MARKET BASKET

SIGRID’S PINK SIDE: Sigrid Olsen has expanded her fashion brand with a social occasion line called Sigrid Olsen pink label, which is making its debut for spring retailing. The line includes luxury fabrics and some novelty embellishments on items geared toward a growing niche in the evening market that addresses more relaxed dressing for special occasions.
The launch includes 12 pieces that average $68 at wholesale, in the upper better area. Prices range from $34 for a camisole to $129 for a full-length double silk georgette jacket with a banded collar.
Jude Zimmerman, vice president of sales, projected a first-year wholesale volume of $1 million. The collection will be offered twice a year, for spring delivery in March and holiday delivery in September. The pink label is an extension of the Sigrid Olsen Collection, which is housed under Segrets Inc., of which 84.5 percent is owned by Liz Claiborne Inc.
Sigrid Olsen also designs Sigrid Olsen Sport and SO Blue by Sigrid Olsen, a casual weekend-apparel line.

FIT TAPS CORTES: Dario A. Cortes has been appointed vice president for academic affairs at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology.
As FIT’s chief academic officer, he will provide internal leadership and vision for academic programs, oversee academic standards, monitor budgets and recommend faculty strategies and appointments. He reports to Joyce Brown, president of FIT, and fills a position held by acting vice presidents since fall 1996, when vice president Jean-Ellen Giblin left.
Cortes comes to FIT from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, N.J., where he was dean of the College of Arts, Sciences and Professional Studies since 1992. Prior to that, Cortes was associate dean of Graduate Studies and Research and director of the International Business and Foreign Language Studies Program at the University of Maryland.

WOOLRICH GETAWAY: Looking to build store traffic and play off its image as an outdoor activity brand, Woolrich has created “The Woolrich Outdoor Getaway Sweepstakes.” Customers shopping at participating Woolrich retailers will be able to enter the sweepstakes, which begin in February for the spring selling season.
Grand-prize winners can choose from four expenses-paid travel packages: Colorado River Rafting, Vermont Mountain Biking, Carolina Golfing and Montana Fly-Fishing. In addition, Woolrich will award six first-place prizes of a mountain bike or campsite package and 10 second-place prizes of a $200 Woolrich gift certificate. Store sales associates can be entered in a parallel incentive sweepstakes.
Supporting the promotion will be a consumer ad campaign in Outdoor Life, Outdoor Explorer, Field & Stream, Golf, Skiing and Ski magazines. The sweepstakes will also be featured on the web sites of those publications. Participating retailers will have point-of-purchase displays and entry boxes in store from Feb. 1 to May 1.

HALMODE’S NEW LABEL: Nina Leonard, an affiliate of Maggy London Ltd., has signed a licensing agreement with the Halmode Apparel division of Kellwood Co. to produce and market the Lennie for Nina Leonard dress collection.
The new line will consist of moderate-priced knit and woven dresses and will bow in January for fall retailing.
Leonard Feinberg, president and chief executive officer of Nina Leonard, which makes a signature better-priced knit dress line, will oversee creative efforts for the new line.
Denise Miller, formerly division head for Kasper Dresses, has joined Halmode as division head for the new line, overseeing sales and marketing. She reports to Jay Diamond, president and ceo of Halmode. Diamond said the Lennie for Nina Leonard line “provides us with the opportunity to offer a well-established name in better dresses to a number of new customers in the moderate arena.”
Halmode officials declined to offer a first-year sales projection. Halmode also makes dresses under the Kathie Lee, Sag Harbor and MHM labels.

FREEDMAN TO ABS: Megan Freedman, formerly vice president of sales at Mica, has joined ABS by Allen Schwartz as vice president of sales and merchandising for the daytime dress division.
In this new post, Freedman reports to Allen B. Schwartz, president and design director of ABS, which, as reported, was acquired by Warnaco Corp. last month.