NEW YORK — Caribbean Joe is getting a touch of blue.

The moderate sportswear firm is launching a denim line called CJ Blue for holiday retailing. Designed by Ross McConnell, executive vice president of the company, the line targets 35 and older Baby Boomer women. While many of the styles in the collection feature rhinestone, embroidery and sequin details, the company is also launching CJ Blue with a basic jeans program, available in a variety of washes. The rises on the jeans are low, to maintain a hip factor, but without the ultralow rise seen in so many denim lines on the market.

“These are not mom jeans. I refuse to make mom jeans,” McConnell said. “They are a great woman’s jean, made a little hipper than most of the other lines out there. Not everyone can wear the same pair of jeans, but I believe this is the right fit, with the right styling for this shopper.”

McConnell should know. He brings years of experience designing jeans, having had stints at Wrangler and Palmetto. In some stores, the CJ Blue line will sit within the existing Caribbean Joe assortment, at least until the test period is over, said Ken Sitomer, president at Apparel Holdings Group, the parent company of Caribbean Joe. Other retailers will place CJ Blue in their denim areas. Caribbean Joe already sells in stores such as Macy’s, Hecht’s, Filene’s, Marshall Field’s and Foley’s.

The CJ Blue line wholesales from $15 for a basic pair to $20 for an embellished pair of jeans. Sitomer said he expects the jeans line to generate between $10 million and $15 million in first-year wholesale volume.

This story first appeared in the June 30, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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