By  on January 25, 2011

Woolrich John Rich & Bros. has named London-based designer Paula Gerbase creative director for a new high-end women’s Black Label collection. The line will make its debut in a presentation during New York Fashion Week next month and be available at retail in the fall.

Twenty looks, encompassing about 40 pieces, will be produced for the first Black Label fall line. Prices will be about 20 to 30 percent higher than the core Woolrich John Rich & Bros. collection, with outerwear at $1,000 to $1,200, dresses at $350 to $400, shirts at $250 to $300, cashmere sweaters at $650 and pants at $250.

Born in Brazil, Gerbase is a graduate of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and was previously head designer at Savile Row’s Kilgour. She also designs her own label, 1205, which she will continue to do.

“Paula Gerbase’s ability to skirt the fine line between masculinity and femininity, from her years of training in couture tailoring, make her an ideal choice for the brand,” said Andrea Cane, creative director of Bologna, Italy-based W.P. Lavori in Corso, which licenses the Woolrich John Rich & Bros. label from Pennsylvania-based Woolrich.

Cane said the Black Label range is targeted at top-end specialty retailers who want a more specialized product than the Woolrich John Rich & Bros. collection. That label is currently sold in 15 U.S. accounts, including Barneys New York, Anthropologie, Olive & Bette’s and Otte.

Woolrich John Rich & Bros. rings up about 80 million euros, or $108.7 million at current exchange, in sales worldwide, split evenly between men’s and women’s. A higher-end men’s line is sold under the Woolrich Woolen Mills label, also licensed by W.P. Lavori in Corso.

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