In a strange marriage of designer and retailer, Nicole Miller plans to open in-store men's accessories boutiques in about a dozen Sharper Image stores next year.
Nicole Miller women's clothes are sold in stores like Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue. The Sharper Image, a 75-store chain founded by Richard Thalheimer, specializes in electronic gadgets, "toys for grown-up boys," as the advertising puts it.
Nicole Miller men's ties, boxer shorts and shirts were tested in the Sharper Image Christmas catalog.
"We didn't understand the customer base at first," said Bud Konheim, the president of Nicole Miller, "but it was sensational. They sold 1,500 of one style, our medical tie, in six weeks through their catalogue. Apparently, doctors and lawyers are big customers there."