Designing Sisters Don't Have Competition Over Who's on First

There's no mistaking the clothes, but the labels are sure to be confused.

Susan Freis, who was president and founder of Diane Freis USA, the distribution arm of her younger sister's clothing company, is now a designer in her own right.

No Sibling Rivalry

No, it has nothing to do with sibling rivalry. Growing up in West Los Angeles, all four Freis sisters always got along well.

"I just told Diane I was going to get started with my own thing, and she said 'Great,' " Susan, 38, explains from her offices in Santa Monica--offices that formerly were headquarters for Diane Freis.

While 33-year-old Diane's design forte is mixed-print daytime dresses in polyester, Susan's dresses come in luxurious imported fabrics and are geared to evening.

"Diane loves lots and lots of bright color--color on top of color. Even as a child she was a Gypsy. She'd put petticoats under petticoats," Susan says. "Diane's wild.

"I like simpler things in high-quality fabrics. I love dress-up. My clothes have structure, like shoulder pads; Diane's have no structure. Her clothes are figure hiding; mine are figure revealing. Hers are one size. Mine are sized."

A painter who worked as creative director of her and her former husband's advertising agency, Susan admits that fashion was never one of her priorities.

True Clotheshorse

Carol--the oldest Freis sister--was the true clotheshorse in the family, but there's no chance she'll come out with a clothing line, Susan says. Carol's a lawyer. The fourth sister, Andrea, is a bookkeeper.

Susan will introduce her collection today at Bonwit Teller.

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