IN THE MARKETS
CORA TAYLOR BRANCHES OUT
Byline: RUSTY WILLIAMSON
DALLAS — Cora Taylor took a different path to her new ready-to-wear line, which made its debut in October.
While most designers start with apparel and then branch out to include accessories, Taylor did the opposite.
Creative Collections, her two-year-old better handbag firm, inspired Taylor’s new dress lines, which are produced under two labels: Marico and Maribelle & Co.
“It’s a natural for me to return to ready-to-wear,” said Taylor, who owned Cora Velasco, a designer store here in the Eighties, which closed. “I want to merchandise it with my handbags in the stores for multiple sales. Plus I haven’t seen anything exciting in the market that I, as a consumer, really wanted to purchase.”
At spring market last October here and in Atlanta, Taylor tested the waters with her lines and showed a capsule group of linen and cotton and polyester organza dresses under the Marico label, wholesaling from $35 to $45.
She wrote $35,000 in orders and went forward this market with the two complete collections.
Combined first-year sales are planned at $500,000, split evenly by the labels.
Marico is an acronym for Maria Corazon, Taylor’s full given name. For summer, the collection is cleanly styled and cut again from the linen and cotton and polyester organza that were hits for spring.
Mostly white, ivory and black, the silhouettes include camisoles with delicate pearl-seed butterfly embroidery, walking shorts, shifts, swing jackets and easy skirts. Wholesale prices are $45 for a short-sleeved top to $90 for a jacket.
Maribelle & Co., the second collection and more forward than Marico, is named for Maribelle Velasco, one of Taylor’s daughters and an executive with numerous responsibilities at Taylor’s firm.
Like Marico, the collection is manufactured in Los Angeles, where Maribelle Velasco lives. Taylor feels that keeps the company closer to emerging trends.
Taylor and Velasco share design duties on the collections.
Retro looks from the Fifties and Sixties with an emphasis on buttons and piping, including a nod to Givenchy, define Maribelle & Co. for summer.
The satin and polyester crepe dresses are offered in six styles and wholesale from $35 to $55. Matching jackets are priced at $65 to $75.
Colors include the all-important pastels and black and white.
Both labels will hang in room 4845 at the Mart with Creative Collections handbags. Taylor’s other Dallas showroom, 4F07, is for immediates.
Creative Collections, which quickly won a following with its trendy silhouettes and affordable price points, is projecting $1.5 million in 1996 sales against last year’s $1 million.
More than 60 styles will be offered for summer, including boxy top handles in pearlized leather, satin and tweed.
Taylor frequently travels to Europe to discern trends and purchase materials for her lines.
“Staying ahead is important in this day and age,” Taylor said. “So many of the ideas that we see in America started in Europe.”