NEWSREEL

TALL TALK: After being approached by The Doneger Group, a New York buying office, about producing tall styles, Tapemeasure is about to launch such a line for holiday delivery.
“Most of our business is with specialty stores because tall can’t be run like a typical department store division,” said Lee Leib, who heads Doneger’s tall buying division. That, he added, is because everything is cut to order.
Tapemeasure produces petite, maternity and large-size lines, as well as one for children.
“We’ve had a lot of success in the special-sizes business, and it accounts for approximately 20 percent of our volume,” said Marsha Drogin, president and designer of Tapemeasure.
Tapemeasure was not asked to design anything special for the tall line.
“Stores want the Tapemeasure look. Our first tall group is our proven bodies, which have been strong across the board in all our divisions,” Drogin said.
“The tall sizing tries to accommodate every type of tall customer, those with long arms, long waists or long legs,” said Leib. The fit is very different from traditional sizing and is generally more generous in the hip and thigh area, she added.

PATTERN MAKER: Byron Lars is now available on paper. The designer has joined the Vogue Patterns “Attitudes” group, which also includes Todd Oldham, Isaac Mizrahi and Christian Francis Roth. Some of Lars’s spring collection designs that have been translated to pattern include a fitted portrait collar shirt and a zip-and-tie-front jacket, slim skirt and pants.

SMALL STORY: Boston designer Geoffrey B. Small, known for his recut and deconstructed sportswear, as well as made-to-order suits and eveningwear, is mounting his spring show Monday. The runway show will be held at Boston’s trendy Avalon hotel.

POLITICAL DESIGNS: Wayne James, a Washington, D.C.-based sportswear and dress designer, is crafting a political career. Last month, the 32-year-old St. Croix native, whose clothing is sold at Saks-Jandel and Nordstrom, started campaigning as an independent candidate for a Virgin Islands Territorial Senate seat. The election is slated for Nov. 8.
“The more I spent time in St. Croix, the more I realized that there are a lot of social problems that shouldn’t be,” said James, who opened his first boutique in downtown Christiansted, St. Croix, last year, but runs his design business out of a townhouse in Washington. “There is too much crime among youths, and I want to address that issue.
“This won’t affect my business,” he said, adding that his partner, Sharyar Hakimi, will take care of day-to-day operations. If elected, he plans to commute to Washington once a month from the Virgin Islands’ capital, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.

BALDANZA GOES SPORTY: Baldanza Inc., a New York-based, better-price sportswear firm, is launching a new division called Baldanza Sportivo. The first line, for resort, will open on Aug. 1. It includes such items as drawstring cropped jackets, skorts and vests. While the first group will be primarily silk, company officials said the line will branch out to include cottons, washed linens and Lycra spandex blends. Wholesale prices for jackets range from $49 to $79; for pants, $29 to $49, and for shirts, $19 to $49. The company also has a line called Due Per Due, which is a better-price career line.

DART’S NEW AIM: David Dart, the Los Angeles contemporary sportswear company, is launching David Dart Sport during the August resort market, for Nov. 30 delivery. The leisure sportswear line will include pull-on pants and shorts with elastic and drawstring waists, camp shirts, tunics and T-shirts for layering, plus an anorak jacket. Priced to wholesale from $18 to $38 for tops and $39 to $47 for bottoms, the line will incorporate woven Tencel fabrics and textured knits, including ribs and waffles. Dart’s taste for natural colors translates into indigo and chambray blues with other neutrals, and stripes and various “tiny” print motifs.
Jacquie Rouhor, who designed for Ann Taylor, has been hired as assistant designer, based in New York, to help president and designer David Dart with the collection. The line is expected to generate $3 million in wholesale volume for the resort season.

RAYMAKERS JOINS ISLAND TRADING: The Island Trading Co., which produces women’s and men’s fashion, accessories, home furnishings, linens, music and specialty food, has named Ray Raymakers general manager of its wholesale division. He will work from Island Trading’s headquarters in New York. The company’s flagship store is in Miami Beach. Raymakers has been a consultant to Island Trading since May. He spent 10 years with L’Zinger International, where for eight years he was design director for Go Silk.

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