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Cynthia Rowley, Groupe JS in Deal for Dress Line

Shoppers will find daytime and cocktail dresses that will retail for between $295 and $495 starting in August.

Cynthia Rowley has inked a licensing deal with Groupe JS International for a contemporary dress collection that will land in stores for fall.

This story first appeared in the January 29, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“You just can’t wear jeans and a T-shirt every day, even though I try. There’s something special about a pretty dress that makes you happy,” Rowley said. “It made sense for us to expand dresses into its own separate and distinct collection.”

Shoppers will find daytime and cocktail dresses that will retail for between $295 and $495 starting in August. The designer’s boutiques and Web site will sell the new dress line, as will better department stores and specialty stores. The addition of a contemporary dress line creates a new opportunity to reach an even broader wholesale account base for the designer, who is widely known for her sportswear, according to Cynthia Rowley president Peter Arnold.

Through the arrangement, Groupe JS will manufacture Cynthia Rowley dresses by sourcing materials domestically and internationally to evoke the same spirit and aesthetic that Rowley is known for. Mitchell Hops, chief executive officer of Groupe JS International, said of Rowley, “She’s been an innovative force in fashion and we’re [pleased] to partner with her to extend her spirited-yet-sophisticated designs into a dress collection.”

Based in Montreal with offices in New York, Toronto and London, Groupe JS has five divisions and has been part of the North American fashion scene for more than 40 years.