CAPONE HELPS GIVE NEW FRONTIER AN IMAGE MAKEOVER
NEW YORK — New Frontier has embarked on a journey to reinvent itself.
Under the stewardship of Pam Capone, who came on board in July as vice president and creative director, New Frontier is pioneering a new image.
Capone, a former partner of Chaiken & Capone, now called Chaiken, has “brought an edgier look to the collection,” according to Howard Sheer, president of New Frontier.
In the past, the New Frontier collection had a plentiful offering of soft dressing and was merchandised in either the better or contemporary departments, Sheer said. The goal is to solidify its position in contemporary.
For fall, soft dressing has been replaced by such styles as brown shearling coats, denim boot-cut pants, tan crinkled glaze leather skirts and brown polished calfskin bomber jackets.
The prices are about 5 to 7 percent higher than in the past. Jackets, for example, wholesale from $96 to $140, while for skirts, the price range is from $49 to $64.
“We are using better quality fabrics,” Sheer said.
New Frontier never had a full-time design director, relying on Sheer and a team of freelancers to create the line.
The company’s fresh profile follows a new ownership restructuring last summer, with Sheer assuming a majority interest and a silent private investment group acquiring a minority share.
Previously, Sheer and Dennis Eagle, a former active partner, had equal stakes. Eagle left the company last July.
The new structure allows the company to put into effect an expansion plan to increase sales and brand awareness.
New Frontier plans to open its second Manhattan store by August, Sheer said.
The first is located at 230 Columbus Avenue.
Sheer projected a 10 to 12 percent increase in overall volume. Last year, the company posted sales of about $12 million.
For fall, New Frontier should be in about 450 doors, including specialty and department stores.
Karen Hand, buyer at Mark Shale, a seven-store specialty chain in Chicago, said of the new direction: “The look is contemporary, but the sizing is true to [New Frontier’s] customer.
“They really picked up on some key items. They updated the suede looks, and I thought the denim looked fresh. They also had some cute jacket bodies.”