COAT TALES

HERMAN KAY GETS HALSTON: Halston International has licensed coat house Herman Kay Co. to produce and market a Halston outerwear collection. Halston is a unit of TTI Apparel Group, which acquired the trademark this year for noncosmetic products.
Aimed at department stores, the collection will feature wool coats and jackets and microfiber rainwear, wholesaling for $75 to $150. Carmine Porcelli, director of licensing for Halston, will coordinate all advertising and in-store promotions as part of Halston’s corporate licensing program, and Randolph Duke, Halston’s design director, will work with Herman Kay in creating the collection.
The Halston line will have its own showroom at Herman Kay’s facilities on the 11th floor of 500 Seventh Avenue.
Herman Kay’s lines include its signature moderate-price active and wool coat line, a fledgling contemporary coat line called Jason Kole, an upper-moderate licensed Leslie Fay coat collection and better-priced licensed Albert Nipon and Nipon Boutique lines. It also has a children’s coat line called Spoiled.
Since acquiring the name, TTI has launched sportswear and innerwear collections for fall and has signed licensing pacts for women’s belts, scarves, sweaters and home furnishings.

SAG HARBOR’S LAUNCH: Sag Harbor, a sportswear division of Kellwood Co., has signed a licensing agreement with Fleet Street, Ltd. to develop and distribute a line of moderate-to-better women’s and girls’ outerwear and activewear, to be in stores next fall.
First-year wholesale volume is expected to reach $12 million to $15 million, according to Manny Haber, president.
The collection will be sold through department stores, specialty stores and retail outlets where Sag Harbor sportswear is sold.
The licensed Sag Harbor line will include women’s and girls’ outerwear in all fabrics and lengths, including an activewear line of woven jogging suits, jackets and parkas.
Sag Harbor outerwear will be housed in a separate showroom at 512 Seventh Avenue, where Fleet Street also has its showroom.

BISCAYNE’S BIG 3Q: Biscayne Apparel Inc. reported third-quarter earnings more than doubled to $2.8 million, or 26 cents a share, from $1.6 million, or 12 cents a year ago.
Sales for the three months gained 12.6 percent to $46.1 million from $40.9 million.
Gross margin was 26.6 percent of sales in the latest quarter compared with 25.6 percent a year ago. The improvement was largely due to lowering production costs at the M&L International business, which manufactures children’s, infants’ and toddlers’ outerwear, sportswear and swimwear.
Third-quarter results reflect improved sales in the Andy Johns Fashions International division and reduced costs in Biscayne’s four operating companies, John E. Pollack, chief executive officer, said in a statement. Andy Johns makes women’s and junior outerwear.
“While our strategic operating plan will generate significant administrative and operational cost savings in 1996, we do not expect to return to profitability for the fiscal year,” Pollack concluded.
But he noted that Biscayne’s initiatives will help “create a more competitive company that will show significant improvement in operating comparisons to 1995.”
Pollack noted that in the past nine months, the company has reduced its bank debt to $33.5 million from $38.8 million, closed its high-cost manufacturer facilities in the Philippines and the U.S., consolidated its outerwear distribution functions in Seattle and redesigned its apparel and outerwear lines.
Biscayne’s other operating divisions are Mackintosh of New England, which manufactures women’s woolen coats and outerwear; Varon, which makes girls’ and boys’ underwear and girls’ daywear, and Andy Johns Kids, children’s outerwear.

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