Ebony, Spiegel to launch catalog for black women

September 18, 1991|By Kevin E. Cullinane | Kevin E. Cullinane,Los Angeles Times

Spiegel, Inc., and Ebony magazine, responding to a growing black consumer market, said Tuesday that they plan to launch a new clothing catalog for contemporary black women.

The nation's largest mail-order catalog company, Spiegel is designing a line of clothing in conjunction with Ebony magazine that the companies say reflects current fashion trends among black women.

The company's catalog, expected to be mailed to 1.5 million people in early 1993, will contain a new line of affordable clothing called "E Style," designed to fit black women better and reflect their fashion tastes, said Rob Longendyke, a Spiegel spokesman.

"We are targeting a fast-growing market that has not been targeted before," Longendyke said. The catalog will "offer a wider line of clothing for African-American women all in one place."

Spiegel approached Ebony to help design the new clothing line for the catalog, in part because the magazine sponsors a fashion show that travels throughout the United States and attracts customers that Spiegel wants. As part of the collaboration, Ebony said it will give Spiegel its mailing lists.

Manufacturers have begun to pay more attention to black consumers, who are growing as a middle-class in recent years, industry analysts said. Essence magazine, for example, initiated clothing catalog in the late 1980s designed specifically for black consumers.

Linda Johnson Rice, president and chief executive officer of Johnson Publishing Company, which owns Ebony magazine, said Essence's clothing catalog has been successful. That is one reason for Ebony's interest.

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