A new brand out of Los Angeles is set to launch this fall: 44. Chris Tate, CEO of The Bailey Group, which includes brands like Bailey44, Superfine, Fine, and Ali & Jay, will launch the advanced contemporary brand, which is being designed by Lena Wells, a veteran of Hussein Chalayan, Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein, and Band of Outsiders who’s known for her expert eye for tailoring and outerwear. The line was presented to buyers and press during New York Fashion Week at a penthouse apartment in Tribeca, with styling by Hollywood powerhouse Elizabeth Stewart.
“We wanted to have a collection that was trend relevant, but that’s not a slave to the trends,” Wells told The Daily. “I really tried to find the things that were missing from my wardrobe that would have some longevity. We were going for a real texture mix. I was redecorating my house [while designing this collection], so I was obsessed with looking at interiors and looking at things like agates and crystals and sheep skins, so that’s really where the fabric story started.”
The brand is made in Italy, with the most expensive piece in the collection a reversible “Teddy Bear” jacket retailing for around $2,000. “There was this space between designer and contemporary that was underserved,” said Tate. “It was about how we could make designer accessible. We discovered this amazing atelier in Italy through one of our other brands and it led into this opportunity, which has been great.” If the success of sister brand Bailey44 is any indication, retailers across the country will be vying to snap up Tate’s new label.