Jed Krascella is back.
This story first appeared in the June 17, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The designer, who as vice president of design worked closely with the late designer Perry Ellis during his rapid ascension to prominence in the late Seventies and Eighties and went on to become executive vice president and creative director of Limited Design Services, is introducing a high-end line of knitwear for the resort/holiday season named Jed.
Manufactured entirely of cashmere, Jed is comprised of 30 styles of hand- and machine-knit sweaters, wholesaling from $260 to $600. Sizes range from small to extra large.
“It’s classics with character,” said Krascella, a graduate of the The New School’s Parsons School of Design. “I love the classics. I think that’s why I got along with Perry so well. Sweaters were always a passion of his, and a huge differentiation for Perry.”
Jed’s machine-knit sweaters are made of Italian cashmere. He incorporates specialized knitting techniques such as intarsia, cabling and jacquards, creating colorful patterns and witty designs. Hand-knits are constructed of Mongolian cashmere with yarn, hand-dyed in the U.S. Styles include hand-knit shrunken fitted crews, oversize v-neck cardigans and hand-knit cropped flyaway crews.
“One of the things that ran through this entire collection was geometry. We worked with the grid of the knitted fabric,” Krascella said. The collection will be produced in the U.S., Peru and Italy.
In this new venture, Krascella has joined forces with business partner Ashley Leeds, (daughter of Laurence C. Leeds, Jr.) who previously worked in venture capital and private equity. The partners plan to start small, deliver on time and get good sell-throughs before broadening their offering, Leeds said. They declined to give a first-year sales projection. Eventually, Krascella would like to add such categories as hand-knitted scarves, gloves, hats and hand-knitted throw pillows.
David Cassaday has been tapped as vice president of sales and merchandising. “The day I walked into Jed’s studio and saw the sketches, colors and craftsmanship, I became overly passionate about this,” said Cassaday, who was previously director, product development at Belford. Jed is targeted to department and specialty stores, with the first collection to be delivered in October. The line is currently being shown at the Collective Showroom at 495 Broadway in New York, 3rd floor.