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LOS ANGELES — Young men’s wear maker JNCO is seeking out some sister customers with a new line of junior denim called JNCO Jeans.

It’s not the first time JNCO has sought out female shoppers. The $100 million company, owned by Milo Revah, launched J & Co. last year, a contemporary line of denim and sportswear. It also tried out junior lines in 1997 and 2000, but pulled them after feeling limited by pricing demands. The new collection carries wholesale price points between $16 and $25 and is due to begin shipping next month for holiday retailing.

“We think we’re offering extremely innovative fashion denim with great washing details that’s still a great value,” said Glenn Connelly, vice president of sales at JNCO. “The junior market is very aspirational and we’re making these extreme looks accessible to the juniors’ customer.”

The bottoms-driven collection sprinkled with a few screenprinted T-shirts offers 30 styles of stretch and rigid jeans, in flared and bootleg cuts with low, medium and higher rises. Divided into groups, some favor vintage styling with corrective stitching detail, others feature a rocker edge with hand grinding and another assortment offers embellished looks with rhinestones and colorful appliqués.

Other key styles include a denim jacket with rhinestone-covered shoulders and a back butterfly appliqué, a miniskirt with a low yoke and swingy pleats, and jeans with angled coin pockets and raw-looking yarn patches.

Connelly said the line, which uses both U.S. and Mexican denim, benefits from its domestic production, ensuring better quality control at every step of the manufacturing process. He added that using local production opens the “creative floodgates” for more fashion-forward styles down the road, such as handpainted garments and jeans with decorative seams.

So far, the junior line has been picked up by Epic Designs, a chain of 40 specialty stores based in Garden City, N.Y. Connelly expects it to pull in $6 million to $8 million in wholesale volume in its first year with the help of department store distribution.

— Nola Sarkisian-Miller

This story first appeared in the September 23, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.