A JVN look for spring.

Jovani, normally a brand known for its prom looks, will launch a full contemporary sportswear label called JVN.

Jovani isn’t just heading to the prom this spring.

This story first appeared in the November 19, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Best known for its broad selection of prom and evening dresses, the 27-year-old New York-based firm will launch a full contemporary sportswear label called JVN for spring.

The launch of JVN follows a test of a small selection of sportswear under the Jovani label at about 300 specialty stores nationwide this fall. Although company executives said the line has performed well, they quickly realized that in order for contemporary customers to pay attention, they needed to change the name to JVN so the sportswear wouldn’t be confused with the evening line. Now, with a separate showroom at 1370 Broadway and a new name, they’re moving ahead with a large selection of dressy contemporary sportswear pieces.

“We saw a real need in the market for a line of dressier sportswear items,” said Saul Maslavi, president of Jovani and JVN. “I also think that last year people were more price sensitive than they are right now. People will pay for pieces like this because they are high quality and special.”

Similar to the embellishments seen throughout the Jovani line, each item in the JVN collection is highly detailed. There’s a braided silk charmeuse top, ruffled chiffon top, high-waisted pants with exposed zipper details, a large selection of jackets in fabrics ranging from cotton canvas to fake and real leather with military-inspired hardware, beaded skirts, sequin tanks and draped jersey dresses with subtle crystal detailing, high-waisted sailor shorts and studded vests. The color palette ranges from black and white and lavender and blush to bright pink and teal.

“I wanted the line to have that casual and dressy element all at the same time,” explained Jessica Zamir, JVN’s designer. “So for spring, it was all about using casual fabrics and incorporating those elements in evening into this collection.”

The collection wholesales from $130 for a blouse to about $900 for a highly detailed leather jacket. Maslavi said there are plans to add a range of accessories to the line, starting with belts. He expects this brand to open new stores for the company, and said JVN could eventually become larger than the Jovani label.

“With Jovani, we sell about 2,000 stores,” Maslavi said. “I expect JVN to end up in many more stores than that.”

Maslavi said he expects to reach about $10 million in wholesale volume for JVN by the end of 2010.

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