Original Penguin, the US lifestyle brand owned by the Perry Ellis group, is launching its first full womenswear collection for autumn 09.
European managing director David Ward said the collection was expected to be ready in time for trade fair Bread & Butter in Barcelona in January.
Ward said that the distribution would target the “usual suspects” in terms of independents and department store buyers who already bought and understood the menswear collection. Ward added that there would also be opportunities in the contemporary womenswear market.
The brand’s last womenswear range was produced by the New York design team, but was shelved two years ago.
This time around, Perry Ellis has established a central womenswear design team in Los Angeles. Ward said: “The team is also responsible for C&C California and Laundry by Shelli Segal, which means that there is a greater understanding of the fit, form and function behind women’s design.”
C&C California and Laundry by Shelli Segal are also owned by Perry Ellis.
Michelle McManus, former UK sales executive for Calvin Klein Jeans, has been appointed European sales manager for the womenswear collection.
McManus previewed the collection in LA this week. She said: “Key pieces include short jackets and there is strong knitwear including argyle patterns that tie in with the menswear.
“There will be two deliveries. Delivery one is based on Blair, a character from US TV show Gossip Girl, and is sexy but preppy. Delivery two is inspired by the 1960s. Pieces include cigarette pants, an oversized houndstooth coat and a mini skirt.”
“The elements of stripes, checks and argyles have synergy with the menswear, so it ties in with the brand heritage.”
McManus said prices were being tweaked but would start at £25 for jersey polos. Call 0870 766 9890 for details.