Byline: Eric Wilson

NEW YORK — Designer Louis Dell’Olio has his sportswear-trained eye on the outerwear market.
In his first outerwear collection for The Tepper Collection here, launched March 28, Dell’Olio incorporated sportswear concepts into a moderate-priced line of textured bathrobe coats, colorblock stadium jackets and unstructured balmacaans.
The LDO Studio line, wholesaling for $250 to $495, includes boiled wool coats and wool blended with silk, angora, alpaca or cashmere. There are about 40 styles in the collection that range from a collegiate, tricolor stadium with horizontal and vertical color blocks to a side-tied shaped coat in a dove gray wool and silk blend that is more tailored.
“It’s frustrating for a sportswear designer not to be able to include more coats. They have always been secondary to the sportswear collections that I have designed,” said Dell’Olio.
The former long-time Anne Klein designer remains a consultant designer for Dei Tre, a collection of luxury sportswear sold exclusively at three retailers: Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus in the U.S. and Holt Renfrew in Canada.
“In sportswear, you throw a coat over a suit almost as an exclamation point,” Dell’Olio said.
Designing his first signature labels with The Tepper Collection here has offered Dell’Olio the opportunity to explore outerwear as a collection independent of a sportswear line, even though influenced by it.
“When you’re in the design process, one naturally does flow into the other,” Dell’Olio said. “Colors developed here reflect what is in the sportswear line, but I felt the coats had to stand by themselves as a strong collection.”
The LDO Studio line includes jewel tones of purple, orange and magenta, pebble tweed in brown or black with white and collegiate colors in the tricolored grouping.
The moderate collection is expected to generate $1.5 million in first-year sales, said Jeffrey Tepper, president of The Tepper Collection. The company is looking to sell the coats in less than 30 doors throughout the country.
Dell’Olio is also putting together a Louis Dell’Olio Luxe line and a Louis Dell’Olio Furs line for Tepper, to be shown in May.
The luxe line, which wholesales from $1,500 to $15,000, features baby alpaca, camel hair, alpaca tweeds, Mongolian lamb, textured wools in diagonal and herringbone patterns and eveningwear pieces in rainwear fabrics such as polyester spandex.
Some of the luxe pieces will be offered with matching fur trims in henna, eucalyptus, taupe and cinnabar. Dell’Olio said he is using beaver, mink and sable as trims, as well as a pale fox with charcoal highlights.
Dell’Olio is also designing hardware such as goldplated brass toggles and gold-trimmed buttons and zippers.
The fur collection, at $1,000 to $100,000, features sable, beaver and fisher as well as persian and mink reversible to suede. The silhouettes will include hooded bathrobe coats, wraps and blazers cut close to the body.
Tepper said the luxe and fur lines are expected to generate $2 million to $3 million combined in their first year.

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