Byline: Christina S. Gregory

LOS ANGELES — Carole Hochman is hoping she has a sleeper with a new series of screen-printed, oversized T-shirts to be shipped to all Bloomingdale’s stores Nov. 20, to coincide with the opening of the chain’s first four California locations this month.
Designed by Carole Hochman, the first three T-shirts in “The Secret Life of Margo” series feature illustrator Julie Gran’s pictures of the imaginary, whimsical character named Margo as she hails a cab to head to Bloomingdale’s, goes in-line skating or prances down the street with her arms full of packages from the store. All the T-shirt designs show Margo with Bloomingdale’s shopping bags and sport lines such as, “The buzz is on at Bloomies!” The cotton shirts, which will be available at all Bloomingdale’s stores, will retail for $28 each.
“She’s every woman’s alter ego, free-spirited, ageless and timeless,” Hochman said of Margo.
The first three sleep shirts are exclusive to Bloomingdale’s; other stores will be able to order different versions — minus the Bloomingdale’s shopping bags — featuring Margo on an “archaeological dig” in her clothes closet, dreaming of shoes or sipping Chardonnay in the bathtub. Eventually, Hochman plans to add a cotton knit robe and a pajama group to the Margo series. Bloomingdale’s is greeting Hochman’s new line with enthusiasm.
“She is an important sleepwear designer and a longstanding resource of Bloomingdale’s,” said Jim Gundell, general merchandise manager. “We were looking for excitement and novelty. We expect them to be great sellers.”
Bloomingdale’s will open its first California stores in November at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto; Century City Shopping Center, Los Angeles; Fashion Square at Sherman Oaks, and Fashion Island at Newport Beach. The Beverly Center store is scheduled to open in March 1997.