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A Balancing Act II

NEW YORK — The first-year anniversary edition of Lingerie Americas will feature a mix of fashion intimates and edgy designer collections, and a balance of categories encompassing sleepwear, loungewear, daywear, foundations and...

NEW YORK — The first-year anniversary edition of Lingerie Americas will feature a mix of fashion intimates and edgy designer collections, and a balance of categories encompassing sleepwear, loungewear, daywear, foundations and swimwear.

Pre-registration at the intimates fair scheduled for Aug. 3-5 at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Pavilion & Altman Building is 15 percent ahead of a year ago, with 2,700 signing up so far, said Jean-Luc Tienturier, who manages the French operated fair with his wife, Laurence.

“There will be 180 brands at the show,” said Jean-Luc Tienturier. “This time, we have been very careful about balancing out categories. We are not a French show, we are an international show with 50 percent of the vendor mix being American, 35 percent international and 15 percent French.”

The move to balance the exhibitors also includes a diversified range of assortments that will include the fair’s signature high-end vendors, as well as manufacturers of private label merchandise, he said.

Laurence Tienturier, who also serves as president of Paris-based promotional firm France Ligne, said additional aspects will include a formal runway fashion show of lingerie and swimwear choreographed by A Suivre, a well known French intimate-apparel fashion show producer.

There will be two shows, each of which will be staged at 4 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Pavilion on Aug. 3 and Aug. 4. The shows will be sponsored by Lycra, Tactel and Le Mode de France, the government-sponsored fashion label of France.

“The theme of the show will be a ‘New York State of Mind,’” she said. “There will be 153 styles showcased from 37 companies and eight countries.”

She noted that two seminars will be presented on Aug. 4: Marshal Cohen, co-president of NPD Fashionworld, will present an overview of the lingerie market with a focus on current trends at department and specialty stores at 10:30 a.m., and Peclers Paris/North America, an international styling agency, will present fashion trends for spring-summer 2004.

On Aug. 5, a seminar on how to merchandise lingerie at stores will take place at 10 a.m. Moderators will be Valerie Steele, director the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Kim Rawlings, senior fashion editor of Contours magazine. From a manufacturer’s perspective, speakers will be executives from Chantelle, a French bra specialist, and Grenier, a Canadian foundations maker. The retail viewpoint will be illustrated by Rebecca Apsan, owner of New York lingerie specialist La Petite Coquette, and Susan Nethero, owner of Intimacy, a lingerie operation in Atlanta.

This story first appeared in the July 21, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

A second presentation by Pecklers Paris/North America will follow at 11:30 a.m.

Regarding 2004, Laurence Tienturier said, “All of the manufacturers and retailers are working on fall 2004. The main reason is because intimate apparel is all about fashion now, not about commodities, and they need to know the trends going forward.”

From a retailer’s perspective, Teresa Finan-Archer, co-owner of Top Drawer, a lingerie boutique in Houston, said, “I’ll be looking for more sleepwear vendors in the market and at Lingerie Americas. I’ll also be looking for more active and yoga-inspired items. It’s a big category for me right now.”

Among the brands Finan-Archer said she plans to see at the Lingerie Americas fair are Ying Li, Jane Woolrich, Oscalito, Frou Frou, Aubade, Lise Charmel, Simone Perele, Huit, Argentovivo and the licensed Bill Blass sleepwear and at-homewear at NAP Inc.

Christopher St. James, owner of Luxe Lingerie, a lingerie chain with stores in Beverly Hills and Hollywood, Calif., said he will be looking for “edgy and provocative” brands at the Pavilion show.

“I look forward to seeing more vendors,” said St. James, noting that exhibitors he plans to visit include Alternative Plaisir, Pour Les Filles and Argentovivo.

Suzy Bonbrisco, owner of Patricia Gourlay Fine Lingerie, a lingerie, swimwear and ready-to-wear shop in Greenwich, Conn., said key categories she will be looking for are active and at-homewear pieces that have a sportswear flavor.

“We just brought in a lot more loungewear and yoga wear, items that you can exercise in and wear out. We’ve also done great with little chemises that are not serious looking, items that are easy and comfortable,” said Bonbrisco. She added that a best-selling intimates brand has been Roberto Cavalli because of its rtw look.