KNIT PICKS

Byline: Elizabeth Gladfelter

Laundry’s Next Load
Buoyed by the strength of its sweater business, Laundry by Shelli Segal has increased its knitwear offerings by 60 percent for spring, compared with last year.
The items, which are part of the sportswear line, will be available at such stores as Neiman Marcus, Henri Bendel and Bloomingdale’s in April.
According to Mark Mendelson, senior vice president of Laundry by Shelli Segal, overall sales have been on the rise at the company largely because of the knitwear business. The knits include suede-handed ribs, yarn-dyed prints and striped and solid sweaters. The company expects the knitwear to boost volume this year between $3 million and $5 million. Total volume is anticipated at $85 million.
Designs for summer include crochet, pointelle, intarsia, flame-stitch technology (space-dyed stitching) and a slinky, shiny rayon take on the classic knit.
The wholesale price range for the spring knits is $45 to $65 for sweaters and $39 to $59 for halters. “Key silhouettes for summer include slinky halters, darted and ribbed cardigans and other body-conscious, Lycra-blended slinky sweaters in shades of grape, rose and brown,” added Christopher La Police, Laundry’s vice president.

Necessary Knits
Necessary Objects, a New York junior sportswear firm, has also boosted its knitwear offerings. The company’s spring sportswear line includes 50 percent more knit items than last year’s.
Body-conscious, sexy and form-fitting silhouettes are now the staples in the sportswear market, according to Ady Gluck-Frankel, president and design director. The line with a Seventies feel includes crochets and microfiber knits. It is produced domestically and boasts new colors, including tropicana, aubergine, turquoise, fudge, cloud, French blue, Dutch blue and lavender.
Wholesale price points range from $14 to $37.
The company expects to generate $70 million in wholesale volume this year in knitwear. In the past five weeks alone, the company saw a volume of $6.7 million, according to Gluck-Frankel.
The knitwear items are in Bloomingdale’s, Burdines, Macy’s and Nordstrom.

With A New Eye
Eagle’s Eye, a novelty knitwear company, has revamped its look and logo. The company has produced a 74-page image book to highlight the collection.
The new styles fall into four categories based on lifestyle: Nantucket, Hamptons, Tahoe and Fieldhouse.
The image book features Isabella Rossellini in various knit looks for fall, colorblock chenilles, wraps and a Donegal wool cable sweater in oatmeal and moss green.
Ruven Afanador photographed the series, and Deborah Moses was creative director.
The book will be sent to former, current and prospective accounts, including department and specialty stores, next week.
“We are committed to broadening and diversifying our design direction from what we already have,” said a spokesman.
“We offer classic options for classic lifestyles. The former product was more thematic in design, in terms of the novelty sweaters.”
The knitwear wholesale range is $40 to $80. The $100 million company anticipates volume in 1997 to increase by 20 percent, according to a spokesman.

Smooches Bows
New York-based Smooches is kissing up to the teen market, hoping its efforts will produce $6 million in wholesale volume for 1997.
The company’s junior knitwear line hit the market last fall and is now being sold at such stores as Nordstrom, Sterns, Bloomingdale’s, Express, Charlotte Russe, Gadzooks, Weathervane, Boscovs, Gottschalks, Brass Buckles, Delia’s, Dress Barn, Mariposa and Von Maur.
Jonathan Satin, president, said the line is targeted to 14-to-22-year-olds. The items include a white 100-percent cotton halter with crocheted hearts and a short-sleeved black cotton sweater with blue diamonds.
The line wholesales from $8 to $12.

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