By  on May 10, 2007

Vera Wang can't believe the prices.

"I say, 'Tell me how much that's going to cost?' And they say $60 for a dress," said the designer about her new line Simply Vera Vera Wang, an exclusive with Kohl's Department Stores. "Is that not amazing? I think it's so cool."

Simply Vera will be unveiled tonight at the Altman Building in New York, and it hits all of Kohl's nearly 1,000 doors in the first week of September in what will be the moderate department store's largest launch in its history.

The product delivers edgy fashion at the moderate level, with "Vera-isms" like tulle detailing, roses and ruched belts — "things that have become our signatures," in Wang's words — evident throughout the dresses, coats, silky tops, shoes and scarves. "I don't underestimate the client. There are tons of women out there who will like these things," Wang said. "More and more, anything is possible at that level."

A brocade car coat will retail for $138 and a silky dress goes for $128, while most of the line will sell for $30 to $70.

"She has incredibly high brand awareness and it all came down to women saying, 'I can't afford it,''' said Kevin Mansell, president of Kohl's, in August when the deal was announced.

While the line is item-driven to hit on Kohl's traditional core sellers — from polos to sweater coats — Wang said she put Simply Vera together as a collection.

"They let me do what I wanted, and then we went back and merchandised," Wang said. "This isn't St. Petersburg from January" — referring to the Russian inspiration in her fall 2007 ready-to-wear collection — "but it is conceived of as a collection."

The collaboration with Kohl's includes apparel, jewelry, shoes, hosiery, intimates, belts, handbags, home and, come the third delivery, eyewear. Simply Vera product — whether jewelry, shoes or bedding — will get prime real estate in each department within the stores, as Simply Vera is Kohl's highest-priced brand.

Before Simply Vera, Ralph Lauren's Chaps was the store's highest-priced line and biggest launch in its history. Wang, who does a contemporary Lavender line in addition to Collection, said she looks to Ralph Lauren and his model of segmentation as she enters the mass market.

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