Nicole Miller Will Launch Daytime Dresses

An extension of sportswear line that hits stores this fall.

Nicole Miller is on the move again, this time with the launch of daytime dresses under the Nicole Miller Studio One label.

This story first appeared in the August 26, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“There is a lot more embellishment because daytime dresses can get a little plain. There are also a lot of prints and solids. This won’t be minimalist,” she said of her latest contribution to bridge. “It has a very modern and young attitude.”

An extension of the sportswear by the same name that will debut for fall 2009, many of the Nicole Miller Studio One dresses have special treatments, embroidery or embellishment. The collection debuts next month at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and select specialty stores. Twenty to 24 styles will be shipped to stores each month, with silk jersey dresses and sheaths with border prints being among the offerings. Wholesale prices will range from $110 to $345.

The new dress label is expected to drum up between $7 million and $8 million in additional sales annually, according to chief executive officer Bud Konheim. “This is a brand new business. There is no point in trading dollars from our collection business,” he explained.

For her part, Miller said she had wanted to address daytime dresses in a more in-depth way for a while, and the fact that many of the daytime dresses from her signature collection were inadvertently being merchandised in eveningwear departments provided some impetus. “It all wound up being very confusing in the stores,” she said. “Clearly, this will go to two different departments.”

The designer’s runway collections, including her special occasion dresses and item sportswear, will continue to be marketed under the Nicole Miller Signature and Nicole Miller Collection brand names. To distinguish the label from Nicole Miller’s signature and collection labels, the Nicole Miller Studio One daytime dresses will have a chartreuse label, as will the sportswear.

Karen Katz, president and ceo of Neiman Marcus, said, “You can count on Nicole to design clothes that are modern, chic and always make a woman feel good about herself. We are proud to sell the new daytime dress collection — and look forward to carrying the sportswear.”