LOS ANGELES, Jan. 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mother Daughter Duo Marie Gray co-founder of St. John's and daughter Kelly Gray co-founder of Royal Underground launch their first collection this Spring 2013.
In the years since the dynamic mother-daughter duo of Marie and Kelly Gray left St. John Knits, their lives had changed dramatically. Kelly, former CEO of the high end knitwear company, founded Royal Underground with Nikki Sixx, bass player for Motley Crue/Sixx:A.M. and spent her time developing a line of contemporary designs known for its marked edginess.
Meanwhile, Marie co-founder and designer of St. John's classic fashions was spending most of her days on the golf course. Every afternoon, though, she would stop by the Royal Underground office to visit Kelly. "Just to see how things were going", explains Marie with a grin. But it was clear her passion for designing was as strong as ever and she found herself increasingly more involved in the company. Still, not all her ideas fit neatly into the Royal Underground box.
The seeds of a new company began to take root when Kelly realized how much she enjoyed working with her mother again. "We have always been very prolific together", says Kelly, "so we began to collect our ideas to see what a collaboration would look like at this point in our lives".
A concept collection was the result, and along with it, a new company, appropriately named Grayse. The new collection features sequined and embellished tops and dresses, Italian silk printed tunics, and detailed leather jackets. The fashions will be launched at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue stores and online at www.neimanmarcus.com, www.saksfifthavenue.com and www.mkgrayse.com in February 2013. Neiman Marcus also will hold an online trunk show for the collection on its website in late January.
Kelly says she has enjoyed her "love affair" with the rock and roll industry and working on Royal Underground, but feels Grayse is the "natural progression at this stage of my life. Nikki and I had a blast creating Royal Underground, but when the opportunity came to work with my mom again I couldn't resist. I am excited to see where Nikki takes Royal Underground in the future."
Nikki says "Working with Kelly on Royal Underground has been an incredibly unique and rewarding experience. I wish her the best in her future endeavors and look forward to the next chapter in Royal Underground's history."
Internationally renowned for her classic knit designs, Marie Gray was the creative force behind St. John, the company she co-founded with her businessman husband in 1962. Together the two created one of the premiere clothing companies in the United States and one of the most recognizable fashion brands in the world. Though she left the company in 2005, Marie continues to serve on its Board of Directors. She says she is also finally finding time to devote to her other interests which include, in addition to gold, children's charities, education, and the Arts.
Kelly was, in a sense, born into the world of fashion. She grew up at St. John, the high end knitwear company founded by her model-turned-designer mother and businessman father in 1962. Kelly made it her business to familiarize herself with every aspect of the company, working in departments as varied as shipping and accounting, production and retail, each experience deepening her knowledge of the industry. She moved up the corporate ladder quickly, becoming the company's Creative Director when she was in her mid-20's, and just before her 30th birthday taking over the reins as CEO. In the interim, Kelly and Nikki Sixx had formed Royal Underground. During her years at the head of St. John, Kelly steered it through a period of amazing growth, taking the firm from a $100 million-a-year company to one with annual revenues of $400 million. Though she left St. John in 2005, she returned less than two years later as a part-time creative consultant until 2008.
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