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NEW YORK — Italian men have fancied the colorful prints on Fourtys fitted dress shirts since the late Seventies. This spring, the Italian company launches a collection of women’s tops boasting trendy styles such as tunics and caftans and the signature design: fitted, multihued dress shirts.

The shirts are made from 100 percent cotton and are “extra-laundered, shrunken and enzymed-washed to create a supersoft vintage feel,” according to Dawn Mayo, vice president of sales and marketing. The shirts are form-fitted so they can be worn alone or layered under sweaters and vests. Styles also are available in crinkled cotton for a more casual look. “The great fit is the result of lots and lots of fittings,” said Mayo.

The shirts are offered in spring-ready patterns such as bold stripes, plaids, florals and prints. Most designs have contrasting patterns on the inside, adding an extra layer of color when the cuffs are flipped up.

The tunics and caftans also are made from 100 percent cotton and have intricate embroidery detail as well as sequins, beads and rhinestones, tieing in with spring’s strong bohemian-chic trend. The line wholesales from $52 to $75.

Fourtys had a strong showing when it debuted the line at the Fashion Coterie here last month. “People were constantly rolling in to check them out,” said Mayo. “We did $500,000 in orders over three days at Coterie.” Mayo predicts the line, which is being shown here at 231 West 39th Street, Suite 806, will generate $1.5 million in wholesale volume the first year. The line will be carried in stores such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Fred Segal. — L.D.

This story first appeared in the October 7, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.