MONTREAL — With a solid parent company and a proven track record for its original Report Collection men’s division, Report Collection Women has started to raise its profile south of the border.
The Report label is the flagship of Modextile Inc., a 26-year-old fashion company based here. The firm initially specialized in the import and distribution of exclusive men’s wear lines. Founder and chief executive officer Henri Abitan was born in Casablanca, Morocco, and studied in Milan before moving to Montreal with his family in 1969. He launched the Report Collection men’s wear division in 1999 as a sportswear line available in specialty and department stores across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Latin America.
About 70 percent of Report’s men’s collection is sold in the U.S., where it has more than 1,000 accounts, said marketing manager Alexandre Abitan, Henri’s son. Another 20 percent is sold in Canada and the remaining 10 percent in Europe and Latin America.
The label is banking on its European flair and competitive pricing to see Report Collection Women clone those numbers. It already has a corporate showroom in New York and sales representatives in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and, more recently, Philadelphia. In addition, the spring collection is in 250 U.S. doors and the company is targeting another 250 for the women’s fall collection.
Report also has about 350 customers in Europe for its men’s wear and plans to target them for the fall women’s collection. The Continent is served by Report Collection SL in Barcelona. The label’s vice president of product development for women, Marc Benillouche, is based in Paris.
This spring marks the first full collection of Report Women by designer Bryan Wang, a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Wang is based in the company’s corporate showroom in Manhattan.
For fall, Wang has designed 120 styles, focusing on the contemporary and trendy 25- to 35-year-old age group at a price point that he said is 30 to 40 percent less expensive than designer labels. Sweaters wholesale from $65 to $105 for a cashmere blend; dresses are $60 to $95; printed jerseys, $65 to $75; woven blouses, $75 to $90; woven dresses, $115 to $125, and coats are $135 to $185.
Similar to the spring line, Report will be filled with basics for fall, with a vintage touch and flair. “Leggings will continue to be strong, but with a slightly different silhouette, more airy on top and narrower on the bottom,” Wang said.
The bulk of the line is made in China, with a few select higher-end pieces produced in Italy and New York.
“The interesting thing is, the collection has a European flair and flavor to it due to our merchandiser’s background and due to our international distribution,” Alexandre Abitan said. “A lot of American brands have trouble penetrating the European market and vice versa. As a Canadian company, we have a North American way of thinking in terms of fitting, sizing and marketability, but our designing is very much influenced by Europe. That’s what makes us competitive on an international scale.”
Retailer Mark Shale of Chicago is carrying the line this spring after buyer Beth Manning spotted it at the last Fashion Coterie in February.
“I purchased it based on their separates,” Manning said. “We’re carrying jackets for $278, which is an outstanding price point, along with a striped skirt [$178], top [$132] and three-button high-waisted skirt [$168]. The line is contemporary and trend-right without being over-the-top.”