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Royal Underground to offer women's line

Five months after launching a high-end men's clothing line, Kelly Gray and her partner, Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx, said they're expanding their Royal Underground brand into women's clothing and men's jewelry.

Gray, former chief executive and model for women's luxury label St. John, is designing the 25- to 40-piece collection of women's leather jackets, cashmere sweaters, dresses, skirts, T-shirts and jeans. Prices for the Newport Beach, Calif.-based brand are expected to run from $100 to $1,200.

Royal Underground's expansion into women's clothing follows an announcement last month in which Gray said she was increasing her consulting time with St. John, the Irvine, Calif., luxury label her parents founded 45 years ago. Some weeks, she works at St. John four to five days.

"There are some nights I go to bed wondering if I'll be able to pull off all the appointments the next day," Gray said.

Gray is also modeling Royal Underground's clothing for a lifestyle book to be posted on its Web site in June. The photos were shot in the middle of the El Mirage desert, near Palm Springs, Calif.

She modeled for St. John for nearly 25 years, a job that took her to such exotic locales as Ibiza, Spain, and Marrakesh, Morocco. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, and later actress Angelina Jolie, replaced her as the signature model for St. John.

"I'm back in front of the camera and feeling a bit self-conscious," Gray said.

Royal Underground's women's and men's jewelry, created by King Baby designer Mitchell Binder, is expected to ship between August and October to Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale's, which already carry the brand. The men's line is offered in 50 stores, up from the 28 stores when the line debuted last year.

Though Gray now is making women's clothing, and plans to sell those clothes in many stores that already carry St. John, she says she's not competing with the Irvine business. Royal Underground, with its rock `n' roll influence, reaches a different customer than those who favor St. John's more conservative look.

But with two jobs, Gray, 40, might be competing a bit with the clock. She says she misses the free time she had after she left her day-to-day job as creative director at St. John in 2005.

A few weeks ago, she was in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, doing research for both St. John and Royal Underground. Then for a weekend, she flew to New Zealand to watch Tommy Lee's band Supernova perform, and to visit a sheep farm that produces St. John's wool. "Now, when I need rest, I travel," Gray said.