LOS ANGELES — What a difference three fashion shows can make.
The contemporary line Single, which started seven years ago, credits its participation in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week during the last year with establishing credibility in the industry.
“It absolutely has helped us,” said Galina Sobolev, co-owner of the Los Angeles-based line with her husband, Michael. “The press we’ve received and the buzz it’s generated has helped us get to a new level.”
The intent is to capitalize on that momentum with the launch of a new line called Sin and future goals of a potential denim collection and licensing deals for children’s wear and accessories.
“We think we’re really ready to expand the company,” said Sobolev, a onetime fit model for Michael Kors and a designer at Carole Little.
Launched at Fashion Coterie this year, Sin has picked up orders from 30 stores, including Harvey Nichols in England, Zabari in New York and Scorch in Miami. The line, which is done in collaboration with Stephanie de Leon, a former designer at Pamela Brown, a division of Tessuto that closed last year, marks the first team design approach for Sobolev.
“I’m very open to another voice,” she said. “Those different experiences and a new knowledge base can really help add design touches to make a line stand out.”
Sobolev, a Russian immigrant who learned sewing from her grandmother, isn’t averse to taking chances. Two years ago, she reengineered Single from a girly collection with Forties-inspired dresses in polkadots to an edgier line that showcases printed chiffon and one-shoulder tops, hot shorts and silk shantung skirts.
For fall and holiday, Single’s flashier vibe mellowed into a more restrained Russian gypsy theme with brocade jackets, A-line skirts, crushed velvet tunics with gold embroidery and denim jeans stitched with prominent fleurs-de-lis on the legs.
Sales at Single are expected to reach $10 million this year, up from $7 million in 2004.
Celebrities such as Paula Abdul, Nicollette Sheridan and Eva Longoria have embraced the redo. One recent Single convert is Boulmiche, an upmarket boutique with two outposts in Beverly Hills and Brentwood, Calif.
“I didn’t know about the line until about a year ago when I went to the fashion show,” said Boulmiche store manager Anna Aoun. “It’s really fun and colorful and its dresses and evening tops are among the most popular items here.”
The direction of the second line is younger, Sobolev said. To give it a more vintage flavor, one infused with boho nonchalance, Sobolev and de Leon incorporate a lot of mixed media into the looks, such as silk charmeuse blouses with sequined mesh sleeves, a men’s wear skirt layered over tulle and edged with lace, and Italian gabardine slacks trimmed with a peau de soie waistband.
Cashmere is another element of the line, with Swarovski crystal buttons and eyelet patterns in cardigans, camis and duster styles. Wholesale prices range from $30 for a T-shirt to $219 for the cashmere coat. Sobolev, who said Sin’s first-year sales are expected to reach $1 million, said the company is also amenable to working with retailers on bringing price points down on the cashmere.
Retailers who have bought the line said they appreciated its unique fabric and color combinations.
“It’s hot, cool and funky,” said Tal Zisseo, owner of Scorch in Miami Beach, which carries Antik, Haley Bob and Poleci.