NEW YORK — The Leslie Fay Co. has entered into a licensing deal with American Apparel Co., a private label manufacturer, to produce a moderate-price separates collection, called Leslie Fay Separates, this fall.
“It will be an item business and it will be very simple,” said Bob Salem, consultant and former corporate vice president of marketing at Leslie Fay. “Our mission is to give the customer the kinds of key items that she wants in great depth and at extra value.”
To manage the business, Leslie Fay has hired Paul Stanton as president of the separates division. Stanton brings 26 years experience to his new post. He was manager of New York sales at Paquette, a division of Byer California. Prior to that, he managed sales at Fritzi of California.
“The challenge of starting from scratch and finding a niche and then building upon it intrigued me,” Stanton said Thursday. “It’s exciting to capitalize on the next trend for a younger misses’ customer.”
The separates collection will focus on six to eight styles of blouses and bottoms, and will wholesale for $10 to $15. Key items will include camp shirts, wrap blouses, tunic tops, five-pocket jeans and classic trousers, and will be featured in a variety of colors. Fabrics will feature lots of stretch, such as corduroy with spandex, wool jerseys and polyester. All fabrics will be machine washable and made in factories in Guatemala.
“It’s that whole easy, soft look, aimed at the over-45 consumer,” Salem said. “And value is one of the things we’re hearing loud and clear. The other thing we’re hearing is consumers can’t find a classic solid blouse except for white. They want color.”
The company is aiming at first year sales of $5 million wholesale.
The launch into separates marks the fourth license for Leslie Fay, after handbags, shoes and hosiery. But, “we’re working on more,” Salem said, “to have more brand impact at the retail level.”