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St. John Aims for a Younger Customer (Again) with SoCa

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Photos via WWD

A while back St. John tried to make its brand a bit younger and hipper—the Angelina Jolie campaign—which only ended up pissing off its base customer and failing to attract the younger set. The Irvine-based brand is making another go of it with a new contemporary line for resort called SoCa, hitting stores in November via freestanding stores in South Coast Plaza and Palm Desert, and department stores such as Saks, Neiman's and Bloomie's.

WWD reports the line is aimed toward 35- to 55-year-olds and "Retail prices range from $195 to $295 for tops and pants, and $395 to $695 for jackets and dresses," starting with 45 looks, including "printed silk jersey minidresses with jewel necklines, above-the-knee taffeta dresses, leggings, skinny jeans, cropped jackets, bubble-sleeve trenchcoats and stretch denim short shorts."

SoCa's two boutiques "...have their own Hollywood Regency aesthetic, with white powder-coat painted metal fixtures suspended from the ceiling, glossy black coffee tables and saffron couches." The question remaining is whether the 35-55ers will buy into it. While some of the looks are considerably more fashion-forward than its older knit sister, others still look a bit too much like her.
· St. John Launching Better Contemporary Line [WWD, subscription req]