By  on January 26, 2009

Sculptz is hitting the retail track. After six years of targeting customers exclusively through a direct-mail format, the legwear brand is heading into the wholesale arena for fall market. The company’s new president and chief executive officer, Jean Vernor, who headed General Electric Money’s partnership marketing group, felt there was great potential for Sculptz at retail and expects the initiative to substantially increase sales. “There was always the direct-mail factor, and I came in and looked at the brand’s assets and thought we could do a lot more in a multichannel format,” Vernor said. “Our product is all about making women look and feel good, and now is the time to get that word out in stores.” Sculptz is just one brand owned and operated by HCI Direct, a 35-year-old company based in Philadelphia that specializes in direct-mail sales. It has more than 20 million members on its database and offers additional products such as Silkies Hosiery and a Silkies Enriche skin care. Sculptz offerings include tights, shorts and sheers that feature control shaping panels. The pieces are aimed at providing comfort for women as opposed to feeling them feeling “compressed.” Product will debut during next month’s market, where styles in colors from classic black to plum and gray will wholesale from $11 to $12.50. Vernor said the timing is appropriate to make the transition into department and specialty stores. The brand is trying to capitalize on the buzz generated by the product appearing on the ABC-TV hit series “Ugly Betty,” as well as in Anna Sui and Tracy Reese’s runway show gift bags. “Now is the right time to get into stores as well as consumers’ consciences,” Vernor said. “Legwear is on-trend, category sales on a whole are up this year and we think we have a prized product on our hands. No matter what size they are, every woman wants to hide something.”

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