MACKIE TO UNVEIL COAT COLLECTION

Byline: Dianne M. Pogoda

NEW YORK — Bob Mackie will launch a coat collection this fall and a suit line for spring 1997 in a licensing deal with Lavantino, a coat and suit maker here.
As reported, Mackie announced in October that he would reenter the ready-to-wear business with a dress line for fall. It premieres with a runway show Sunday at Laura Belle, here.
The initial coat collection will offer about 20 styles in such fabrics as cashmere, wool, satin and tweed, with trims including velvet, beaver, fox and lamb.
The coats, marketed with the label Mackie by Bob Mackie, will wholesale for $300 to $600.
Prices are not yet firm on the suit collection, which will make its debut in the fall. The line will most likely range from $200 or $250 to $450 wholesale, said Gerald Solovei, a consultant to Mackie, who works with the designer on licensing projects. The suits will bear the same label as the coats.
For the first full year, combined coat and suit sales are expected to be $4 million to $5 million, he said.
Mackie will produce his evening and cocktail dresses through a new firm, Bob Mackie Ltd. Mackie and his longtime business partner, Ray Aghayan, formed the company as a joint venture in October with United Designers, a manufacturer here.
The dress line wholesales from about $600 to $900. Aghayan projected first-year sales at $3 million to $4 million.
Mackie closed his own rtw business in 1993 and has been doing theatrical work on Broadway and in Los Angeles. He also has a show on QVC Network selling accessories, blouses and neckties in his exclusive prints and other products, and he’s been keeping an eye on his licensed products.
Mackie also had a collection for He-Ro Group that was priced lower than his signature line, but it was discontinued in 1994 when the death of He-Ro’s founder, Herbert Rounick, caused the company to restructure. The rtw line and licensed He-Ro collection were generating around $6.5 million in 1993.

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