Byline: Kristi Ellis

LOS ANGELES — Jessica McClintock, the San Francisco company known for its romantic dresses, has launched its first contemporary sportswear collection. It carries the label JMc San Francisco. The line, which was tested for fall in the company’s own stores, will make its debut for resort.
“This new line is techno-romantic,” said McClintock, adding that the line is composed entirely of stretch jersey — a fabric she hasn’t used in her dresses.
The sportswear collection, which is manufactured in San Francisco, is composed of 27 pieces in two different prints, a spider web and black bamboo. Both prints are accented with shots of color.
Based on fall test results in 25 of her boutiques, McClintock projected a wholesale volume of about $2 million for the first year, beginning with resort. She’s targeting department stores such as Robinson’s-May and Macy’s West.
McClintock, who’s been in business for 27 years, has an annual wholesale volume of $140 million. Besides JMc San Francisco, there are five other divisions: Gunnie Sax, a junior dress line; Scott McClintock, a moderate misses’ dress line, and Jessica McClintock signature, bridal and girls.
Discussing the leap into contemporary sportswear, McClintock said, “I was pushed into the niche of evening, very dressy, dressy. As a designer, I always felt like I was missing part of what I really wanted to design. That’s why I wanted to go into related separates.”
As for her views on the contemporary market, she said, “The contemporary market in this day and age has to be sexy, not totally Versace but going in that direction.
“I am using all comfortable stretch fabrics that a woman can pack for a cruise or go from day into evening. I wanted this new line to be casual but sexy. While everyone else does embroidered knits and slip dresses, I am developing my ideas of prints with colors.”
Wholesale prices are $22 for a bandeau, $24 for short skirts, $24 to $30 for tops, $32 to $35 for dresses, $37 for long skirts, $40 for pants and $38 to $40 for jackets.
McClintock said she is targeting an age range of 18 to 60. But she doesn’t plan to ignore the junior market.
“I believe in change,” she said, “and this [junior] market is always changing because it is always open to new ideas.”

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