DALLAS — Hispanic talk show star Cristina Saralegui, who presides over a media empire that includes a magazine as well as the daily TV program, is adding fashion to her résumé.
She plans a spring launch of the moderate-priced Cristina Sportswear collection, licensed to Sutton Creations, New York, a supplier of private label active and casual apparel for women, men and children. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Saralegui’s status among Hispanic women, especially target consumers ages 35 and above, may push retail sales of the Cristina Collection to $10 million to $15 million from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006, said Abe Sutton, president of Sutton Creations.
Sutton, with annual sales of more than $10 million, produces clothing for more than 80 companies, including Nordstrom, May Co. and Kmart. As many as 300 department and specialty retailers are anticipated to pick up the line the first year.
Hispanic consumers spent about $8.2 billion on women’s apparel in the 12-month period that ended July 31, up 10 percent from the year before, according to NPD Fashionworld, a research company based in Port Washington, N.Y. Hispanics registered the biggest percentage increase in spending on apparel among a handful of racial and ethnic groups.
“Cristina is a very strong and unique individual who understands a woman’s opinion, and that it matters and deserves to be heard and expressed,’’ Sutton said. “She conveys a real passion for life that women identify with. She feels that it’s very important that fashion fits into a woman’s lifestyle. She knows that apparel also has to be comfortable and she’s very much involved in the design process.”
Saralegui, 56, who immigrated to Florida from Cuba in 1960, is the host of “The Cristina Show’’ syndicated by Univision. She launched her monthly magazine, Cristina La Revista, in 1991, and also has a radio program. She could not be reached for comment.
The 50-piece spring collection will retail for $20 to $50, and include embellished jackets, tunics and a variety of bottoms. “We’re showing lots of color, art-inspired prints, embellishment such as sequins, beading and appliqués and comfortable fabrics with Lycra for movement. Cristina is very adamant that she will not put anything in the line that she will not wear,” said Ivonne Camacho, vice president of merchandising at Sutton Creations, who is also the collection’s designer.
“The Hispanic marketplace is the largest minority group in the U.S., with a population of 43.5 million,” said Kathy Foley, vice president of licensing at Sutton Creations. “And until now, there hasn’t really been any major apparel line that targets the misses’ Hispanic apparel shopper. There are plenty of junior lines that go after younger women such as Daisy Fuentes at Kohl’s, Thalia at Kmart and Jennifer Lopez, among others. ‘’
Camacho said because of the growing impact of Latin culture “we expect non-Hispanic women to be drawn to the line, as well.’’
Saralegui also plans to unveil a signature 75-piece furniture collection at the High Point, N.C., market in October inspired by her Miami home. Pulaski Furniture Corp. of Pulaski, Va., is the licensee.