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The singer-actress and her mother, Tina Knowles, are relaunching their House of Deréon brand this spring as a high-end contemporary dress line — and many of the styles are based on what Beyoncé Knowles has worn on stage, making them perfect for the prom. This, Tina said, was especially important to her as she works as a mentor at her church in Houston."I've lent designer dresses that the girls used to wear in Destiny's Child to some of the girls in my youth center at my church," she said. "And I've also made dresses for some of them, so I'm so happy to have this line now, where many girls can buy my dresses."
The line, which is being produced by Bahari Group Ltd., represents another stage in the evolution of Beyond Productions, the company founded by Tina and Beyoncé along with Jason and Arthur Rabin of Kids Headquarters. House of Deréon originally was launched in May 2004 as a denim and sportswear line, which was licensed to RVC Enterprises. That collection never took off at retail, so they pulled it off the market and introduced Deréon, a junior version of the brand, also with RVC Enterprises, for holiday 2006.
That line, sources said, continues to do well in stores.Industry sources estimate Beyond Productions will have wholesale sales of $100 million this year."I've always seen House of Deréon as a dress collection," Tina said. "But what happened was that we couldn't find the right partner for dresses. Every time someone would come up with a line for us to look at, I would send it back. It just was never right."Fate hit one day last year when Heather Schindler, co-creative director at Beyond Productions, shared a taxi with Reza Bahari, president of the New York-based Bahari."We just started talking about our companies, I took his business card, he paid the driver and sent me home," Schindler said. "When I got to the office, I told Tina about him. We both agreed that we just had to make an appointment with him. And the rest is history."The result, Beyoncé said, is something she is more than satisfied with."I am so proud of these dresses and I enjoyed every moment I spent with my mother creating them," she said. "This collection, being incredibly elegant, sexy and wearable, embodies the spirit and style we've always embraced."The dresses will be in stores in January. The line consists only of cocktail and evening gowns. Eventually, Tina said she would like to add day dresses. The dresses wholesale between $120 and $300 and are being targeted to high-end specialty and better department stores like Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale's.
The collection is being shown out of Beyond Productions' showroom located at 1384 Broadway in New York."I love Bahari for many reasons. They are able to make these contemporary dresses with great quality, and they do things that I have been trying to find for so long," Tina said, pointing to a low-cut silk jersey dress. "They wired this so it doesn't show too much in the chest and were able to build a bra in the dress for extra support. There are a lot of these little secrets that go into constructing these dresses."As for the line, there is a long, low-cut, fire-print silk jersey gown, cotton knit dresses with rhinestone details around the neckline, silk chiffon pleated and jeweled halter dresses, a white fully encrusted rhinestone short dress and tailored silk-brocade belted dresses.
Tina said Beyoncé's favorite dress, a purple silk jersey style, was inspired by a dress Tina made for her in 2001 for "Carmen: A Hip Opera," in which the singer had the lead role."She loved that dress, but putting it together was like constructing a machine," Tina said. "It was very low in the front and the slit was very high up the leg and she was only 19 when she did that movie. It was not a dress for such a young girl."The new House of Deréon dresses by Bahari will be, though — and they might earn Tina a bit of a respite. "Girls literally stop me on the street and ask me to personally make them a prom dress," said Tina. "Don't get me wrong, I would love to make all of them dresses, since it's what I love to do, but, like, I have the time?"Obviously she doesn't. She was here to put the finishing touches on the new collection on Wednesday, and was due to fly to Tampa, Fla., today to prepare for another appearance on the Home Shopping Network, where she sells her Miss Tina clothing and accessories line targeted at women between the ages of 30 and 50.