Byline: Lisa Lockwood

NEW YORK — Get ready for J.Lo wear.
Andy Hilfiger and Jennifer Lopez will announce their new joint venture today at a noon press conference at the St. Regis Hotel in Los Angeles. They have set up a New York-based company called Sweetface Fashions that will produce a clothing line called J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez.
This confirms a report in these columns March 2 that a deal was in the works.
Both Hilfiger and Lopez, who’s currently shooting a movie in Los Angeles called “Enough,” a thriller directed by Michael Apted, are expected to attend the press conference and field questions about the new business. Two models, as well as Lopez, will wear styles from the new J.Lo line.
Lopez is joining the ranks of other celebrities who have launched apparel lines to varying degrees of success, such as Gloria Vanderbilt, Kathie Lee Gifford, Jaclyn Smith, Kathy Ireland, Cheryl Tiegs, Regis Philbin, Tiger Woods and Niki Taylor.
As reported, Andy Hilfiger, vice president of public relations at Tommy Jeans, has set up a new company called Music Entertainment Fashion Inc., for the sole purpose of manufacturing clothing lines for celebrities. According to sources, Tommy Hilfiger is expected to be an investor in his brother’s company.
Observers believe a J.Lo jeanswear collection could have some legs, since Lopez is so closely identified with the fashion world. Retailers have already expressed interest in seeing the collection.
Kal Ruttenstein, senior vice president, fashion direction at Bloomingdale’s, said last month, “If the criteria are right, it could be great. I’d hope it would have good design, good quality and good pricing.”
He said the Sean Jean line at Bloomingdale’s does very well.
“Puffy’s very involved [in his line]. He edits, he suggests, he gives direction. [Lopez] should do the same. From the way she dresses and presents herself, I would think she’d have the ability to do that — judging from the Versace jungle print dress, or the more stately Chanel dress she wore to the Oscars,” he said.
Ruttenstein believes J.Lo’s customers would range from screaming teenage fans to Park Avenue matrons.
David Wolfe, creative director of the Doneger Group, the large buying office here, also said J.Lo could be “huge” because Lopez has fashion credibility.
“I have such faith in her. She’s managing her career in ways movie studios managed stars,” said Wolfe, in an earlier interview. “She’s gone from being a fabulous Latina to a celebrity icon. Lopez is beautiful. She’s managed to cross the niche market barrier.”