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LOS ANGELES — Jeffrey Sebelia, the heavily tattooed bad boy winner of “Project Runway,” is showing his kinder, gentler side in a new contemporary label called Good Vig.
This story first appeared in the October 1, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Good Vig is the successor to the Los Angeles-based designer’s high-end collection, Cosa Nostra, which he started with handmade gowns and suits sold at stores like Maxfield. This is the latest effort by Sebelia to evolve from the dark, edgy looks he created under Cosa Nostra. In October 2007, he launched a namesake young contemporary line that lasted only one season due to disagreements with a former manufacturing partner. Having teamed last year with New York’s Appareline Inc., which runs factories in China and India, Sebelia decided to market Cosa Nostra mainly to Japan and to private clients. Good Vig’s prices are about half of Cosa Nostra’s.
“Aside from price point, Good Vig is just prettier,” Sebelia said. “It’s a lot softer. It’s not as dark. It’s actually what I’ve wanted to do for years.”
Professing a love for pleats, Sebelia followed a minimalist concept for Good Vig, which is accentuated with subtle embellishments such as three rows of tiny white beads circling the collar and falling down the front of a tunic and kimono dress. He continued using the silk, rayon and cotton he procured from mills in France, Spain, Italy and Japan for Cosa Nostra. And colorblocking is a major theme, as seen in combinations of red and blue for the inaugural holiday collection and groupings of muted baby blue and pink for the spring lineup.
Retailers that previously carried Cosa Nostra — including Ron Herman in Los Angeles, BNY in Santa Monica, Calif., and Susan of Burlingame in Burlingame, Calif. — also ordered pieces from Good Vig. Wholesale prices run from $50 to $110 for tops, $65 to $100 for pants, $80 to $220 for dresses and $90 for blazers.
“I always intended to make a prettier contemporary line,” Sebelia said.
That’s not to say the designer has gone soft. Sticking to a mobster theme for the name of his new line, “good vig” means one is making good on the debt owed to the Cosa Nostra, or Mafia. “It’s an image thing,” he said.