NEW YORK — The West Coast sportswear line Sanctuary Clothing is launching a higher-end jeans spin-off for spring retailing.

The line is called White Label and will wholesale for $62 to $69, about $20 higher than the average prices for bottoms in the Sanctuary line, said Tammy Ames, director of sales and marketing for the North Hollywood, Calif.-based company. White Label is intended to offer a more contemporary style than the main line.

“Mostly, the differences are in the details, the hand sanding and the washes,” Ames said. “The fabrics are a bit nicer and more expensive.”

The White Label line, which will be introduced at next week’s Fashion Coterie show in New York, includes about 16 styles of denim and nondenim bottoms, as well as woven tops and a denim jacket.

The higher-priced line is intended to be “a new forum to use more details, better fabrics, hand washes, embroidery and more expensive labeling,’’ Ames said. “We’re not raising our prices, we’re giving her more.”

The jeans are made in Los Angeles of domestic and Italian fabric.

The launch was a response to a “trading-up movement” in the jeans market, Ames said. From the moderate tier to the super-premium business where jeans retail for more than $150, brands in the last year have been rolling out higher-priced products offering new details in an effort to attract more consumer interest than could be generated by selling generic jeans at lower prices.

The Sanctuary line has been in business for seven years and generates about $12.5 million in annual sales.

— Scott Malone

This story first appeared in the September 23, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.