By  on June 6, 2005

NEW YORK — Invista Inc. teamed with Concepts New York to present a series of trend workshops for Invista’s customers.

The three-week workshop at Invista’s 1430 Broadway offices here was customized to serve retail and manufacturing clients, as well as mills, designers and merchandisers, said Kim Scheffler, intimate apparel business manager at the fiber firm.

The presentation, which ended Tuesday and will return on a seasonal basis, is similar to the trend seminars conducted for the past 15 years by Invista, formerly the DuPont Textiles & Interiors division of DuPont Corp. It focused on video footage of lingerie and ready-to-wear trends from Europe and the U.S. that underscore innerwear-outerwear concepts, fabric boards, prototype pieces and items purchased by Iris LeBron, a 15-year veteran of Invista.

LeBron joined the newly created Concepts New York trend forecasting firm as fashion director in April. A number of directional ideas were gleaned from the New York unit’s parent company, Concepts Paris, which is headed by Jos Berry.

Scheffler said Invista has been commissioning the services of the Paris-based forecasting firm for several years.

“This is a win-win situation for Invista and Concepts,” she said. “We are Iris’ first client and our customers still get to see the trend presentations through her eyes. Concepts New York offers us the opportunity to branch out our focus on intimate apparel.”

Called Macro Trends, LeBron’s presentation included three themes: Erotic, Young and Luxe. She stressed that a number of Invista’s new generation of high-shine microfiber blends, such as Tactel Estrela and Hyperbright, could easily fit into the intimates and rtw arenas, particularly luxe goods.

“Metallics have been important across all markets from accessories to ready-to-wear, and lingerie has been no exception,” LeBron said.

She singled out an important range of “Gold Rush metallics,” such as matte and shiny pewter shades and burnt gold and copper hues, which were portrayed on lingerie and rtw styles on-screen by designer brands, including Ralph Lauren and Ritratti, as well as Swarovski-embellished bras by La Perla and Chantelle that were unveiled at the Ultra Lingerie Show at the Salon International de la Lingerie trade fair in Paris in January.Luxe-looking satins of Tactel Estrela and Hyperbright in rich jewel tones and brights, as well as glossy and low-luster black in Black Lycra spandex, were a top idea among the three themes, LeBron said.

Discussing the Erotic theme, LeBron said special effects and detailing took the “idea of sexy to another level.” Ideas included seductive keyhole treatments at the back of panties and corsets by brands like Pleasure State, lots of hardware effects such as zippers at Aubade, bondage-inspired satin bands at Argentovivo, and sheer power nets by Agent Provocateur.

“Corsets are coming out again, the elaborate Madonna-esque bustiers of the 1980s are making a comeback,” she said. “And they’re being worn belted as a lingerie item or a ready-to-wear item.”

The Young group focused on an “eclectic mix of fun looks,” whether it was seamless underwear and daywear with engineered dots, confetti prints, or whimsical motifs like multicolor paillette clowns on the front of a G-string.

“This junior customer loves to have options. It could be naughty, sexy or demure, and she wants to mix up those options,” said LeBron, noting that Huit, Bruno Bananni and Fiorucci were key brands.

Addressing the Luxe theme, LeBron said, “We’ve had more pickup on Hyperbright because it’s very soft, a prerequisite for luxury goods.”

She added that reaction has been strong to Invista’s Lycra Body Care program, which focuses on microincapsulation of moisturizing agents such as aloe vera, vitamin E and sea kelp in fibers and fabrics that soothe and scent the skin.

“Lycra Body Care can also be part of the luxury story because it’s so soft on the skin,” she said.

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