NEW YORK--Underscoring the importance of shape this spring, some 200,000 customers of Neiman Marcus will receive the retailer's first catalog devoted exclusively to foundations this week. The 16-page catalog, called "Go Figure," focuses on the specialty bras, bustiers and shapewear that are designed to be worn beneath the newer, curve-enhancing looks in ready-to-wear. For the past two years, Neiman Marcus has been mailing intimate apparel catalogs to customers twice a year. These always featured a range of innerwear categories, such as sleepwear, at-homewear and daywear, along with foundations. Brands in the new booklet include Gossard, Olga, Wacoal, Chantelle, Passionata, Hanro of Switzerland and Jonquil, and four licensed designer names: Natori by Bestform Foundations, Donna Karan Intimates by Wacoal, Oscar de la Renta by Maidenform and Valentino Intimo by The Warnaco Group. "Fit is the name of the game in this spring's ready-to-wear collections, and intimate apparel is often the key in perfecting that fit," said Leslie Freytag, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of intimate apparel at Neiman Marcus. Freytag noted that the spring intimate apparel catalog carries through the theme developed in the retailer's fashion apparel catalog that was mailed in February and that included some intimate apparel. "The idea of the February book was the shape of things to come, of clothes fitting closer to the body," said Freytag. "When we put the foundations book together, we wanted to keep with that theme." She singled out a black bustier of nylon and Lycra spandex by Natori as a top item in the February catalog. The bustier, which retails for $48, was featured on the cover under a jacket. Freytag said that push-up bras and basic and fashion daywear business currently in the stores have all been active. "Shapers have been very strong," she said. "The control category has been performing very well."
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