Byline: Melanie Kletter / Kristi Ellis

NEW YORK — Having tapped into Generation Y with its hot Roxy junior brand, Quiksilver Inc. is going after a slightly older crowd with the launch of a contemporary women’s sportswear line for spring 2001.
Quiksilver also said earlier this week it has named Carol Christopherson as Roxy’s new senior vice president of merchandising. She replaces Adrienne Ernst, who had been vice president of merchandising and left recently to join Wet Seal.
Christopherson was formerly senior vice president and general merchandise manager for Miller’s Outpost, the youth-oriented retail chain.
“The arrival of Carol Christopherson completes the reformation of our Roxy merchandising and design department,” said Robert B. McKnight Jr., Quiksilver’s chairman and chief executive, in a statement. “We are especially excited about having Carol team with our vice president of women’s design, Lissa Zwahlen, and our new head designer for Roxy, Dana Dartez.”
Christopherson will join the rest of the Roxy team at Quiksilver’s new corporate headquarters in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Steve Tully, executive vice president for Roxy, told WWD that Roxy has the potential to be a $200 million business.
“The line has grown tremendously in the last few years, and we feel it still has a lot of room for growth,” he said.
As for the contemporary line, Tully said Roxy will tap better department stores and specialty stores, but said many details about the line, including price points, are still being worked out.
Zwahlen will oversee the new contemporary division in her new post as vice president of design for Quiksilver women’s, and she will continue to oversee Roxy designs. A spokeswoman said a name for the contemporary offering “is in development.”
Dana Dartez, Roxy’s new head designer, was formerly head designer and partner at Sugar, an Irvine, Calif.-based manufacturer of women’s sportswear.
First introduced in 1991, Roxy, one of the fastest-growing brands in the junior beach-surf category, built its name on signature board shorts and has become synonymous with the casual California surfing, skating and snowboarding lifestyles of its female teenage customers.
Under Zwahlen’s creative direction, Roxy grew from a $1 million start-up in 1992 to nearly an $85 million business last year.
Sales for Quiksilver’s women’s category, which includes the Quiksilver Roxy, Teenie Wahini, Raisins, Leilani and Radio Fiji brands, jumped 62.7 percent to $128.3 million in its fiscal year ended Oct. 31, according to the firm’s annual report.
Overall, Quiksilver’s sales increased 40.4 percent to $443.7 million, from $316.1 million.
Domestically, Quiksilver’s women’s category increased 56.8 percent to $108.7 million from $69.4 million. The firm said the gains stemmed primarily from increased product offerings and an expanded customer base at Roxy.

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