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NEW YORK — It’s something of a stretch — DuPont plans to unveil Wednesday a new marketing tool in Brazil called the Hotel Lycra.
The catch is it’s not actually a hotel. The two-story, 7,000-square-foot space, located at 1055 Rua Oscar Freire, in São Paulo instead will feature a restaurant, retail store and gallery space.
Lycra global brand manager Linda Kearns said the DuPont Textiles & Interiors decided to call the space a hotel because the name was catchy and appealed to fashion-conscious consumers.
Since many body-conscious Brazilians wear clothing tightly, Lycra spandex has grown particularly popular there, according to Kearns. Also, with the rising competition from other spandex makers there, such as Hyosung, DTI is launching the concept to reach out to consumers and teach them that not all garments that stretch contain Lycra. It’s also trying to secure brand loyalty by solidifying its image as a hip company.
Kearns said the concept could be brought to the U.S. and elsewhere if it’s successful.
The restaurant is a partnership between DTI and three leading local restaurateurs. It will seat 110 people.
Jum Nakao, formerly the designer behind hot Brazilian label Zoomp, is now designing a collection of garments with spandex called Jum with Lycra. That collection made its debut during São Paulo Fashion Week in January and will be sold exclusively at the store. Other designers will also create apparel with Lycra and sell it there.
The second floor features a fabric library and a gallery featuring revolving art exhibits. The first will be the history of Lycra, which is to run until April 25.
The space’s decor includes glass, wood and metal lending a sparse, modernist feel. The architecture features curved walls, a winding staircase and circular dressing rooms. High-tech lighting and electronics such as flat-screen TVs are used throughout.