An ad for the Fundamental Things line.

NEW YORK — The Fundamental Things and Casablanca career sportswear brands are making a comeback.<BR><BR>International Direct Group, based here, will reintroduce the moderately priced labels during this month’s market, with initial...

NEW YORK — The Fundamental Things and Casablanca career sportswear brands are making a comeback.

International Direct Group, based here, will reintroduce the moderately priced labels during this month’s market, with initial shipments set to hit stores for early fall.

During its heyday in the mid-Nineties, Fundamental Things, the larger of the two names, brought in sales of about $200 million. In their current incarnation, the brands are expected to bring in a combined volume of $15 million to $18 million over the next 18 months.

Fundamental Things, which is focused on bottoms but will also offer key items, is traditionally styled and meant to carry women from the office into the evening. The more whimsical Casablanca line has an updated feel.

Since its inception in 2000, IDG has built a $50 million business consisting mostly of private label casual sportswear. For its move into more career-orientated looks, IDG drew some expertise from the Casablanca Group, which originally produced the names, but went out of business in 1999.

Beckie Silber, who worked for Casablanca for 18 years and is the sister of its founder, Sam Silber, was brought on board at IDG as vice president of sales and merchandising.

“We have an imitative customer, not an innovative customer, which is why the customer counts on us to show her trend-right merchandise, and when presented with superior quality at affordable prices, the combination meets with great success,” Silber said.

“I have joined with the forces at IDG to bring back this philosophy that we were so successful with at Fundamental Things and match it with their China factory ownership to bring back the career pants classification in a significant way.”

This story first appeared in the January 6, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.