By  on June 13, 2005

NEW YORK — Cosabella will launch its first collection of luxury lingerie for fall-winter, Cosabella Lusso.

The Miami-based maker of underwear, daywear and bras has become a fashion mainstay at more than 3,000 major department and specialty store doors as well as boutiques nationwide since it began in 1983. Cosabella's branded business, which generates annual wholesale revenues in excess of $20 million in the U.S. and more than $5 million in Europe, has posted annual sales increases of 20 to 25 percent since 2003, said Ugo Campello, vice president.

His wife, Valeria, president of the company, said it was time to expand the Cosabella name with sophisticated, luxe items that target a new consumer base: women in the 30-to-45 age range who are accustomed to high-end quality merchandise. The Cosabella brand caters to a younger, more contemporary consumer who wants lingerie that is fun, amusing and fashion-forward.

"We are so excited about launching this new line because it allows us to not only react to the desires of our existing customers, but to attract a potentially new demographic," said Valeria Campello, noting that a number of styles such as embellished bustiers are dual-purpose and can be worn as a ready-to-wear item.

She added that the luxe collection will "identify ourselves once again as a sophisticated image, and will help detach ourselves from the sameness of product at department stores."

Both Valeria and Ugo Campello declined to give a first-year wholesale sales projection for the luxe line, but noted it will be sold exclusively to 50 doors of upscale stores such as Neiman Marcus and select high-end boutiques that have a strong Cosabella following.

Wholesale prices for Cosabella Lusso — lusso means luxury in Italian — will start at $23 for G-strings and go as high as $115 for bustiers. Fabrics include silk, soft woven satin, stretch satin, thin rigid European lace and French Leavers lace. Special treatments include cross-dyed three-color laces. The Cosabella line wholesales from $7.20 for low-rider thongs to $140 for chemises.

All production for the Cosabella and Cosabella Lusso lines is contracted in Italy to maintain quality assurance, Ugo Campello said.

Meanwhile, the company is expanding its presence with a new swimwear and beachwear line, Cosabella Mare, which was tested for resort in January. The full collection will be unveiled at the July 16-20 SwimShow 2006 trade show in Miami."Our European business has been growing steadily over the past three years," Valeria Campello said. "We started very small, but now sales growth is 150 to 200 percent per year. I believe it could eventually compete with our U.S. volume. We now have new distributorships in Austria as well as South America and Mexico."

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