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New Label Alert: Erik Hart Debuts Factory

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Our ongoing investigation of silver linings to the Great Recession has turned up another trump. Erik Hart, late of Morphine Generation and later of his own eponymous line, is set to launch a new label called Factory. According to Hart, the concept behind the new brand is simply to do what he already does well, only for less money. “That’s all there is to it,” Hart says. “My aesthetic at an affordable price point.” In the process of bringing his prices down to $65 to $200 (that’s retail, not wholesale), Hart has made a few concessions. To wit, rather than using silk for his softly tailored pieces, he developed a charmeuse-backed poly/silk blend that drapes the same way.

But he’s adamant that this isn’t fast fashion. “I made it a principle of the line that we weren’t going to sacrifice quality,” he says. “We’re working with all the same factories we always have, just pushing them really hard.” Ron Herman, Oak, and 10 Corso Como are among the stores that have already picked up Factory’s Spring 2010 debut. Eventually, Hart foresees an expansion into jewelry and accessories, but for now, he says, the emphasis is on separates. “Great jackets, dresses, tops,” he ticks off. “You know, the stuff you’re looking for in the contemporary department.”

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