YSL WOOS YOUTH WITH LOWER PRICES

PARIS — Yves Saint Laurent hopes to attract a younger crowd with a lower-priced line for fall 1997.
The house will launch its third collection, priced about 50 percent less than the Variation/Encore bridge line, according to managing director Christophe Girard. Initially, the new line will be distributed in Europe, but it probably will be sold internationally after a few seasons, he said.
“Historically, YSL has dressed younger women,” Girard explained. “But because of increasing prices, our customers have not been getting younger.”
C. Mendes, which holds the license for the Rive Gauche and Variation/Encore lines, will be the licensee and distributor of the new collection, which has yet to be named. Variation and Encore are different names for the same collection — Variation is the label used in Europe and Encore is the label in the U.S.
The company hopes to produce most of the collection in France, but will consider other sourcing options to help keep prices low.

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