NICOLE MILLER INKS LICENSE FOR JEWELRY

Byline: Marc Karimzadeh

NEW YORK — Nicole Miller caught a glimmer of electronic retailing hawking the CFDA/Vogue Fashion for America T-shirt sale on QVC this month. Now, the designer is longing for more of those TV spotlights.
Miller has signed a licensing deal with Sel-Leb Marketing Inc. for fine and costume jewelry. The Paterson, N.J., and Milford, Mass.-based licensee distributes and markets consumer products through electronic as well as traditional retailers.
“I have always looked at these television shows and their sales potential,” said Bud Konheim, chief executive officer of Nicole Miller. “We are in a strange time, and we need to learn the different ways people are buying things.”
Starting next month, electronic retailers as well as Nicole Miller’s 15 corporate stores and eight licensed boutiques will sell the jewelry. Miller will serve as the pitchwoman for her line, but the details aren’t set.
Though designs have yet to be finished, the line will include rings, earrings, necklaces, pendants and bracelets, set in gold or silver with semiprecious stones at retail prices below $250.
Previously, Miller sold select jewelry pieces by other designers in her stores. “Jewelry is very successful in our stores,” said Konheim. “We are primarily a special-occasion clothing company. [The customer] needs shoes and handbags, and the piece of jewelry is key.”
Konheim added that his “wishful projection” is approximately $70 million in the first year, with the Joan Rivers jewelry line as inspiration. But conservatively, “it would be in $20 million range, and then we’ll go from there.”

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