'Affordable' a Key Word for Designer's Sportswear Line

If you've been saving up for a designer sportswear outfit, you may be closer to your goal than you think. Italian designer Mariuccia Mandelli, of Krizia, has introduced a new spring collection at the Limited stores, with prices that start at $20.

She's not the first major-league designer to put her name on a collection shaped in the spirit of her own higher-priced styles. Among others, Geoffrey Beene delivers his affordables with a Beene Bag tag, Perry Ellis offers Portfolio, and for every Anne Klein, there is an Anne Klein II.

Fractional Prices

But Mandelli's Mood collection, designed exclusively for the Limited's 610-store chain, sets new standards with prices that dip to a small fraction of the signature line that made her famous.

Krizia's Moods are meant to be affordable on a starting salary. "These are clothes for people who can appreciate but can't afford designer clothing," says the Limited vice president Edward Razek, who adds that the majority of his store's customers range in age from 18 to 30.

In her new venture with the Limited, Mandelli will show four small collections of office and weekend wear each year--all filled with much the same sort of fun, fashion and fantastic-animal prints that characterize the other Krizias.

For spring, Mandelli shows skintight leggings in cat prints with wide-bodied, cropped T-shirts to match; tube dresses; ankle-grazing skirts and oversize sweaters in classic shapes--all made of cotton-jersey fabrics.

Spring Lineup

For dressier times, Mandelli has styled linen trousers, blazers and a straight-cut skirt. The top price in the spring lineup is $110.

This is the second affordably priced designer collection the store has commissioned as an exclusive. The first, by Paris-based designer Kenzo Takada, was introduced last August.

Although the Limited is not about to announce plans for additional, exclusive deals with top international fashion names, Razek says, "we wouldn't rule out the possibility of other relationships."

The Krizia Moods collection is available at all the Limited stores in the L.A. area.

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