KAMALI’S NEW TARGET: Norma Kamali is waking up to a new consumer: the 16-to-26-year-old.
After receiving an overwhelming response from a younger audience for her nylon and Lycra spandex bodywear, made available through her web site earlier this year, Kamali decided to branch out with a less-expensive, contemporary alternative to her signature collection.
Called Club OMO, the line made its two months ago at her store at 11 West 56th Street and is available through her web site, omo-norma-kamali.com.
“This younger customer discovered me through the web,” Kamali said, adding that this customer base represents the bulk of the hits she receives each month.
She added that she constantly reads the e-mail and makes a point of writing back.
Club OMO offers such styles as fleece drawstring jackets, body-hugging pants and dresses in nylon and Lycra. Club OMO carries an average retail price of $200. Kamali’s signature collection averages $650.
DARTNELL’S ARTISAN APPROACH: David Dart, a better-priced collection of printed Tencels and linens, is expanding into the bridge/contemporary area with Dartnell, named after the designer and president of David Dart Design Group, a division of Kellwood. The group also includes Melrose, a moderate sportswear line, and Fern Bratten, a plus-size collection.
Dartnell, which will be in 200 stores for January, offers an “artisan” approach, with an emphasis on special details, according to Bernadette Forte, national sales manager for Dartnell.
The day-to-dinner dressing collection, which will be housed in either contemporary or bridge, ranges in offerings from T-shirts in coated fabrics to reversible, double-sided jackets in flax.
The collection wholesales from $68 to $250. David Dart is priced between $70 and $75, Forte said.
She declined to offer sales projections.
THALIAN ADDS CONTEMPORARY: Thalian, which produces a bridge collection that bears the company name, is expanding into contemporary with a pants line called Nothing Butt. The collection, which will be primarily in four-way-stretch fabrics, will make its debut in about 200 doors for spring, according to Frank Bergman, president of Thalian. Nothing Butt will wholesale from $49 to $79. Thalian runs from $79 to $89.
The cut of Nothing Butt will be narrower, addressing a customer in her 20s and early 30s. The collection is being designed by Sophia Tezzell, who had her own collection of dresses, Bergman said.
First-year wholesale volume is projected at $2 million, Bergman said.
Thalian, which is in 400 doors, is expected to post a volume of $8.5 million this year.
Lori Jacobs, previously at New Frontier, has been named head of sales.