Byline: Rusty Williamson

It’s springtime and the living is easy at Debra de Roo, a better casual sportswear collection shown at Steve Markowitz in 2G22.
Of course, laid-back luxury is the constant focus at the nine-year-old company, although sales growth is not looking so laid back: Volume is projected to hit between $4.5 and $5 million this year, up 10 percent.
Each season, New York designer Debra de Roo cuts easy, forgiving silhouettes in luxury fabrics while paying subtle homage to the latest trends.
De Roo’s target demographic is women 35 and up who crave trendy, but casual, styles — and aren’t in perfect shape. Their lifestyles require versatile, soft-focus fashions for the weekend, country club, casual entertaining or even relaxed office settings.
De Roo’s colorful and print-driven collections hang in more than 400 women’s specialty stores across the U.S., including Gabby, New York; Lester Melnick, Dallas; Miss Jackson’s, Tulsa, Okla., and Julian Gold, San Antonio.
For spring, styles include unconstructed jackets, vests and wide, slim and cropped pants and a variety of tops, from bare to turtlenecks.
Pucci-inspired prints, dots and tropical brights are important, too. There are also denim and knit groups.
Fabrics include blends of silk, linen and cotton, and most have a bit of Lycra.
Wholesale prices are about $32 for a T-shirt to $75 for a jacket or pants.
The line is sized from petite to extra large.
Designer Debra de Roo was inspired to take the casual route with her fashion designs out of necessity.
“I bought a farm in Connecticut as a place to unwind and become more grounded. But my wardrobe consisted of Norma Kamali suits and Gap workout clothes,” she explained in a phone interview from her retreat in Westport, Conn.
“There was nothing in my wardrobe for those in-between times. And I realized that there must be lots of women like me who can’t wear skintight clothes, but still want to look young. And that concept became the focus of my company — and it still is.”

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As told by Debra de Roo:
Unconstructed jackets, vests; wide, slim and cropped pants, and a variety of tops from bare to turtlenecks.
Pucci-inspired prints, dots and tropical brights.
Fabrics blends of silk, linen and cotton, and a bit of Lycra.