Dee Ocleppo Launches Cashmere Ready-to-wear

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Dee Ocleppo-Hilfiger, philanthropist, activist and creative director of Judith Leiber, will introduce a collection of cashmere ready-to-wear under the Dee Ocleppo label for fall 2021.

This marks her directly owned-brand’s first foray into rtw and complements her handmade Italian accessories, both of which are separately owned from Judith Leiber.

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The four-piece capsule, which officially launches today, is made of 100 percent cashmere.

“I was brought this opportunity,” Ocleppo-Hifiger said. “The people who manufacture my shoes in Italy introduced me to a company in Germany called Katag. They do beautiful cashmere and asked if I wanted to do cashmere. I went to visit them in Germany and looked at the kind of things they did and we discussed some things, but nothing excited me,” she said.

Then, during COVID-19, she was watching TV and an episode of “Laverne & Shirley” was on. “Laverne was wearing this incredible sweater with a big ‘L’ on it and I said, ‘I would love to have that sweater for myself with a big ‘D’ on it. I took a screenshot of it and sent it to Katag and said, ‘This is what I want to do,'” she said.

Ocleppo-Hilfiger said she wanted to do something a little different.

The initials are done in intarsia and are woven into the weave. She’s starting with six letters for the sweater and joggers: A,D, S, M, K and L. She’s also doing a scarf and a beanie cap in many more letters. The pieces can be customized with one’s own initial and range in color combinations including gray with black lettering; black with pink lettering, and oatmeal with cream lettering.

The capsule will be sold on and Farfetch. It will also be sold at Corte Ingles in Spain and specialty stores in Europe. She anticipates she’ll do between $1 million and $2 million in business in the first year.

The sweater retails for $356, the pants are $485, the scarf is $395 and the beanie is $145.

Dee Ocleppo-Hilfiger in a look from the Dee Ocleppo cashmere line. - Credit: Courtesy of Dee Hilfiger
Dee Ocleppo-Hilfiger in a look from the Dee Ocleppo cashmere line. - Credit: Courtesy of Dee Hilfiger

Courtesy of Dee Hilfiger

It’s a limited-edition capsule and will be done in lighter cashmere next season and in different colorways. She also has plans to add more separates to the collection that can be mixed and matched and worn day to night.

At present, Ocleppo-Hilfiger’s product line includes bags, shoes, cashmere and silk scarves (with Ashley Longshore). Everything is done under license. “I don’t hold any inventory,” she said.

As reported in March, Ocleppo-Hilfiger teamed up with Farfetch to expand her shoes and bags business globally.

Ocleppo-Hilfiger established a luxe handbag collection in 2012 and was recognized by the Fashion Group International with the “Rising Star Award.” She expanded her collection with the Bag Bar patent, which was acquired by Kate Spade & Co.


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