By  on January 11, 1994

NEW YORK -- Missbrenner Inc. has taken aim at the sportswear and dress markets. The firm is a 25-year-old printer of swimwear fabrics and became a converter of these fabrics seven years ago.

Kenneth Greenblatt, Missbrenner's president, said by supplying fabrics to the sportswear and dress markets, the company can double its business within five years.

The keys to this move, said Greenblatt and Stefan Missbrenner, the firm's founder and chairman, were securing Gary Parker, a veteran print executive, last January to establish and run the new business, and merging Missbrenner's three separately run entities into one company.

For good measure the company, which had sales of $75 million in 1993, has also moved its sales and marketing offices here to larger quarters. 1992's sales were about $62 million.

"We knew we had to make those changes," said Greenblatt, who was interviewed at one of the company's two 60,000-square-foot print plants in Clifton, N.J. Neither plant was affected by the New Jersey dyers and finishers strike.

"We had thought of getting into the women's business earlier, but with the three separate companies, and the fact we had really no one in mind to run the women's business, we had to wait," said Greenblatt. "We made the investment in the plants, and now it's exploding."

Before joining Missbrenner, Parker had been vice president of Print Stream, a division of Toman, a Japanese trading company. Missbrenner's sportswear and dress customers say the company seems to have made the right decision to expand its fabric offerings.

"Gary has a terrific taste level and really knows the business," said Shelly Bleier, a partner of A. Koral, here, a private label dress and sportswear maker. A. Koral is using Missbrenner fabric to supply dresses and sportswear to Spiegel, and dresses to Lane Bryant. "Gary helped us turn an order around last summer for 22,000 dresses for Lane Bryant in a matter of two weeks," Bleier said.

Under Parker's direction, women's apparel fabrics last year comprised almost 40 percent of Missbrenner's volume and should surpass 55 percent in 1994. Annie Vetrone is the division's stylist. Prior to 1993, swimwear constituted more than 90 percent of the company's volume.

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