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Tracy Reese Launches Black Label

New collection to be unveiled at Bryant Park on Sept. 11.

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Tracy Reese plans to aim high in Bryant Park on Sept. 7.

This story first appeared in the September 4, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

That’s when the contemporary designer will unveil a new, higher-end collection she’s calling Tracy Reese Black Label. Reese said she plans to show the new collection on the runway mixed in with her spring Tracy Reese line.

“The idea of this collection has been simmering for a while now, but in the contemporary area there is only so far you can go since it’s so price-focused,” Reese said. “It’s hard to take it to the next level without adjusting the price.”

The collection, which will wholesale between $300 and $500, includes cashmere sweaters with ruffle details and crystal buttons, structured pencil skirts, a spaghetti-strap georgette and organza gown with flower appliqués and layers of crystals flowing from top to bottom, a wool and silk sateen beaded Van Gogh-printed cocktail dress, a silk-lined trenchcoat with a crystal belt buckle and a black beaded cocktail dress with a deep V-back. Reese is also designing a collection of Tracy Reese Black Label shoes to go with each look from the 12-piece line.

“I wanted each piece to be something that you can splurge on, but also something you get a lot of mileage out of,” Reese said. “The collection is meant to complement the other collections, but since I’m able to raise the prices, that gives me the ability to add more to each garment.”

The Tracy Reese Black Label collection will have four deliveries a year, centered around social seasons like holiday and resort. Reese said she is gearing the collection to select high-end specialty retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, but hopes to keep distribution limited.

“If we do $1.5 million at retail in the first year, I would be happy with that,” she said.

Besides the new collection, Reese designs her signature Tracy Reese brand that wholesales between $80 and $325; Plenty, a more casual contemporary sportswear line that wholesales between $45 and $125, and Plenty Frock, a dress line, which wholesales at around $125.

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