The struggles of Bill Blass Couture aren’t scaring Bill Blass New York, the separately owned in-home direct sales label, from going luxe itself.
This story first appeared in the August 4, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
For fall, Bill Blass New York is adding a 28-piece capsule collection of made-to-order pieces that will sell to customers for $995 to $8,995 — a price more expected in Bergdorf Goodman than a neighbor’s home. The rest of the line, which launched two years ago, includes skirts for around $425 and evening gowns for $995, the starting price for the new capsule collection.
But the company is confident that the items, such as knits with detachable fur and a beaded evening gown, will be easy sales for the quarter of its more than 200 sales consultants who will be selling the higher-priced items to friends and neighbors through trunk shows in their homes. The items will all be made-to-order, and take 10 to 45 days to be delivered. The company declined to divulge sales projections.
“Every season we design a limited number of luxury pieces — many just for show, like our mink topper, which we produced last fall — but the reaction from our sellers and clients to these high-end pieces was incredible,” said Jose Solis, creative director for Bill Blass New York. “With this kind of feedback, I was pleased to have the opportunity to design a set of unique pieces with rare fabrics and furs, intricate features and luxurious details that make the ‘luxe’ pieces so special.”