ONE 212’S CAREER CALLING
Byline: Dianne M. Pogoda
WEEHAWKEN, N.J. — After only three months of testing, Hanover Direct is rolling out its career-oriented catalog, called One 212, with first-year plans set at distributing five more editions and achieving sales of $10 million.
The second issue is slated to be dropped in the mail this month. Velvet holiday styles and some bestsellers of the premiere issue launched in June, including neutral knitwear, tailored separates and casual outerwear, will be featured.
It’s an effort to satisfy catalog junkies with an appetite for what Ted Pamprin, president of One 212, calls “sophisticated clothes with a New York flavor.” Named after the area code for Manhattan , the book is also geared to provide versatile garments at prices that are accessible to a wide segment of the market, Pamprin said.
The long-term goal is to distribute 12 issues per year, he added.
Pamprin and his partners — vice president and general merchandise manager Martin Brill and designer Marsha Winston — are already planning to broaden the book’s range of products. For example, new shoe styles for spring including sandals, sneakers and thongs are being developed. Fall selections include closed shoes and boots.
Swimwear will be added to the November catalog, which features resort collections.
The book is merchandised to offer “foolproof wardrobing,” Pamprin said, which he described in terms of the catalog’s setup. It is divided into four or five wardrobe groups, each showing a variety of coordinated outfits. At the end of each section, all the apparel and accessory pieces are shown on two spreads, for an easy glance at how all the outfits in the section were put together.
Sizes run from 2 to 14, with petites in selected styles in sizes 2 to 12.
Brill said the shoes and accessories were developed to coordinate with each group. The shoes are all made in Italy.
Winston, who designs all the products and develops the concepts for each book, said designing for a catalog forces her to edit selections carefully, and commit to a specific focus.
She had previously been a designer for ready-to-wear companies, including the Breckenridge division of Leslie Fay and Jones New York’s Norma Kamali division.
One 212 culled mailing lists of fashion magazines and other apparel mail-order houses to create its own list. About 200,000 catalogs were sent in June. The company also offers a wardrobe-consulting service, standard delivery within two to three days of placing the order, free returns, flexible billing over three months for purchases over $150, and toll-free ordering.
Catalog collectors who want to receive the full selection of books can get a subscription for a year’s worth of One 212 for $12, which is refunded with an order.
Prices on fall apparel generally run about $155 to $170 for jackets, $108 for shoes, $100 for wool trousers, $80 for skirts, and $49 and $98 for sweaters. A Thinsulate-lined leather peacoat in the fall catalog is $388.
Pamprin stressed that in the mail-order business, the main objective is to build a customer list rather than to get big sales in the first year. He said he expects the book to break even in its third year.
Pamprin is also president of the Tweeds catalog, which he founded and sold to Hanover Direct. Additionally, he is executive vice president of the women’s apparel group for Hanover.
Pamprin was part of the founding team of the J. Crew catalog in 1981. In 1987, he left to start Tweeds. Hanover bought Tweeds almost a year ago, with Pamprin remaining at the helm.
After a career on Seventh Avenue, Brill was president of the mail-order house Clifford & Wills, part of J. Crew, in the late Eighties. He hooked up with Pamprin in 1992 to start developing the concept for One 212. Winston, who had previously worked with Pamprin for Tweeds, joined the team soon after.
Hanover recorded sales of $643 million in 1993, up 9.5 percent from 1992.
The company’s stable of 14 direct-mail catalogs includes Tweeds, Essence By Mail, International Male, Simply Tops, Undergear and Silhouettes for apparel. Hard-goods books are Domestications, Hanover House, Colonial Garden Kitchens, The Company Store, Tapestry, Gump’s, Mature Wisdom and The Safety Zone.
Three of the catalogs — Domestications, Silhouettes and Colonial Garden Kitchens — are mailed to Sears customers under different names.