LOS ANGELES — Raif Adelberg, whose high-end Vancouver boutique Richard Kidd closed during the 2008 recession, is getting back into the luxury business via wholesale with a cashmere collection.
The men’s collection of sweaters and tops launched exclusively in Bergdorf Goodman last year, while the women’s collection rolls out exclusively at Barneys New York this month.
Wholesaling from $78 to $1,580, the 14-piece women’s line comprises cardigans, crewnecks, sweater coats, ponchos and dresses plus cashmere-cotton blend T-shirts and tanks. The Loro Piana cashmere is hand-spun and hand-dyed in Adelberg’s native Canada.
“Men’s wear comes more naturally to me, but I wanted to expand into women’s because I can take the design a little further with more shapes,” said Adelberg, who is based in Bowen Island, British Columbia, a sparsely populated area whose sea and sky hues, as well as motifs from indigenous tribes, inform each piece. Some are dip-dyed or tie-dyed while others feature woven prints and patterns. Knits range from heavy to featherweight.
Adelberg grew up watching his father operate apparel showrooms west of the Mississippi, and while pursuing careers in art and publishing, he opened the directional luxury boutique Richard Kidd in 2004. He also designed a clothing and accessories line by the same name that sold to Barneys, Maxfield and Isetan.
“A lot has changed in retail since then. The industry standards are old. Now stores want more frequent deliveries and smaller collections that they can customize, so I’m tailoring my line to what they want.”
Adelberg doesn’t have plans to price down, however. He’s looking at adding vicuña fiber knits, which cost more than cashmere, and has designed a cashmere and mink blanket for Just One Eye that retails for $65,000. Next year he plans to add women’s handbags to the line.