L’Koral Inc. chief executive officer Jane Siskin thinks that a top should be an accessory.
This story first appeared in the June 4, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
That’s why she’s launching a new line of contemporary tops, called Patterson J. Kincaid, for fall selling. The collection — ranging from printed chiffon blouses to cotton tank tops — wholesales from $21 to $76. The line is slated to be at the lower end of the price scale on the contemporary floor. It is being tested in select department and specialty stores and will fully launch for fall in stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Shopbop.com.
“People are buying accessories to spruce up the clothes they already have in their closets,” Siskin said. “So why can’t a top be seen as an accessory? If it offers great value, but at a lower price, in my mind, it’s an accessory.”
Siskin said the collection will have the same distribution strategy as other contemporary brands under the L’Koral umbrella, including Elizabeth & James, which is designed under a partnership with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and LaRok.
“Before the bottom fell out, we saw a void for this kind of collection in the contemporary category,” Siskin said. “This should be a quick, easy purchase. Because the prices are so low, the customer won’t have to give it much thought.”
The collection includes a range of tops in a variety of shapes: a cotton jersey grandpa cardigan, printed silk chiffon blouse, woven plaid tank top, chiffon tank with beading embellishments, silk tank top with crushed velvet accents along each side and oversize cotton T-shirts. To add a little something extra, there are also a few dresses, including a cotton jersey T-shirt dress, which comes with a skinny leather belt and a printed chiffon tank dress. In addition, the Patterson J. Kincaid blue label is a full collection of men’s wear-inspired woven shirts, all of which wholesale at $44. The collection is based in LaRok’s Manhattan showroom at 250 West 39th Street.
“We’ve learned so much about this customer through our other lines, and we see that it’s not really about price with them, but more about value,” Siskin said. “They don’t want cheap, they want value. This line gives them a great price and a great value, so it can be a quick, easy purchase.”
Siskin said she expects to reach $12 million in first-year wholesale volume with the new brand.