A LOOK AT THE LATEST AND GREATEST TO HIT THE MART.
Byline: Subira Shaw
NAVIA PLOTT & ASSOCIATES
Blue Ice/Blue Ice Jeans
What a difference 13 years make.
The powers behind Miami-based Blue Ice recently decided to reengineer the blouse-pants motif guiding the misses’ collection since its 1989 inception. In addition to steering the line toward knitwear and more contemporary styling, owner Robert Knyper is introducing a new jeans group for fall.
Size 2-18 silhouettes come largely in comfort-based, European novelty fabrics like stretch gabardine and cashmere; they include boot-cut studded leather pants and cashmere jean-style jackets. Wholesale prices range from $29 to $185 wholesale.
With fall come printed stretch corduroy jeans and modified motorcycles jackets in solids and prints recalling Andy Warhol artwork and Italian frescoes. Wholesale prices run $29-$129. Sales for Blue Ice jeans are projected at $2 million by yearend.
BERMAN & ASSOCIATES INC.
Failing to find the right jackets to stock in her San Francisco boutique, Firuze Hariri decided to make them herself in 1998. So began Beluva, a line of novelty jackets aimed at a contemporary consumer 30 to 45 years old. Averaging $110 wholesale, most of the blazer-style pieces are reversible cotton and rayon or wool and rayon blends. Floral and bamboo prints are among the newer styles, along with a hip-length French houndstooth jacket in wool and a herringbone body with a mandarin collar.
For fall, Hariri will introduce silk knit tops, wholesaling for $34, and wool gabardine pants ($74) in clean-front and low-waist silhouettes. Colors including brick and eggplant will match the line’s core items.
Beluva has 700 accounts, chiefly with specialty stores, and for 2002, a projected sales volume of $2 million wholesale.
SAMANTHA’S HOUSE OF STYLE
While comfort and spontaneity are the key elements of Troo, the new contemporary sportswear line at Samantha’s House of Style, the collection emerged from of a very formal event.
“I got married last fall, and during my honeymoon, I was looking for clothes in which I could run around and still look cute,” said owner and designer Stephanie Heflin. “I couldn’t find a thing.”
Heflin filled the void by creating T-shirts with sequin slogans like “Freedom” and “Pride.” The T-shirts have since evolved to include a wider array of glittery emblems, from street signs to poodles, with coordinating fitted sweatshirts and pants. Fall silhouettes include “denim-treated” or whiskered pants in fleece, and a group of stretch lace tops. “Peekaboos,” the underwear component, offers thongs, briefs, bras and camisoles in a baby cotton rib studded with Swarovski crystals. Wholesale prices range from $10 for a panty set to $44 for fleece pants.
With 200 specialty store accounts, Troo has a volume of $1 million wholesale estimated for yearend.
ACCESSORIES AT GE-NE
Rooms 4C14, 4123
Diane Katzman Design
During a time of ubiquitous flag-waving and bold displays of patriotism, St. Louis, Mo.-based bridge jewelry designer Diane Katzman has her own way of expressing American pride. This fall, she introduces a pewter collection that celebrates history with pieces named after Betsy Ross, Abigail Adams and Martha Washington.
Called the “American Pewter Collection,” it incorporates American-made pewter with various stones in necklace, bracelet and earring sets. The three groups are available in all three types of pieces: The “Betsy” is offered in red jade, pearl and turquoise and features beads encapsulated in pewter cages connected by Swarovski crystals; the “Martha” comprises bronze, porcelain, and powder blue pearls with pewter and Swarovski crystals and the “Abigail” mixes crystal and pewter accented with an amethyst dangle. “Pewter Voices” is a series of bracelets each with a single “feel-good” charm at the toggle, including a miniature chair and a pewter Hershey’s Kiss. Wholesale prices for the pewter, gold vermeil and amulet groups range from $15 for earrings to $275 for necklaces.
The 2 1/2-year-old line often pairs the old and new by combining vintage charms and semiprecious stones with contemporary materials.
The Diane Katzman Design collection is found in about 275 high-end boutiques nationwide. Volume for 2002 is projected at $2.4 million wholesale.
EDDIE LEON & ASSOCIATES
Two-and-a-half-year-old Topsy Turvy, created by twentysomething Monique Moizet, is known for its whimsical use of materials, including fake fur and Astroturf.
The Los Angeles-based firm, which targets shoppers between the ages of 15 and 35, recently upgraded its design approach.
“About six months ago, we started kicking up the technology and using a new printing process,” said vice president of sales Marc De Longeville. “We’ve also widened our scope of resources to achieve a more unique look.”
The new design direction is evident in the line’s latest offerings. Handbags, which wholesale between $15 and $45, include sequin-trimmed cloth hobo styles and totes with designs inspired by abstract art and ads from the Fifties. Belts, which wholesale between $20 and $50, feature suede and leather straps with fringed ends. And a group of top-stitched leather styles with brass buckles bows this season. Topsy Turvy’s T-shirts wholesale between $18 and $21 and are emblazoned with bold words — including “sexy” and “vixen” — and feature sequin-trimmed graphics. Topsy Turvy has about 600 accounts, including Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Henri Bendel and other specialty stores.