DEWILDE’S DUTCH TREAT: With new financial backing in place, Peter DeWilde expects to emerge from the shadow of his mentor, Koos Van Den Akker, when he starts producing a designer-priced ready-to-wear collection under his own name. DeWilde also plans to introduce a small group of knit dresses at bridge prices. Both collections will hit the stores for fall.
DeWilde, who was Van Den Akker’s design assistant, bought the company late in 1992. Van Den Akker remained the lead designer for the new firm’s first few collections, using the label Koos Van Den Akker for DeWilde. DeWilde became the main designer for the spring 1995 collection and sold it under the label Koos & DeWilde.
With backing from Dutch venture capitalist Paul Smeets, the 27-year-old DeWilde, a native of Holland, said he wants to “establish my own identity and make it easier to promote my name.”
Van Den Akker, 54, also a Dutch expatriate, will remain active in the business, creating a small, one-of-a-kind collection under the label Koos Couture. He will also consult with DeWilde on the rtw line.
DeWilde expects that 1995 sales of his signature collection will jump to $3 million from last year’s $1.6 million. On top of that, he projected $300,000 to $400,000 for the fall season for knitwear; Koos Couture is slated to do $600,000 in its first year.
The 15-piece knitwear collection wholesales for $75 to $400 and includes easy chemises and fitted dresses in wool and rayon jersey and a jacquard double-face knit. It will be introduced April 6 as part of DeWilde’s runway show in New York.
The rtw line, comprising about 150 pieces, will be introduced this week for early fall delivery. It wholesales for $200 to $2,500.
GEMELLARO’S NEW POST: Matilda Gemellaro has joined the buying offices of JP Associates as executive vice president, a new post. She will be based in New York and will report to its principals, Marcia Posner and Gail Jacovitz.
Most recently, Gemellaro was coat and suit buyer for Betty Cohn, a buying service in New York. In the new position, Gemellaro primarily will be responsible for buying suits and coats, Posner said. Alison Siegel has been promoted from associate buyer to contemporary sportswear and dress buyer.
JP will move to a 900-square-foot office space on the fourth floor at 488 Seventh Ave. at the end of this month.