COLE-HADDON, Room 1378


Judi and Stephen Wies are back at it again.

Five years after the husband-and-wife duo sold Max Studio, they have resurfaced with a contemporary collection called Devan. The line’s moniker is a combination of the couple’s sons’ names, Darren and Evan. Judi and Stephen serve as the company’s vice president and president, respectively.

The Wies’s enlisted designers Jean-Marie Knight and Linh Tan, the latter a BCBG alumnus, to be at the helm of the collection, which is targeted at women between the ages of 25 and 55. The collection includes peasant-style blouses, matte jersey dresses and stretch fabric separates. Wholesale prices range from $31 to $98. Devan has 600 specialty store accounts.

Darren Wies, who serves as the company’s president of merchandising, said the line enjoys a significant competitive advantage over its competitors since the line’s retail price points are “about 20 percent less than brands we hang next to, like Laundry or BCBG.”

SANDRA SOBA, Room 1304

Sushi Handbags

Carri Krohn, a graduate of California’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and founder of Glendale, Calif.-based Sushi Handbags, has a passion for fashion.

The three-year-old line features vintage silk and cotton purses with Lucite handles featuring floral, fruit and western-themed prints. The line also includes silk and faux-fur totes and baguettes. Wholesale prices range from $25 to $39.

Most of the line’s bags are reversible, turning a lively-looking handbag into a sleek-looking black item.

Krohn also dabbles in apparel, offering wrap dresses — an incentive for many shoppers, particularly those in the Midwest, Krohn said.

“In Chicago, people don’t like to buy anything without something to go with it,” she said, “And the dresses make a statement in the store, which is really important for small boutiques,” said Krohn.

Volume for 2002 is projected to be $60,000.


Lauren Picazzo/Lauren Vidal

Manzano Sales in October picked up sportswear lines Lauren Picazzo and Lauren Vidal, both produced by Miami-based Beverly Rose.

Lauren Picazzo is a top-driven line and includes blouses, tunics, jackets and tank tops. Wholesale prices range from $25 to $75.

Lauren Vidal’s pants, which account for 60 percent of the line’s volume, but only 20 percent of the collection, complement its sister collection’s tops. Some of the line’s best-selling pants include the stitch-front “Goa” and the three-quarter-length “Cozy,” both available in sizes two to 16. The line, targeted at women aged 20 to 60, also includes knit ponchos, angle-cut sweaters and sweater dresses. Wholesale prices range from $80 to $110.

The two lines are expected to generate $2 million in sales this year.


Three By Three

On display in Steven A. Ettinger & Associate’s new showroom is a sweater-driven line from Kasper Canada, the Montreal-based division of Kasper ASL.

A self-described “buffet” of contemporary styles and yarns, Three By Three targets women between the ages of 25 and 60 with tunics, twinsets, cowlnecks and A-line sweater dresses in blends of silk, cashmere and merino wool.

The line’s spring 2002 themes include horizontal stripes, argyle and floral prints. Wholesale prices range from $18 to $46.

With a younger, less career-oriented look than Kasper, Three By Three incorporates trends interpreted for a broad audience.

“We’re big on developing yarns when we see trends in the market,” said Simon Tooley, vice president of production. “We’re an item-driven line, so if we see that something’s hot, we’re going to offer it, but we’ll make it understandable.”