RENLYN REVAMP: Richard Elias has reorganized suit maker Renlyn New York, dropping the firm’s better-price, year-old E.R. Gerard label and moving the signature label from bridge to better. Elias has also bought out his partner of many years, Jerry Livornes, and has named two vice presidents. Maureen Nolan, who had been vice president of E.R. Gerard, becomes vice president of sales for Renlyn. George Leonardi, who had been production manager, is now vice president of production.
“We realized there was some redundancy to what we were doing,” Elias said. “The better market is stronger now for suits without a designer name, while at the same time, the Renlyn name is better known than E.R. Gerard.”
Elias said the new Renlyn line should achieve sales of about $10 million in 1997, about the same as the overall company generated last year.
DAY INTO EVENING: For the first time in its 14-year history, Donna Ricco New York has opened a new division, an eveningwear line that bows for fall II/holiday. Tom Puls, president of the New York dress house, said Donna Ricco Dresses, a collection of career and day dresses, has had success with a few formal pieces, inspiring the company to add the second division.
Puls said the 34-piece Donna Ricco Evening line should generate sales of $2.5 million to $3 million in the first year.
Designer Donna Ricco said creating a separate collection for evening has allowed her to work with different fabrics that were cost-prohibitive in the established dress line. Ricco has mixed stretch velvets, burnout velvet, floral and geometric patterns, iridescent chiffon and matte jersey for an updated evening collection that wholesales for $85 to $140. She is also using beads and sequins on crepe in geometric patterns, with black, brown and plum key colors.
Drawing interest from retailers previewing the line are a burnout floral pattern with dramatic, large spacing; a crushed cinnabar velvet and chiffon sleeveless dress, and a brown silk and rayon velvet dress with a leaf-patterned brocade top and matching stole, Ricco noted.
SOMETHING NEW: Bridal market week is getting a novel kickoff this year with a conference on how the wedding business can use the Internet.
Rob Fassino, a partner at Element Studio, which produces America Online’s wedding site, “The Knot,” is the scheduled keynote speaker. Also slated to address the conference, dubbed WedCon, are Internet service executives Ben Narasin, president of Internet Fashion Mall; Martin Timusk, Webmaster at Wedding Bells, and Joseph Yaffe, a principal of Your Custom Wedding. WedCon takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 6, the start of bridal market week, at 780 Third Avenue.
AT&T will sponsor the event, which costs $50 to attend and will cover marketing and selling, Web design, security and brand extension using the Internet. The event includes some 20 bridal exhibitors and also has its own Web site at www.wedconny.com.