The May intimate apparel market proved to be a small, yet potent, fashion cocktail of key lingerie items and exclusives.
The focus of major stores was on new product, not a rehash of replenishment items or last-minute goods. Offerings ran the gamut from merchandise for immediate and holiday deliveries, to Valentine's Day gift-giving and a range of spring assortments.
The diversity of seasons can be attributed partly to retailer demand for shorter lead times and an increased number of shipments to keep intimate apparel departments looking new and fresh at major retailers such as Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Dillard's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.
There also was a strong interest in directional trend for 2008.
"For this [spring] collection, I focused on fine details and craftsmanship, incorporating ready-to-wear techniques and elements into the architecture such as sheering and pleating, raw edges, lace, tiny bows and draping, and the use of signature Mokuba ribbon," Vera Wang said.
David Komar, senior vice president of marketing at The Komar Co., said he was "very pleased" with retail reaction to trends. Komar produces the Vera Wang Intimate Apparel collection, which has two groups, a Luxe segment and a classic Collection group.
"Classics with a Vera twist in the Collection line such as draping, specialty trims, oversize pockets and pleating were very well received," Komar said. "One item in particular, the Soho Robe of velour terry with a wide sash in Collection was a top item. In the Luxe line, Vera's take on a rugby shirt in lace, silk and chiffon with pleating was a top-booking key item."
The top color combination was Ecru and turquoise stripes. Komar said reaction was strong to a "green" initiative by Donna Nadeau, a lifestyle collection of sleepwear and at-homewear of 100 percent organic cotton and soy, and a bamboo blend. Several styles were rendered with "low-impact" printing, an application that uses organic ink. Komar added that a romantic floral-print lavender shade was the top color in the Eileen West sleepwear collection. A key silhouette by West was a ballet-length, triple V-yoke sleep gown with flutter sleeves.
Top-booking ideas at the market included:
-- Saucy-looking baby dolls in layered sheers with coordinating G-string or thong.
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