AIMING TO PLEAT
C’EST DUO CONTINUES TO SCORE WITH ITS PLEATED STRETCH SHIRTS AND NEW DRESS LINE.

Byline: Rusty Williamson

C’est Duo, the popular fashion shirt line beloved by buyers for its novelty prints and stretch fit, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with two new silhouettes and a focus on the future.
A new stretch dress line and new interpretations of the twinset are expected to help push sales ahead by more than 50 percent this year, said Mark Richards, owner.
“We’re not resting on our laurels, that’s for sure,” said Richards. “We’re growing this company with new product development. New styles and new textures are taking us forward.”
C’est Duo, which is sold in a staggering 7,000 accounts across 40 countries, including 3,400 in the U.S., last year looked to eighth-century Japan for inspiration. It’s shown at Brad Hughes at the mart.
Shibori, a hand-knotting process perfected by ancient Japanese cultures and used in the construction of kimonos, takes on a modern appeal, thanks to C’est Duo.
The shibori technique is visually and artistically intriguing. Thanks to myriad knots and pleats, the process makes fabrics appear shrunken, though they stretch and conform to shape without constricting. At C’est Duo, the so-called shrunken shirts are a huge hit, especially those rendered in exotic novelty prints and unusual, often metallic, colors such as silk, gold, emerald, royal, black, orange and yellow. They are sized for women and preteens.
For fall, C’est Duo is showing micro- and crunch-pleated shirts splashed with graffiti prints, foilage and abstract swirls and collages. A highly labor-intensive process called printed foiling is also getting the spotlight for fall. Each step in the process, including cutting, printing, sewing, pleating, foiling and styling, is performed by craftsmen in separate facilities across the U.S. C’est Duo items are nearly all constructed from polyester.
Fall will mark the second season that C’est Duo has shown its new dress collection. The day-into-evening styles feature crunch-pleated tops over smooth bottoms. Other new styles at the company include micro-pleated twinsets cut to mimic denim-jean jackets, as opposed to the typically soft sweater look.
The sweater sets wholesale for about $95, while the dresses wholesale for $72 to $129. The signature micro-pleats are about $70, while the shiboris are $32.50 for preteens to $125 for a burnout velvet with fake fur trim.