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Special Issue
WWD A issue 07/18/2011

LOS ANGELES — A.B.S. is marking time.

This story first appeared in the July 18, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The fashion brand is expanding with a line of watches priced from $80 to $300.

“Our brand stands for affordable luxury and being trend- right,” said chief executive officer Allen B. Schwartz, who tapped Genesis Time Group to produce the line under license. “The key is to be able to have a watch like a dress or a pair of jeans, one that might look like it costs $2,000 or $20,000.”

The line ranges from bohemian styles to red-carpet bling — some styles feature diamond embellishments. “We can give you a watch that’s great to go to the beach with, and to go out on the town with,” he said. The focus is on whimsy and color, from coral to purple and metallic shades, like copper and gunmetal.

“I think watches and bags and jewelry and eyewear and are all part of that completed look, and every gal today wears a watch, not so much to tell the time but to be cool and put together,” added Schwartz, estimating first-year sales at $2 million.

“We didn’t do over-the-top styling because we want a consumer to be able to buy a watch and know they are going to love it as much three years from now as they do today,” said Lenny Rosenbaum, director of Genesis. “By the same token, it’s A.B.S., so you have to be fashion-forward. You do want to use it as an accessory.”

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