Liz Farrell

Spartina 449 is launching its first dress line this week. Here's what it looks like

Members of the Spartina 449 team model the new dress line in cordelia pink and navy, the scarf poncho in floral and a caftan in indigo at the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce's Fashion Week fashion show this past week.
Members of the Spartina 449 team model the new dress line in cordelia pink and navy, the scarf poncho in floral and a caftan in indigo at the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce's Fashion Week fashion show this past week.

There's a new fashion designer on the block.

Spartina 449, the Lowcountry's favorite homegrown handbag and accessories brand, has launched its first dress line to go along with its spring 2018 High Tide Collection.

The dress line is small and features just one style of a classic shift dress in five colors and patterns with neckline embroidering from Peru.

"Right now, it's a test with the hope that it's successful. We like to take things one step at a time," Jessica Maples, Spartina 449 marketing and communications manager, said of the brand's business approach.

Spartina 449 first launched in 2009 on Daufuskie Island and has become widely recognized for its fun and colorful patterns.

Spartina products are available in more than 1,500 stores nationally. The upscale brand has eight retail locations, including stores on Hilton Head Island and in Old Town Bluffton, as well as an outlet store at Tanger Outlets in Bluffton.

The brand's annual warehouse sale on Hilton Head has become a big draw, bringing in obsessed fans and power-shoppers from all over the region.

"(Spartina 449 founder and CEO) Kay Stanley thought it was time to try apparel," Maples said. "The inspiration hit her and her team, and she was excited about it."

The dresses, which come in sizes XS-XL and retail for $105, are available at the Hilton Head store and at the flagship store on Calhoun Street in Old Town Bluffton. Online shoppers will be able to buy the dresses sometime in April.

"They're a classic dress to wear to any social gathering or event," Maples said. "Classy yet simple. And comfortable."

"They're just really pretty," Maples said as she tried on one of the Spartina dresses.

Also new this year at Spartina 449 are two varieties of scarf ponchos that debuted last week. The ponchos are long and lightweight, off-the-shoulder scarves that can be worn like a blouse over a tank.

Designers are working on a fall 2018 line of dresses and apparel.

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