By  on June 12, 2008

LEON MAX IS BACK.

The Leon Max line, which was started about 30 years ago by the founding designer of contemporary brand Maxstudio.com, is relaunching for holiday as the Leon Max Collection. Now targeted to the bridge market, the reintroduction of Leon Max will also mark some changes in the Maxstudio.com brand.

"We first closed the Leon Max line in order to concentrate on the Maxstudio business, but with the changes in contemporary, which has evolved into casualwear and more item-driven, it became apparent that we can bring back a dressier line," said Leon Max, creative director. "So, with the launch of Leon Max, Maxstudio.com will become more casual."

Factories in China have become more sophisticated in making high-quality garments, Max said, making this a good time to bring back this higher-end collection, which wholesales from $72.50 to $297.50.

Max said he was inspired to design the collection after spending time at his country home in the English countryside. The home, named Easton Neston, includes his design studio and was built in the early 1700s. Max and his wife, Ame, are surrounded by art and antiques, from which he said he often takes colors for his collections. The residence sits in a 500-acre park where Max can often be found hunting pheasants or picking apples.

The result is a collection of pleated silk satin dresses, cashmere sweaters, silk georgette dresses with ruffle details, delicately beaded silk dresses, tweed trousers, shearling coats, blazers and taffeta dresses and skirts. While the majority of the collection is black, there are hints of deep blue, plum and green shades seen throughout.

Max said he is targeting the collection to high-end specialty and department stores, but he also plans to open his own Leon Max freestanding stores on a global scale. This would add to the company's 150 Maxstudio.com stores worldwide.

"Having our own stores has been very successful," Max said. "It's just the best way to showcase our products in the way we see it."

Max said he plans to roll out Leon Max into a full lifestyle brand to eventually include shoes, bags and eyewear, and estimated reaching $5 million in wholesale volume for the first year.

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