By  on February 21, 2012

Trovata founder and creative director John Whitledge has a new business up his knitted sleeve.

This week, Trovata, the Newport Beach, Calif.-based contemporary brand, will launch a division that focuses entirely on knitwear called Birds of Paradis by Trovata.

“I always wanted to focus on one product category,” said Whitledge, in an interview in New York. He is showing his first knitwear collection at Designers & Agents this week, where he will participate as part of the CFDA @ D&A program.

“Knitwear is a category that I strongly relate to — it gives a sense of security, a sense of time, place and memory. Knitwear, to me, represents family and is one of the few items of clothing that can be handed down from generation to generation,” said Whitledge. According to Whitledge, his sweaters celebrate “the adventure and romance of travel.”

Each season, Whitledge will travel to one destination for inspiration. For the launch collection, that place was Brazil. He said he was inspired by the light, colors, music, warmth of the people and the beautiful landscape. The knitwear, which is manufactured in Asia, is 100 percent lamb’s wool and merino wool.

For fall, the knits run the gamut from crewnecks, V-necks and cardigans to knitted dresses and travel wraps. Many of the knits are striped or color blocked. Wholesale prices range from $80 to $157. The knits have a leather tab on the back that says “Trovata,” and a label on the inside, which allows the customer to write in their destination and season. The label also carries the saying, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” For spring, Whitledge plans to offer cotton sweaters.

The line will be sold from Trovata’s showroom in Newport Beach. The first collection will ship in August. Whitledge continues to design both a women’s and a men’s collection under the Trovata label. Trovata was a 2005 recipient of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.

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