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People’s Liberation Gets New Creative Vision

Creative director Marcella Lindeberg is relaunching People's Liberation Inc., the four-year-old denim label, as a contemporary sportswear brand for spring.

Creative director Marcella Lindeberg is relaunching People’s Liberation Inc., the four-year-old Los Angeles-based denim label, as a contemporary sportswear brand for spring.

Lindeberg is best known for her work designing the Stockholm-based J. Lindeberg brand with her husband, Johan. She also is the creative head of Justin Timberlake’s William Rast label, a division of People’s Liberation that just relaunched at retail for fall. Rast and People’s Liberation are based in Los Angeles and designed in New York, where the Lindebergs live.

“With [People’s Liberation], we really needed a focus in order to inspire the end consumer,” Lindeberg said. “The brand didn’t have such a clear direction before.”

To do so, she started from scratch. While the brand still has denim — mostly done with color, rather than traditional blue jeans — she said the new People’s Liberation is more about the “ease of Los Angeles dressing” with soft knit cotton graphic T-shirts made to wrap and drape in flattering new shapes, tissue-thin jersey dresses and tops, leggings, hoodies and sweats. For the launch, the colors are bright green, yellow, blue and red with white, black and gray throughout.

“It’s about a relaxed and informal way of dressing, but with style,” Lindeberg said. “This customer is health conscious, mature, spiritual and environmentally aware. It’s so important to stay connected with the customer.”
To fit the new styling, Lindeberg also redesigned the logo, which used to be a red star. Now it looks more like an asterisk symbol that is faded on the labels, hangtags and denim back pockets.

“The star looked too political, where the new version is more spiritual,” she explained.

Lindeberg said she plans to develop the brand into a full lifestyle collection, hoping to add more categories such as swimwear, activewear, accessories and eyewear.

Colin Dyne, chairman and chief executive officer of the firm, said that, after working with the Lindebergs on William Rast, he knew Marcella Lindeberg would be a great fit for People’s Liberation.

“We already worked well together, and Paris68 [the Lindeberg’s consultancy] was looking for new ways to express their creativity,” Dyne said.

Dyne said he plans to introduce the newly designed merchandise at the Project trade show in Las Vegas later this month. He will develop an advertising campaign with the fall 2009 collection. The People’s Liberation sportswear line wholesales from $25 to $85. He declined to give sales projections.

People’s Liberation Inc. reported a second-quarter loss Wednesday that increased 15.1 percent to $456,732, or 1 cent a diluted share, from $396,792, or 1 cent a share, in the same period last year. Sales in the quarter ended June 30 rose 46.4 percent to $6.7 million from $4.6 million a year ago.

For the first half of 2008, the casual apparel design firm trimmed its losses 72.2 percent to $394,397, or 1 cent a share, from $1.4 million, or 4 cents a share, in the first six months of 2007. Sales in the same period rose 62.1 percent to $13.6 million from $8.4 million a year ago.