By  on March 1, 2010

Lucky Brand will be making its first foray into foundations for fall.

Jon E. Lewis, president of the D2 Brands division of Israel-based Delta Galil Industries, said the launch of a Lucky Brand bra collection will set the pace for what he anticipates will become a “very strong franchise.”

The introduction of bras follows Lucky Brand’s repositioning in the innerwear field in August when the licensee unveiled a collection of men’s T-shirts and boxers, as well as women’s daywear, underwear, sleepwear and yoga pants for spring selling. An earlier licensing pact with The Komar. Co. to produce at-homewear expired in 2004. Lucky Brand is a unit of Liz Claiborne Inc.

Distribution of the bras, which will be shipped July 25 to Nov. 25, is aimed at the same channels as the innerwear and will include major department and specialty stores, a select number of 198 Lucky Brand stores, the Lucky Brand e-commerce site and specialty boutiques.

“Foundations will help anchor the women’s collection as we expand to more doors. We’re in 271 [major store] doors right now and hope to expand to 672 doors,” said Lewis. “The reason we are going after the bra portion of the business is we believe it could represent a full wardrobe lifestyle for consumers.”

Lewis would not give a first-year wholesale sales projection for the combined women’s innerwear and intimates businesses, but the bra segment could generate first-season sales of $2 million to $3 million, according to industry estimates. The women’s innerwear collection is estimated to post $8 million the first full year. A figure was not available for the men’s line.

Rendered in Lucky Brand’s signature prints such as a Navajo motifs, vintage tea stain patterns and surfer-inspired florals, the bras will feature three basic core styles: a demi-cup, a push-up and a cleavage-enhancing style. All bras will retail for $38. Cup sizes are 32A to 36DD. Fabrics will include Modal, nylon mesh, microfiber, cotton and a burnout pattern. Special treatments will include picot trim, double bra straps, bra cups with interior contrasting prints, denim-like stitching, hardware charms with sayings such as Lucky You at the center of bras, and logoed bra straps with the Lucky Brand’s clover, heart and peace sign motifs.

Stacy Spiegel, director of sales, said the bras can be merchandised with undies and related separates.

“Every fashion bra has one of several coordinating fashion underwear styles,” said Spiegel, noting a table pant program will offer three pairs for $30, and a hanging program will feature undies for $12 a pair. Sized S to XL, styles include bikinis and hipsters. Some styles will have a flocked Lucky logo.

“Lucky Brand has such a strong presence at stores with ready-to-wear, denim, handbags and shoes, that retailers said they were pleased to see a category they can expand with,” Spiegel said.

Lewis said shapewear would be a “natural extension” in the future.

“It’s a definite possibility,” he said. “Delta is a shapewear specialist.”

Molding and seamless technology is Delta Galil’s specialty in men’s underwear and women’s intimate apparel and related products such as shapewear. Key clients include Marks & Spencer, Target, Wal-Mart, Kmart and J.C. Penney.

The launch of Lucky foundations comes as the Liz Claiborne-owned brand is undergoing a major transition. Claiborne has replaced the brand’s co-founders Gene Montesano and Barry Perlman with David DeMattei, chief executive officer, and Patrick Wade, executive vice president and creative director. Montesano and Perlman are in the final year of a three-year contract which stipulates they step back from day-to-day responsibilities and take non-operating creative consultancy roles. Claiborne is looking for a new direction at the brand.

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