A dress with inverted pleats from Jane Street.

NEW YORK — Jane Street, a new dress division of Liz Claiborne, has been hatched from the idea that there aren’t enough good dresses in the world.<br><br>Jane Street’s design, marketing and executive team, which reflects the customers...

NEW YORK — Jane Street, a new dress division of Liz Claiborne, has been hatched from the idea that there aren’t enough good dresses in the world.

This story first appeared in the January 13, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Jane Street’s design, marketing and executive team, which reflects the customers they aim to dress — stylish women between the ages of 25 and 55 — scoured stores in New York, Chicago, New Jersey and Los Angeles looking for contemporary dresses. Their fruitless search left them encouraged.

“We all went out as customers and we couldn’t find a thing,” said Chelsea Rice, director of marketing.

The same went for Jane Street president Paula Schneider, and Andrea Soli, executive vice president of sales. Rice, Schneider and Soli continue to hold their respective titles at Laundry by Shelli Segal, another Claiborne division, even though the two companies operate as separate entities.

What they came up with is a trend-driven collection that wholesales for $50 to $75. The first 25-piece collection ships to department stores and specialty stores in May, with a comparable size group to follow in June. Many styles have jackets or coordinating cardigans to make them day-into-evening pieces. One of the company’s objectives is to divert women from having to shop for dresses within sportswear collections.

A floral polyester georgette dress, a black cap-sleeve jersey dress with a crisscross pink ribbon, a short-sleeve black jersey top with a plaid wool bouclé skirt and a floral V-neck sundress are among the key offerings in the first shipment. The June delivery has bolder colors, plenty of prints, cocktail party attire and a more vintage feel. Details such as pink satin linings, lace trim, a broach and inverted pleats are used in the collection.

The aim is to dress women with a “younger spirit who don’t want to look dowdy,” Soli said. In addition, many women are looking for more coverage. Jane Street sizes range from 4 to 14 instead of 0 to 12. But the brand is trying to cover more ground.