MARKET BASKET

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JULIE & LEONARD’S BUILDING BLOCKS: In a bid to double its bridge dress and suit business this year, Julie & Leonard Inc. has brought in John Flahavin as president, a new position.
Flahavin has been a Dallas sales representative of better and bridge lines for 22 years and was president of Teri Jon Inc. from 1990 to 1992. He will continue to operate his five showrooms at the International Apparel Mart in Dallas.
At Julie & Leonard, Flahavin reports to Julie Esping and Leonard Steinberg, the firm’s owners and designers.
The company also named Michael Moro vice president of sales in its New York showroom, succeeding Dina Saccone, who resigned in December. Moro was vice president of Fashion Knitwear Group.
Julie & Leonard, which specializes in glamorous, fitted looks for day and evening, had $3 million in sales last year. Steinberg said he hopes to bring that to $5 million to $6 million this year. The line wholesales for $165 to $300. Part of the expansion strategy calls for building the lower-price range by tripling the number of styles that wholesale for $165 to $190 to about 30 looks.
“We want our younger customer to be able to afford more of what we do,” Steinberg explained. “With the right sourcing of materials, it’s possible to do that without compromising the look.”

UTEX FOR DAUGHTERS: American Utex International, a women’s and men’s outerwear firm, has opened a girl’s outerwear division for fall retailing.
Utex Girls will be made in sizes 4 to 6x and 7 to 14, featuring down- jackets in a variety of styles. The line will be represented by Millbock Sales, 131 West 33rd St., New York. The company projects first-year sales of $2.5 million.

BARRAZA GOES BRANDED: Undeterred by the tough outerwear climate, Barraza New York, a private label dress and sportswear manufacturer, has launched a wool coat collection. Wholesaling for $135 to $275, the branded collection is being targeted to better department and specialty stores in the U.S. and Canada.
Maria Barraza, president of the company, projected first-year sales of $700,000. For Canadian stores, she said plans are to take advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement’s rules and cut goods in the U.S. and sew and ship them in Canada. Coats for U.S. distribution will be made domestically, as is most of the firm’s private label merchandise.
Key fabrics include a 23-ounce wool, and blends of wool and angora and wool and mohair. Styling ranges from long trenches, balmacaans and princess coats to short wraps, anoraks and pant coats.