A NEW BEGINNING: Paul Levy, who spent the last 30 years heading his own coat company, and AKay Shiraze, who spent the last eight years in design with Searle Blatt Ltd., have formed a new outerwear company. It’s called New Beginnings and is introducing two collections for fall — Paul Levy Designs and AK New York.

Paul Levy Designs features precious fiber coats, including cashmere, mohair, alpaca, camel hair and llama fabrics. In addition, a fleece silk from China, which Shiraze said is new to the women’s coat market, is also part of the collection. The coats wholesale for $150 to $400.

The AK New York collection manufactures coats for moderate- to better-price stores. The line features wool, and wool blended with cashmere and alpaca, wholesaling for $100 to $125.

The AK division will also do private label merchandise.

Shiraze said both lines feature such shapes as princess coats, bathrobe coats and boy coats. He projects a combined first-year volume of $4 million.

BONJOUR STEPS OUT: The Bonjour Group is adding to its cadre of licensed lines with a new outerwear license with Fleet Street.

Andrea Levitt, vice president of women’s merchandising for Bonjour, said the new line is aimed at the same mass merchandise stores that carry other Bonjour products, including jeans, shirts, sweaters, knit tops, bodywear, bathing suits, blouses and dresses. The company has 34 domestic licenses in women’s, men’s and children’s wear.

“There’s a lot of strong trends in outerwear right now, and we feel there’s a big opportunity at the mass merchandise level,” Levitt said.

Steve Haber, president of Fleet Street, said the line will wholesale for $20 to $60 and will be sold from the Fleet Street corporate offices at 512 Seventh Ave. here. Levitt said the outerwear will be included as part of the corporate presentations Bonjour conducts with retailers.

Levitt said the focus of the line is on rugged looks, including peacoats, hunting jackets and quilted vest jackets, aimed at a young contemporary consumer.

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