NEW YORK — Russian TV personality Natalia Darialova is hoping to bring a little glasnost to a line of lingerie bearing her name.
Moscow-born Darialova, an entrepreneur of the market-oriented perestroika period of the late Eighties, has been the Russian equivalent to American daytime TV’s Oprah with her talk show “Everybody’s Talking With Natalia,” since 1994. She also is an owner of Darial TV, which broadcasts to about one-third of Russia’s 145 million population, hosted a show for Radio Free Europe and served as a Moscow correspondent for ABC.
But Darialova has plans to expand her image to the U.S. market. She began the migration two years ago with the launch of a fragrance called Russian Nights at Saks Fifth Avenue, followed by the introduction of a collection of furs and leather outerwear at Saks this past holiday season.
Regarding Darialova’s business and fashion acumen, Steve Sadove, vice chairman and chief operating officer of Saks Inc., noted, “Natalia is a real Renaissance person. She’s creative and innovative and wonderful to work with.”
Now, Darialova is planning to introduce a line of lingerie and swimwear for holiday aimed at major specialty stores and independent boutiques in the U.S., duty-free shops and cruise ships. First-year sales for the lingerie are projected at $2.5 million, wholesale. A figure was not available for swimwear.
“I love lingerie. I can spend hours browsing through different styles,” Darialova said. “Lingerie is closely connected to a woman’s sensuality. But it should help women in different ways to support, flatter and make a woman feel more sensual about herself.”
She noted that her affinity for lingerie is a Russian idiosyncrasy, saying the lives of Russian women “are usually much more difficult.”
“Many things are in short supply,” she said. “She may deprive herself of many things, but will spend money on a good piece of lingerie.”
Darialova’s lingerie line will feature “lots of sexy bras, balconette styles, and lots of corsets” in laces, silks and velvets in black, white and red. Production will be in Eastern Europe.
“If you are a D cup, it is very hard to find a bra that doesn’t remind you of your grandmother’s,” she said, noting her line’s bra cups will be sized up to DD. “We used to call those parachutes in Russia. There is a niche in the market that leaves full-figured women unserviced.”— K.M.
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