LUNA CHIX DOESN’T PLAY BY THE SEASONS

Byline: Kristi Ellis

LOS ANGELES — Luna Chix isn’t sticking to the traditional calendar in the junior market.
The junior line, launched in March by BB Co. Inc., targets 15-to-35-year-olds who don’t buy by the season, according to Barry Balonick, president of the company, based here.
“We don’t believe in rules,” said Balonick. “We have customers who still want to buy white in October and in November.”
So the company takes the trends of the moment and carries them forward, despite the season. Luna Chix will also offer new items weekly and fine-tune concepts on a monthly basis to keep up with the changing demands of the junior customer.
Balonick, who was most recently a partner in junior apparel firm Born in America, teamed with Karen Frazier, a former partner in sportswear company Judy Knapp, to launch Luna Chix.
The duo expects to exceed $15 million in first-year sales.
On the fashion front for spring, Luna Chix is banking on Bohemian hippie looks; Fifties picnic themes, which include pedal pushers and ditsy prints, and club looks. Wholesale prices range from $8 to $16 for tops, $10 to $18 for pants and $8 to $16 for skirts.
“We were trying to think of something that would appeal to that teen audience. We wanted to offer something that they could have fun with,” said Balonick.
Balonick, Frazier and Melissa Garsen, who designs the line, scour the clubs in here and in New York, looking for trends they think will translate into big business.
Coated and laminated fabrics are teamed with sheers and Asian jacquards. Basic fabrics include stretch bengaline, stretch twill and stretch denim. American Indian beading, Indian sari-inspired taping and embroidered silk jacquards add ethnic themes.
“The eclectic mix of fabrics is really important now,” said Frazier. “We take Asian jacquards or crochet tops and mix them with denim.”
For the customer looking for a more “girly” look, Luna Chix offers a group of items in club fabrications with feminine details including floor-length, gathered bustle skirts in colored organza and iridescent shimmers, knee-length printed mesh and crinkle chiffon ruffle skirts as well as long, soft ethnic-inspired drawstring skirts in rich paisley prints. Backless handkerchief tops in Asian jacquards and silk shantung are paired with novelty-trimmed bottoms.
The line is carried in department and specialty stores.

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