SUNGLASS LAUNCH: Polo Jeans Co. is entering the hot eyewear market.
The Polo Jeans Co. sunglass collection, produced under license by the Safilo Group, will make its debut at retail in early April. Distribution will include department stores and specialty stores, according to Mark Ugenti, vice president of Sunsights, the sunglass division of Safilo, which also holds the license for other Polo Ralph Lauren eyewear brands.
“The Polo Jeans Co. line taps into the youthful essence of the brand,” Ugenti noted. The premier line, which retails from $45 to $60, features 22 styles, including futuristic shapes and lenses in colors including green and gray. The line is geared to men and women aged 18 to 34 and includes wraps and shield products and both metal and plastic frames.
RAFE ON THE MOVE: Handbag designer Rafe Totengco has opened his own corporate showroom, after two years with the DP Accessories showroom.
Last year, Totengco’s four-year old company registered sales of $1.6 million. Volume is projected to reach $2 million this year, according to Tessa Totengco, the designer’s sister and director of sales at the firm. She said centralizing its operations will be a key to future growth. Beginning today, the firm will operate out of a space at 122 West 26th Street.
“The collection is very big now, and we are starting to manufacture more of the line in Italy,” she said. “We all just needed to be together in one space.”
SIGNING UP HALSTON: Halston has signed a licensing agreement with Vanessa Handbags for the latter to produce collections under the Halston and Halston Designer names. Halston’s previous licensing agreement, with Inge Christopher, expired in December 1999.
Targeted to better department and specialty stores, the Halston line will offer day and evening bags retailing from $100 to $400. The designer line’s assortment will be priced from $300 and up. Both collections are being sold from the Vanessa showroom at 339 Fifth Avenue for fall deliveries.
Halston has also entered into a licensing agreement with Wittnauer for a collection of bridge and fine watches, which will hit stores in the fourth quarter of this year.
Under the license, three collections will be aimed at a trio of trade classes: better specialty stores, department stores and fine jewelers. Casual and sport looks, under the Halston Designer label, will retail from $140 to $240. The Halston Designer and Halston Signature lines will retail from $200 to $600 and up. The watch collections will be sold through Wittnauer’s sales division.
For both the handbag and watch licenses, Halston design director Craig Natiello will oversee product development.
OLOGI OPENS: Golden State International, a maker of mass market fashion watches, is moving up the retail price chain with the launch of Ologi, a fashion watch line. The name Ologi is a hybrid of the words technology and horology, which is the science of measuring time.
“Many of our pieces are like jewelry, and the fact that they tell time is almost incidental,” said product manager Nicole Huseby, who joined Golden State after a stint at Skagen.
The Anamologi series uses jumbotron-like animation combining analog and digital watches where the day, date, time and year flip, scroll, appear and disappear on the watch dial in a manner reminiscent of a computer screen. Flexologi focuses on metal cuff bracelet styles; and the Hidden Watch group emphasizes jewelry looks where the actual watch is secondary.
The 250-piece line, which will be shown this week at the Golden State showroom at 390 Fifth Avenue, is targeted at women aged 18 to 35. Retail price points range from $45 to $185, with the bulk of the line retailing around $75.