Byline: Janet Ozzard

NEW YORK — Todd Oldham has yet another project on his plate. The designer has signed a license with El Paso, Tex.-based denim manufacturer Sun Apparel to produce a line of jeanswear for fall shipping.
This is Oldham’s third license — he also has a fragrance and a shoe license — and another venture for the busy designer, who produces his signature line and Times Seven bridge line here, and travels to Munich several times a year as a design consultant for Escada.
“We approached Todd about two months ago, and we already have product,” said Sun Apparel spokesman Todd Rubin, who will head up the Oldham license.
The line will be called Todd Oldham Jeans and, until a new space is found, will be sold out of Oldham’s SoHo showroom.
Rubin said the company is looking for another showroom space in Oldham’s building at 120 Wooster St.
“It’s essential that the new showroom have the same feeling as Todd’s,” Rubin said. “Warm and a little funky.”
The line will be manufactured in Sun Apparel’s El Paso factories. Sun also manufactures its own Code Bleu and X-Am lines, and holds the jeans license for Sasson.
Oldham said he will put some of the new denim line on the runway at his April 4 Bryant Park show. In addition to the jeans line, he said, there will also be some higher-priced denim in the Collection.
“It will be the same material, but it will be silk-lined, things like that,” he said. “I’ve cut some pretty extreme looks for that.”
Todd Oldham Jeans will have three core jeans styles for women and two for men, in four different finishes, as well as shirts, vests and jackets with “lots of novelty.”
“There will be a lot of animal prints,” he said, adding that he has no plans to do colored denim this season.
“We’re sticking to the classic indigo to start,” he said. “I don’t have a feeling for colored denim this season.”
The fabric will come from Sun Apparel’s plants, Oldham said, although he will have the option to use other sources. It will be washed and rinsed, although not stonewashed.
“I really like the dark stuff,” Oldham said. “There will also be lots of fake leather and printed fake leather pieces.”
Oldham said prices are currently being decided, but added that he’d like the jeans to retail between $70 and $90. He said the line will be sold in the Oldham boutique in SoHo as well as department and specialty stores.
“It’s very important to me that these be accessible. I want them to be in malls,” Oldham said.
“We are thinking of directing this product toward the youth market,” said Rubin. “There will be a $65 to $70 range, and a $100 range for Todd’s collection customer, with more fashion bodies and interesting piece goods.”
Rubin said that for the first season, Sun will try to keep distribution very select and may not do any advertising. He noted ad plans are currently under discussion, but that Oldham will be involved in all projects.
“He’ll design the snipes,” said Rubin, referring to ad posters placed around construction sites in New York.
Rubin declined to give a figure for first-year sales, saying, “We’re interested in smart distribution rather than wide distribution. We want to keep some mystique about this.”
Oldham, who grew up in Texas, said he’d been thinking about doing a denim line for a while.
“I wear jeans all the time, and one of the things I like about them is that you can wear the same pair for three weeks in a row and no one can tell,” he said.
“Jeans are like a man’s purse. You take them off, you put them on, there’s your wallet, everything’s all organized.”