Byline: Janet Ozzard

NEW YORK — Louis Dell’Olio is exploring a new channel of distribution — QVC.
The sportswear designer is doing a line of moderately priced separates and dresses called “Linea” for the home shopping channel. The line will make its debut May 9 in a one-hour segment that will be co-hosted by Dell’Olio and Judy Crowell, and broadcast live from the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
Prices on the new line range from $42 to $62.
Dell’Olio has done exclusive lines for Bergdorf Goodman and the Italian apparel brand Marzotto since leaving Anne Klein in 1993, but he hasn’t done a sportswear line in a few years. He does, however, keep a hand in the apparel business.
“I’ve started a new deal with Legar to do shearlings and fur, and I have some other projects as well,” said Dell’Olio in a telephone interview from his home in Connecticut. He said he agreed to do the QVC venture after meeting with Bob Ayd, vice president of merchandising for fashion at the channel, through a mutual friend.
A spokesman for QVC said Dell’Olio would do four Linea collections a year. The one-hour opening segment is scheduled to be repeated at least once, he said. The debut Linea group has 12 styles and is being produced by Elaine Lai, a manufacturer who does other work for QVC.
While he might have a hand at doing color stories, Dell’Olio is a bit nervous about the on-camera requirements. It’s not that he hasn’t done TV before. “I have done an hour with Oprah,” he remarked.
But his QVC debut is live and cuts a rather wide path, Dell’Olio emphasized.
“Can you imagine reaching 50 million people in one hour?” he asked. Fortunately, he’s there just to make styling suggestions and talk about design inspirations. “I’ll be on camera for an hour,” he said. “But I’m there to complement what Judy, the host, says. I’m good at schmoozing, not selling.”