By  on April 27, 2005

NEW YORK — World Marketing has signed a pact with Virany International Ltd. to produce the first collection of coats bearing the Fernando Sanchez label.

The deal is part of a licensing strategy that World Marketing and designer Fernando Sanchez plan to expand into other areas, including accessories and home furnishings, said Sanchez. The coat collection for holiday selling will be unveiled to retailers within the next several weeks, he said.

Sanchez, a designer of upscale sleepwear, loungewear and robes for the past 32 years, sold his company to private investment firm Yalla Inc. in 2002. Yalla is the parent of World Marketing, a manufacturing unit.

Virany is a 50-year-old maker of luxury coats that specializes in cashmere, angora blends, alpaca and fur-trimmed styles. The company is owned by Gerald A. Halpern and his wife, Susan Virany.

“The quality and worksmanship of the Virany company is excellent, and I think the people are very nice,” said Sanchez, who studied at Ecole de la Chambre Syndicare in Paris with classmate Yves Saint Laurent, and who began his fashion career at couture houses Maggy Rouff, Christian Dior, and furrier Revillon.

Neil Mossberg, director of business development at World Marketing, said Sanchez’s coats will be aimed at select better department and specialty stores, a majority of which sell the label’s sleepwear and at-homewear.

“The whole [apparel] market has traded up and the Sanchez customer is very upscale,” Mossberg said. “We were looking for opportunities to reposition the Fernando Sanchez brand. Women who are good Sanchez customers and understand his product, remain loyal. It’s nothing for a Sanchez customer to phone in orders to stores for $700 or $800.”

The coat collection will wholesale from $350 to $2,400.

First-year wholesale sales projection for the coat line are a “conservative $500,000,” Mossberg said. He would not give an annual sales volume for Sanchez’s at-homewear and sleepwear business, but noted it has doubled in two years. According to industry estimates, annual wholesale sales for the company are about $10 million.

Virany noted that production of the coats will be contracted to manufacturers in Italy and Bulgaria, where the company has been manufacturing for decades.A number of Sanchez’s coats reflect styling similar to that of his at-homewear, such as wrap kimono looks, dramatic fur-trimmed capes, and tailored and belted full-length designs that are “perfect to wear to the opera,” said Sanchez.

Special treatments include contrasting quilted collars, tone-on-tone trapunto stitching, FS logo buttons, silk linings and contrasting piping along the inside of coats. Solid colors are red, camel, black, white, navy and berry, along with black-and-white tweeds with a hint of Lurex thread.

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