By  on April 19, 2005

NEW YORK — Trio New York is back in business after a two-year hiatus.

The husband-and-wife team of Steven Garfield and Judith Lowe relaunched the label with a new partner for spring.

“We took a good, long look at the dress business and felt the time was right to be back in the market,” Garfield said. “Our kind of classic contemporary dresses seems to be a good area right now.”

Trio New York offers day and evening dresses, as well as related sportswear pieces such as silk and cashmere cardigans.

Garfield said the line has gotten off to a good start, but conceded that business is challenging in the department store segment, given the planned acquisition by Federated Department Stores of May Department Stores Co. and the amount of store space taken by labels owned by Jones Apparel Group and Liz Claiborne.

He said distribution for the line, which was 11 years old when former owner Leslie Fay shut it down, is planned to be split evenly between department stores, specialty stores and making private label goods. Garfield projects sales of $7.5 million for fall through the end of 2006.

The couple is in a partnership with Frank Lau, owner of Sunnon-Sunnex, which is based in Hong Kong with factories in China. Garfield noted that Trio has reestablished its factoring agreement with Rosenthal & Rosenthal. The firm’s new showroom is at 230 West 38th Street, on the 16th floor.

For fall, Lowe uses “daytime luxe” as inspiration for a collection filled with lush colors such as chestnut, teal, berry and pumpkin in richly textured fabrics including velvet, brocade, chiffon, matte satin and lace.

Wholesale prices range from $89 for a strapless shantung full-skirted cocktail dress to $149 for a brocade evening coat.

Beginning with the spring 2006 collection, Trio New York will add sportswear under the T-NY label. It will carry higher prices and plans are to produce the line domestically. T-NY will feature a range of seasonless day-into-evening separates.

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