By  on September 30, 2005

NEW YORK — These are anything but desperate times for New York & Co.

The 500-unit women's retailer, which is getting ready to open a sprawling 8,000-square-foot flagship on Lexington Avenue and 58th Street here on Nov. 23, unveiled its new holiday ad campaign Thursday featuring Eva Longoria, the sexy star of "Desperate Housewives."

Ads will break in the December issues of Marie Claire, In Style, Glamour, Lucky, Shop Etc., Latina, Oprah, Cosmopolitan, People ("Sexiest Man Alive" issue) and Redbook.

This is the first time New York & Co. has used a celebrity as the face of the chain. Its previous ad campaigns have featured models wearing the clothes.

Patrick Demarchelier photographed the 30-year-old actress last month in a studio at Pier 59 here. In the images, Longoria is shown lying on a couch in an off-white pointelle V-neck dress and posing in a black velvet pants suit with her stomach exposed. The ads were styled by Freddie Leiba, with Oribe as the hairstylist and Sandy Litner as the makeup artist.

On "Desperate Housewives," Longoria plays Latin sexpot Gabrielle Solis, a former runway model.

In addition to her work on "Desperate Housewives," Longoria will appear opposite Kiefer Sutherland, Kim Basinger and Michael Douglas in the film "The Sentinel," which will be released next year.

New York & Co., which generates $1.04 billion in annual sales, has shed its dowdy image for a more trendy one in recent years, targeting women ages 25 to 45 with annual household incomes of $40,000 to $75,000.

In the six months ended July 30, net earnings at New York & Co. catapulted 731.4 percent to $33.7 million, compared with $4.1 million in the year-earlier period. Total revenues were up 6 percent to $524.6 million.

The retailer will celebrate its Manhattan flagship with a big party on Dec. 6 which Longoria is scheduled to attend.

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