A TOUCH OF EUROPE

Byline: Karen Parr

NEW YORK — “There is a lot of demand for clothes that are spirited like European junior sportswear,” said Ioana Baraschi, design director for South Beach, a new junior sportswear firm that made its debut here this week.
“We’re trying to put out a product with a look that is junior — trend-oriented and fast track — but also with style,” she said.
Aimed at the better junior market, South Beach, based at 1466 Broadway, incorporates looks reminiscent of the European and American runways — one-shoulder dresses and knit tops and embroidered Empire-waist dresses with puffed sleeves. Wholesale prices range from $14 for a top to $42 for dresses to $56 for jackets. First deliveries are slated for Feb. 20.
One of the ways Baraschi intends to achieve a forward European style is with fabrics often used in the intimate apparel market, such as nylons, stretch fabrics with Lycra spandex and lightweight crepe. She is also using micro mesh layered over other fabrics, a look she said she was working on before she saw similar looks on the Donna Karan and Calvin Klein runways.
“We tried things you don’t usually see in the junior market, going directly for the ruffles, the cutouts and the one-shoulder looks,” she added. “They don’t have to dream about it — they can have those things.”
Around 90 percent of the manufacturing will be done at American Standard Apparel, a private label manufacturing company in Williamsport, Pa., of which South Beach president Bob Lieberman is also a partner and president.
Lieberman founded American Standard Apparel in 1979. It specializes in knits and manufactures for such firms as Eddie Bauer, Talbot’s, L.L. Bean and DKNY. According to Lieberman, American Standard Apparel had a wholesale volume of about $80 million last year.
Steven Zellman is vice president of South Beach. He was most recently vice president of sales at Leg Resource, a hosiery firm here.

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