By  on April 14, 1994

NEW YORK -- Hosiery manufacturers are jumping into television shopping with both feet.

Some have chosen to distinguish themselves from the sea of product in the legwear market by targeting a specific audience or promoting a special angle.

Those testing this new venue include:

  • Alba-Waldensian, with a line of queen-size hosiery.
  • Kayser-Roth Corp., with a new label developed exclusively for TV home shopping.
  • Take the Lead...and Step Into a Better World, which plans to offer its environmental line of socks on a TV shopping program.
For its TV venture, Alba-Waldensian, Valdese, N.C., is manufacturing a special line of queen-size hosiery under the Carole Shaw Collection label. It was tested on the Home Shopping Network on March 23, as an addition to the large-size designer's ready-to-wear collection. The hosiery line, designed as an accessory to the rtw, will be offered next on an HSN program in May.

Shaw, based in Los Angeles, founded the magazine and brand name Big Beautiful Woman (BBW), and Alba-Waldensian has been producing the BBW lines of hosiery and intimate apparel sold in catalogs and stores for eight years. Hosiery under the Carol Shaw Collection label, however, is sold only through HSN.

"The initial quantity bought for the launch sold out within the first several minutes on the air," said Robert Fumento, president of the consumer products division of Alba-Waldensian, although he wouldn't disclose the number sold. "On the program, Carol presents her products and speaks as a proponent of fashion in large sizes."

The legwear also promotes comfort because, unlike traditional large-size hosiery, it is knitted in one piece to allow more cross-stretch. In addition, it does not use sewn-in panels.

Multipacks of four basic day sheers in beige or fashion colors sold for $9.95 in the first showing, said Fumento. Changes in pricing and packaging are in the works for a return to HSN in May, but he said the price point will stay under $10. "I think it's important to have a tie-in with a targeted consumer when it comes to a hosiery launch," said Fumento. "In many ways, the large-size market is untapped. With the success of Carole Shaw's apparel, the addition of hosiery was a natural progression."

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