FOLLOWING, A LOOK AT WHAT’S UP-AND-COMING AT THE MART.
Byline: Subira Shaw
Jeffrey by Jeffrey Halper
A division of 18-year-old BAD (Body Action Design), Jeffrey by Jeffrey Halper was developed earlier this year to fill the demand for more exclusive, higher-end merchandise in the contemporary sportswear category.
With the same emphasis on Lycra and key items, Jeffrey only shares a small portion of BAD’s specialty store accounts.
“To test our own creativity and get Jeffrey in the right stores, we aimed to open 75 new doors,” said Halper. “Out of 100 customers ordering the line in its first season, 25 were BAD retailers, so we definitely hit our goal.”
Targeting consumers 25-50 years old between sizes 2 and 14, Jeffrey comprises silhouettes in European fabrics. Spring and summer deliveries for 2002 feature brightly striped boatneck tops in Lycra blends with solid novelty pants of varying lengths. Wholesale prices average $50 for tops, $85 for bottoms and $138 for jackets.
First-year sales are projected at $1.5 million wholesale.
MICHELLE ALCOTT, 1384
This Los Angeles line is a new division of an established men’s luxury casual sportswear label of the same name. With wholesale pricing between $30 and $60, the 1 1/2-year-old collection targets women 30 to 50, said national sales manager Nancy Drobnis.
A solid-based, outfit-driven resource, Weekendz Off is distinguished by its color variety and use of soft fabrics like silk linen and Tencel cotton Lycra. Spring silhouettes include stretch French terry five-pocket jeans, silk flannel slim skirts and novelty T-shirts. Sizes run S-XL and 4-14.
“Everybody’s lifestyle is different, and that’s what we’re all about,” she said. “Not everyone likes to go to the beach or hiking on the weekend, so we appeal to an audience that does a lot of different things.”
With $2.5 million wholesale projected as sales volume for 2001, the figure is expected to double next year.
HELEN NEWMAN, 1390
The same company responsible for Essendi contemporary knitwear has introduced a cleaner, more generously fitting brand of knits. A division of New York-based Momentrends, Sculpturesilk targets no specific age range.
The latest collection of tops, designed by Essendi’s Robert Cohen, offers sleek silk/Lycra spandex shapes in solid colors with colorblocking and stripes. Silhouettes include ribbed wrap-front tops, fine-gauge T-shirts and melange rib sleeveless mocknecks. Wholesale prices range from $19 for a shell to $44 for a cardigan.
BOE CHMIL, 1340
The concept behind this misses’ line is self-explanatory: When co-owners Michael Tenzer and Debbie Burdi, formerly of Spiegel catalog, launched Me collection in February, they targeted women 35 and older desiring contemporary yet sophisticated clothing with individualized accents.
“It is a look for an older customer that makes her feel really young and good about herself,” said Burdi. “There’s always something special about each product, whether it’s the hand-beading, the Swarovski crystals, or the shape of the garment,” she said.
All of the above apply to “Icon,” the best-selling group in the latest three-part collection. “Icon” includes pantsuits, draped tops and beaded blouses in luxury fabrics like washable suede and cashmere in a muted palette of blonds, marbles and blushes. Sizes run 2-14 with wholesale prices averaging at $64.
Based in Downer’s Grove, Ill., with design offices in London, Me collection has 68 specialty and department store accounts. Sales volume for 2001 is projected at $650,000 wholesale.
DRESSED 2 KILL, 13-130
After 11 years as a bridge sportswear brand, New York-based MAG recently debuted an evening separates collection. Conceived by a four-part design team, MAG incorporates fabrics like cashmere and stretch nylon into novelty pieces detailed with embellishments such as beading and embroidery. The new category targets customers 35-65 and wholesales for $75-$198.
Offerings for the spring and summer groups include silk, cashmere and tonal tweeds in clean pastel silhouettes recalling Jackie Kennedy. Sizes run XS-XL for knits and 2-14 for wovens.
SHEREE ROTHSTEIN, 1312
BETS by Canvasbacks
Canvasbacks recently introduced BETS, a younger division of the novelty sportswear line for customers 35-55. In contrast to the other two divisions of the Milwaukee, Wis., company, WRAPS and Canvasbacks, BETS adheres more closely to market trends and is less expensive, said Julie Wallace, vice president of sales and merchandising.
Priced at $79-$94 wholesale, BETS takes on a nautical motif for the current collection. This group includes cropped pants in post card, sailboat, and seaside prints, cotton-blend T-shirts and stretch denim wrap skirts. Sizes are 2 to 16.
BETS has a presence in 350 specialty and department stores. The estimated sales volume for the division is $3 million wholesale for 2001.
This contemporary sportswear line is the latest division of the Montreal-based firm, Imperial Group. Catering to women 25-60 years old at a wholesale price range of $40-$150, Kukara has generated 300 small specialty store accounts in its two years of business.
“Our first season, one of our strengths was that our prices were exceptional for our quality and styling,” said sales and marketing manager Joanna Barcessat.
“We hope we can continue to accommodate both moderate and better stores,” she said.
The latest collection includes a group of tuxedo separates, a bustier, skirt, pants and double-sided shawl in rose jacquard, and steel-colored suitings in stretch taffeta. A fourth group contains Lurex knit tops in button-back and V-neck cutout silhouettes. Sizes are 4-16.
Also shown with the line is Kukara Basics, a newly introduced pant program composed of narrow and straight leg silhouettes in navy, black and camel.
Kukara’s sales have risen at a rate of 10 percent each season.
JULIE KIPTA, 1346A
Pajamas have traditionally been restricted to the bedroom, but Peter Burke plans to change all that with P.J. Salvage, his line of fashionable sleep and loungewear. With a firm belief in “24-hour fashion,” he says his Costa Mesa, Calif., collection offers many styles that wear well day or night.
“We all spend a great deal of time at home whether in the company of family, friends or even business associates. So why not make the most of it by wearing comfy but altogether fun loungewear?” said president-owner Burke.
Aimed at consumers 20-45 years old in S-XL, P.J. Salvage has had its share of television and film credits, including “Friends,” “Dharma & Greg,” and “Dr. Doolittle.” From $7.50 wholesale for a T-shirt to $30 for a pajama set, the line’s main appeal is in the prints, many of them conversational.
For spring, floral, Asian and gingham prints appear on lightweight lawn and solid pastels come in terry styles. Other silhouettes include lace-edged camisoles with full pants and the more outdoorsy pique Lycra polo shirt and capri pants.
P.J. Salvage has 2,000 accounts with specialty stores, better department stores and catalogs, with sales for 2001 projected at $10 million wholesale.