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Company ready for the mini market


The clothes were barely off the haute-couture runways when Barbara Moss, the sales and public relations director for ABS Clothing Collection Inc., was on the phone touting the news that the company's micro-mini was already heading for Bloomingdale's windows.

The biggest winner in the hemline game won't be haute couture, but the domestically produced bridge lines like ABS and Tapemeasure. With turn-on-a-dime production capabilities, ABS said it will run an advertisement with Bloomingdale's in August for a micro-mini look.

"For the past two months, we haven't been selling long," said Lloyd Singer, president of ABS. "Women, in most cases, didn't accept the long straight skirt. Whether it's a micro or just above the knee, women know they can wear the short skirt."

Mr. Singer said his salespeople have been letting stores know that ABS has short skirts. "That's what being first is all about."

Tapemeasure's designer, Marsha Drogan, said: "If you went anywhere in the past year, you saw short skirts, whether it was suits or black tie. I think women picked long skirts up as items. In seeing short come back, they won't feel manipulated; they'll believe they won their point."

The best label for the micro-mini, however, may be caveat emptor. Unlike the long lengths, which can be hacked off to fit the mood swings of designers, there's no place micro can go. Except in the dustbin.

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