Bridal and eveningwear designer Angel Sanchez is loosening up with a new contemporary label called Sanchez.

This story first appeared in the June 2, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The decision stemmed from a combination of factors — the recession’s impact on retail, his own initiative and his collection’s increasing appeal with clients in their 20s and 30s. Rather than resign himself to the sluggish retail environment, Sanchez said, “I started feeling like I have to face this with a very positive attitude. I asked myself, ‘OK, what can I do?’ I am trying to reinvent myself.”

Sanchez will make its debut at a June 9 presentation in the company’s West 37th Street showroom. Showing during resort is a plus, since it is “a quieter season” and allows for more compact collections. With this new venture, the designer aims to build distribution in specialty stores. His wedding gowns and eveningwear are sold mostly in department stores. The 18-style line will wholesale from $220 to $500, with a white dress with sheer panels on the side and a long-sleeved black dress expected to be two key styles.

Aiming to open 10 to 15 new accounts in 2011, Sanchez said the contemporary label should ring up between $400,000 and $600,000 in sales. “I don’t have crazy expectations about this line. I am more interested in opening new markets for us,” he said.

The diffusion line could help him stay young at heart. “I didn’t want to get old in my approach with my customers getting younger. I have been in this business for 20 years. The only way to challenge yourself is to try to understand new clients who are often younger. But my couture clients want to look younger too,” he said.

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