This story first appeared in the February 17, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“It’s a more casual lifestyle line,” said Taylor, cofounder and creative director, in an interview at her 80 West 40th Street showroom this week. “It’s meant to be worn, washed, shaken up and worn again.”
Taylor, whose $75 million contemporary brand is a division of Kellwood Co., said the idea for the weekend line came from many of her customers.
“So many friends of mine will wear Rebecca Taylor to work or a cocktail party, but they were telling me they weren’t wearing it on the weekend,” said the designer, who was wearing a vintage poplin blouse and black washed army pants. She said she wanted to address “those holes we were missing.”
La Vie Rebecca Taylor offers pieces that feature the brand’s signature design elements such as delicate embroideries, feminine shapes, unusual prints and textures, all worked back to denim and twill bottoms that have a vintage sensibility. There are three different styles of denim pants (high-rise/straight leg crop; boyfriend/button-fly relaxed, and skinny with stretch), military-based chinos, full-fashion knits, washable linen tops with feminine detailing, cropped denim jackets, a washed peacoat and a few dresses. “These are clothes we live in,” Taylor said.
As for the French label, the New Zealand-born designer said, “I’m not French, but I’m always at my best when I’m in Paris. I love the way French women dress so simply and chicly.”
The collection is manufactured in China, Los Angeles and Peru. There are roughly 75 to 80 styles in the first line. The plan is to ship about 15 to 20 new styles a month. The fall collection will be available at Nordstrom and several specialty stores, as well as Rebecca Taylor’s eight freestanding stores and online.
Wholesale prices are $85 to $103 for denim; $55 to $115 for T-shirts; $55 to $75 for knits, $45 to $110 for wovens, and $120 to $200 for jackets.
Taylor said she expects La Vie Rebecca Taylor will be merchandised alongside the main collection, and “it’s built to complement the Rebecca Taylor collection.” The company anticipates the new collection will generate $3 million in 2017.
“The idea is not to turn Rebecca Taylor into a massive denim brand,” said Janice Sullivan, president of Rebecca Taylor, whose previous roles were at Edun Americas, Calvin Klein Jeans and DKNY Jeans. “This is the whole other side of Rebecca Taylor.” It will have limited distribution and will start to grow organically, she said.