NEW SOCIAL TIER: Karen Lawrence, a social occasion dress firm, has launched a division to attract a younger customer. Sold under the label of L.K.L. by Lawrence Kurtz, the collection will bow at retail in February.
Tony Romano, principal at Karen Lawrence, projected first-year sales at $7 million to $8 million for L.K.L. At $95 to $145 wholesale, the new collection is less expensive than Karen Lawrence, which carries wholesale tags of $195 to $285.
Designer Kurtz joined Karen Lawrence after stints with Everbeauty, a social dress house, and the He-Ro Group, where he designed for its Niteline and Oleg Cassini divisions.
Kurtz said L.K.L. features one-piece dresses in such fabrics as stretch sheers, crepe, illusion, taffeta and satin-backed Lurex with beading and other embellishments. Key looks include off-the-shoulder or one-shoulder columns, ball gowns, short poufs and cocktail dresses. Kurtz said he plans to add an evening separates group for fall. Romano said L.K.L. has its own design, sales and production staff, and the company took an additional 3,000 square feet in 498 Seventh Ave., New York, to house L.K.L.’s showroom and offices.
FOG ROLLS OUT: London Fog Corp. is relocating its corporate headquarters back to Eldersburg, Md., from Darien, Conn. The company said the move is part of its strategy to insure the most productive use of its resources.
As part of this process, London Fog is transferring portions of its Darien staff to Eldersburg and to its office in New York, which will house the firm’s marketing and design staffs.
“This is purely a business decision relating to the necessary restructuring of London Fog’s operations to restore the company to profitability and simplify its complex administrative and communications structure,” said Robert E. Gregory, the company’s new chairman and chief executive officer.
Gregory added the move is not reflective of the quality and skills of the personnel in the Darien office, and that the company will try to provide jobs for those who will not be relocated.
In July, London Fog moved its headquarters from its main factories and distribution center in Eldersburg under the direction of its then-chairman Arnold Cohen, who lives in Connecticut. Cohen stepped down from that post in August after a turbulent year at the helm.
John Varvatos has resigned as vice chairman and executive vice president of design and merchandising. Varvatos will continue to serve as a design consultant to the rainwear and outerwear firm in conjunction with his plans to open his own design studio.
Varvatos joined London Fog in November 1993 as vice chairman and executive vice president of design and merchandising. In August 1994 he was named interim chairman after Arnold Cohen stepped down.