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Taking New Tacks: If The Key To Staying Is Change And Growth, These Companies Are On The Right Track

<STRONG>Isda's Natural Progression</STRONG> <BR><BR>Isda & Co., a San Francisco-based sportswear firm, has introduced a new line of bags and belts to coordinate with its clothing collections.<BR><BR>"We wanted to offer a complete lifestyle...

Isda’s Natural Progression

Isda & Co., a San Francisco-based sportswear firm, has introduced a new line of bags and belts to coordinate with its clothing collections.

“We wanted to offer a complete lifestyle approach to dressing,” said Isda Funari, the firm’s designer. “Accessories are a natural progression from our sportswear.”

Funari, whose studio is surrounded by California redwood trees, said she is greatly inspired by nature and favors all-natural fabrics such as linen, flax and silk. Wholesale prices for the bag, belt and small leather goods that comprise the line range from $24 to $85. Funari projected a wholesale volume of $100,000 on the spring collection.

Kata Eyes The Future

Two-year-old Kata Eyewear, Culver City, Calif., is entering the next phase of its evolution with Evos, its newest line.

Unlike the nature-inspired motifs Kata has used in previous eyewear collections, Evos is designed around a modern and alomost futuristic theme. According to Blake Kuwahara, Kata’s designer, the collection has the look of the Nineties – very minimalist in neutral colors such as silver, pewter, granite and brown.

“Evos is very aerodynamic, minimal, sensual,” Kuwahara said. “To me, it’s about the fluidity of human movement.”

The Japanese-made frames feature seamless-looking temples and an interplay between matte and shiny materials. Evos eyewear wholesales from $125 to $135, and first-year wholesale volume is projected at about $3 million. The frames will be available here in January at Barneys New York and Morgenthal Fredrics.

Prima Classe’s Mapless Journey

Milan-based handbag firm Prima Classe doesn’t need a map anymore to show it the way to go. And it’s headed in a new, simpler direction.

Looking for a more classic look that would work well with the map-print bags the company is know for, Prima Classe designer and owner Alviero Martini has done a collection of about a dozen styles of plain brown leather bags with goldplated hardware.

The bags, which wholesale from $150 to $250, will debut exclusively at Bloomingdale’s this month. First-year wholesale volume on the line is projected at $50,000.

Swatch Goes to the Games

Swatch, the firm best known for its funky, inexpensive watches, has signed an agreement with the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG). The Swatch name will be present at every event on the timers that keep the minutes of the XXVI Olympiad in 1996 in Atlanta.

Swatch is following in the footsteps of its sister companies, Omega and Longines, as the offical timekeeper of the Olympic games. All three brands are owned by SMH, the Biel, Switzerland timepiece comglomerate. Omega’s first participation with the Olympics dates back to the 1932 Summer Games in Los Angeles. Since then, Omega and Longines have participated in a total of 20 Olympiads.

Though Swatch may be something of a newcomer to the quest for the gold, it’s already gearing to make a major impact. The firm has also been licensed by the ACOG to create special editions of Swatch, Omega and Longines watches bearing the Atlanta 1996 logo, so that those who aren’t able to attend the games can still wear a little piece of them on their wrists.