Wendy Wurtzburger, former chief merchandising and design officer of Anthropologie, is launching Until Soon, a high-end sweater collection, with partners Linda Trau and Michelle Gondolini.
The three women have a shared history with Anthropologie. Trau, who opened one of the first multiline showrooms in New York, has been a knitwear designer for the specialty retailer, and Anthropologie has been a client of Gondolini’s knitwear design and production company, RMC.
After years of collective experience, Wurtzburger, Trau and Gondolini were yearning to work on a project all their own. “We’ve all worked together and helped build businesses for other people,” Wurtzburger said. “We’ve each had a range of clients who’ve tapped into our experience, but Until S oon is a brand we can impact directly and craft for a customer we know well — ourselves. This is our own aesthetic.”
While the collection won’t be in stores until next fall, the cozy cardigans, felted lambs wool jackets and brushed alpaca tunics are striking a relevant chord with independent specialty stores. The deliberate space between the S and O in the brand’s name is meant to reflect the collection’s artisanal approach. “It’s like dropping a stitch,” Wurtzburger said. “It’s not perfect. It has a hand-made quality.”
With retail prices ranging from $300 to $600, Until S oon will hang in designer departments when it has its limited distribution.
The collection has 32 styles that will be available in various colorways. About half of the items are 100 percent cashmere.
“We wanted to create a collection that appeals to women who are culturally curious and passionate about good design,” said Wurtzburger, who left Anthropologie in 2013 and is now a fashion and lifestyle consultant. “This is designed for a different customer who can mix it with her designer wardrobe. Until S oon is thoughtful and comfortable but also luxurious and has a timeless quality.”
A category called coat-igans is a cross between a cardigan and coat, made from double-faced wool with bound seams. There’s a loden double-faced moto jacket with zippers on the front and back, priced at $600. An oatmeal V-neck boucle sweater is $325. Cashmere sweaters are priced from $325 to $525.
“So much of the market’s gotten to be the same looking,” Gondolini said. “We’re inspired by black and white imagery and dance. There’s a mix of masculine and feminine pieces.” Wrap sweaters similar to those worn by ballet dancers are a key item and come in a number of fibers. Staples include black knit pants such as a pair in cashmere and Lycra. A long merino melange hooded coat with minimal decoration looks as comfortable as a bathrobe. The brand uses ribbing, applied cables and open cables to add interest to sweaters and jackets.
“Until Soon is the way my friend Mitzi signs her letters,” Wurtzburger said of the collection’s name. “This is really my dream.”