By  on October 8, 2009

After spending most of her years in retail, Anna Kintz is crossing over to the other side.

Kintz, who once owned the now-defunct Hedra Prue contemporary boutique in the NoLIta section of Manhattan, is trying her hand as creative director with the launch of a contemporary brand called Daal. Kintz, who used to sell such labels as Vince and Development in her store, closed up shop in 2002 after five years in business.

“September 11 really hurt the business and I was pregnant, so I just decided it was time to move upstate and do something different,” she said of her choice to close the store. “Ultimately, I wanted to start my own line.”

Even before she started to work on Daal, Kintz decided to partner with Walter Fleming on a John Patrick Organics clothing store in Saratoga, N.Y. They closed that store about two years ago since business in the winter months was too slow to keep afloat. That’s when Kintz began working on her own line.

“I wanted to create a line that was accessible pricewise, but also designwise,” she said. “The clothes had to be easy to wear, but also look put together.”

Launching for spring, Daal offers styles from clean cotton motorcycle jackets, soft cotton T-shirts, tanks and dresses and printed silk blouses and dresses, to boyfriend blazers, cotton cashmere sweaters, cargo pants and cotton jumpsuits. There are also accessories such as scarves and belts. The collection wholesales from $20 for a T-shirt to $120 for a silk dress or jacket.

“The key for me was to hit that J. Crew price point, but offer it to high-end boutiques,” she explained. “Ideally, nothing will ever retail for over $250.”

Daal’s hangtags each showcase a model wearing that particular item paired with another piece from the line. In addition, the brand’s e-commerce site will launch in February, when the first delivery hits stores. Besides being a Web store, the site will offer more ideas on how to mix and match the collection.

“It’s sort of a guide for customers, an answer to that ‘What do I wear with this?’ question,” she said. “In my experience, even the most stylish women still ask what they should wear with a particular piece.”

Kintz said she expects to reach $1 million in first-year wholesale sales volume.

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