Chaiken and Capone Makes a Comeback for Spring 2011

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Photo: Getty Images
A look from the Chaiken Fall 2006 runway.

When Chaiken and Capone first launched in 1994, the company (founded by Julie Chaiken and Pamela Capone) gained immediate recognition for its well-cut pants.

The brand's modern take on the suit, flattering the feminine form with expert tailoring and sleek lines drew raves from customers and editors. Near the end of the decade, the line, renamed Chaiken after Capone left in 1998, refocused its creative energy on smaller endeavors. Although the brand never completely disappeared, its mainstream appeal fizzled dramatically.

In July 2008 Chaiken moved the company showroom to San Francisco and now, after years of being removed from the New York City fashion scene, the designer has announced exciting plans for a comeback. Julie Chaiken told WWD:

“We did a soft launch for Spring and got the stores we wanted.” Chaiken said the Spring grouping is more casual. For fall, she intends to add chunky knits, leathers, and some “go-to-work” looks. She has no plans to have runway shows for the collection, which will be manufactured in South America and Asia. It will be repped in New England, Atlanta, Chicago, and Dallas.

The Spring 2011 collection, which was shown to several buyers last September, features an array of more casual pieces, including chunky knits and leathers—a divergence from the suits that made the label a ’90s staple. The prices have also relaxed, WWD reports:

“It has a little lower price point. Chaiken started to creep up toward designer. This has a more contemporary price point,” said Chaiken. For Spring, wholesale prices range from $60 to $64 for pima cotton tops; $82 to $90 for pants; $73 to $76 for Bermuda shorts and skirts; $150 for blazers, and $112 for dresses. The line is comprised of cottons, twills and Modals in vivid colors as well as neutrals. Tops have feminine cuts such as cowl necks, one shoulders, off the shoulders, and draping. Pant styles include the Rocker skinny pant, the Maggie boot cut, and the 2001 Classic pant, in addition to new cuts. Rounding out the collection are day-to-night dresses, tanks, Bermuda shorts, and pencil skirts.

“It’s very classic and clean, while being fashion forward. That’s what people have always come to me for,” said Chaiken. The key demographic is the woman between 25 and 45, she said. “It’s the woman who understands that you can wear clean lines while still being a little bit sexy.”