaction, which will hit retail floors in January, is a tight mix of nautical-inspired elements with feminine touches such as a silk georgette top paired with a shrunken pea jacket and cuffed denim knickers. The following deliveries, which will be made monthly, include safari jackets in olive green and khaki, sequined tanks, jersey dresses, casual and dressier knit tops, cotton shorts and bubble skirts.
"Kenneth really likes that mix of rustic with shine, tailored looks with feminine elements," said Judith Leech, executive vice president of design at Chaus, who also is heading up design at Reaction. "It's better sportswear with that contemporary flair."
In addition to the fashion pieces shipping monthly, the line includes an "essentials" collection that retailers can replenish as needed. This group includes more simple careerwear such as a traditional black suit, tan coat, woven tops and basic pants.The line wholesales from $30 to $95 and, according to David Panitz, chief operating officer at Chaus, the company expects to reach between $20 million and $30 million in first-year wholesale volume. The company aims for the Reaction line to be sold to its existing accounts of better department stores and select specialty retailers such as Nordstrom, Macy's East, Macy's West, Dillard's and Marshall Field's.
"Our goal for Reaction is to be that brand for the urban contemporary-minded consumer," Panitz said. "And at this price point, there's a huge opportunity for this brand."
In addition to apparel for the Reaction brand, Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. hopes to launch both home and tabletop collections for spring. Those deals are close to being signed.
Besides the Kenneth Cole Reaction, Josephine Chaus and Chaus collections, Bernard Chaus Inc. produces Cynthia Steffe and Cynthia Cynthia Steffe.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
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With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)