Blair to Feature Jane Seymour Line

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Blair Corp. has signed actress Jane Seymour to design a line of women's apparel for its Crossing Pointe catalog and Web site, a move aimed to boost average order size above the current $100.


Called the Jane Seymour Signature Collection, it will be positioned as the top-of-the-line offering among Crossing Pointe products. It targets the nation's 40 million women ages 34-54.


"It's presenting an aspirational-type of wardrobe -- 'I want to be kind of Jane-looking,' " said Lewis Shapiro, vice president and general manager of Blair's Crossing Pointe business in Warren, PA.


"The merchandise represents Jane's lifestyle through the silhouette and styling," he said. "All the prints, embroideries and appliqués will be from Jane's original artwork. What Jane calls it is wearable art."


An actress who has become an artist, Seymour starred in movies such as "Live and Let Die" and "Somewhere in Time" and played the title role in the "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," television series.


The line debuts in the spring 2002 catalog, a 76-page, 7 1/2-inch-by-10 1/2-inch book destined for more than 1 million prospects and customers. Pages 2-13 will be devoted to Seymour's line. Mailing is slated for Jan. 28.


Visitors to www.crossingpointe.com will get a preview of the line a few weeks before the catalog drop. Merchandise ordered via catalog and online will ship in early February.


The collection will comprise casual, career and evening apparel, accessories and footwear. Excluding coats, prices range from $29.99 to $99.99 for 4-16 petite and 6-22 misses sizes.


Blair aims to feature the line regularly next year in its monthly Crossing Pointe catalogs. The retailer plans to drop more than 15 million catalogs in 2002.


Launched in June 2000, Crossing Pointe is Blair's product aimed at a younger audience. A 91-year-old company, Blair is the ninth-largest consumer apparel cataloger in the United States. Revenue last year was $575 million.


Blair typically uses catalogs, mailers, print advertising and the www.blair.com Web site to market and retail more than 10,000 apparel SKUs for men and women. Blair's other books include Blair Menswear, Blair Womenswear and Blair Shoppe for home textiles.


Though it is strong in the mature, low-to-moderate end of the market, Blair is targeting the more lucrative upscale lot of younger, affluent women. The Seymour line fits with this new thinking.


"We focus on the older, more mature customer who's looking for the value, quality and fit combination, and one of the dynamics for Blair as it was moving forward was the need for a younger audience, and that was why Crossing Pointe was created," Shapiro said.


"What we believe Jane will bring is a high level of credibility and believability to our fashion presentation," he said. "Someone of Jane's recognition will be a catalyst for the growth of Crossing Pointe at this time."


The Seymour collection will be promoted to customers and prospects in Blair's e-mail and catalog database. Public relations will support the effort.


Seymour will be featured on the cover of the spring issue but not in her Signature Collection.


"What we didn't want to make Jane was the spokesperson," Shapiro said. "We will have her image on the cover, but she will not be modeling her clothes. We want her to be a factor in Crossing Pointe, but not a spokesperson."


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