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Market: Looking Back and Ahead

NEW YORK -- Textures, from crinkles to brushed surfaces, along with more colors and other ideas taken from ready-to-wear, will be in the spotlight during this month's innerwear market, as makers begin to pitch their warmwear programs for...

NEW YORK — Textures, from crinkles to brushed surfaces, along with more colors and other ideas taken from ready-to-wear, will be in the spotlight during this month’s innerwear market, as makers begin to pitch their warmwear programs for fall.

Robes and sleepwear, along with some new daywear, will be the key focus for this New Year market, generally seen as a three-week period running through Jan. 17. Most Mother’s Day programs, vendors noted, were pretty much wrapped up in November.

Most daywear makers will present more styles, colors and fabrics to freshen spring merchandise, while foundations manufacturers, who showed the bulk of spring goods in November, will be busy trying to convince stores to increase coverage of test products introduced in 1993, such as the new sportswear-oriented shapers.

Another big activity at the market is gathering information on the holiday selling at retail.

Norman Katz, president of I. Appel Corp., noted that January also will be a time to preview sleepwear, robes and loungewear in new ready-to-wear looking fabrics, especially fabrics that have textured surface interest.

Howard Radziminsky, vice president of sales of the Cinema Etoile division of Movie Star Inc., said, “We are adding more styles of crinkle acetate in our Cinema Etoile sleepwear line, because of the terrific response we got to the classification in November.”

Radziminsky also noted that a group of tricot camisoles of Antron III nylon is being introduced.

“It’s not a new fabric, but we see a price-point-driven business, where consumers are reacting to camisoles that retail from $13 to $15. It’s a business we are going after,” he said.

“Shapewear is hot for us right now, and January is an ideal time for us to use success stories in recently introduced items to increase distribution,” said Helen Lee, director of sales and marketing at Olga Co., a Warnaco Group division. Lee said she will also discuss new colors and expanded sizes in shapewear, as well as finalizing plans for spring promotions of bras and fit seminars.

Josie Natori, president of Natori Co., said, “January is definitely the time for us to focus on special value programs, especially for Mother’s Day. We are done with our spring bookings, and we will start previewing early fall merchandise for July deliveries.”

Natori said the special value program will focus on sleepwear, robes and pajamas in the Natori, Josie and Eve Stillman lines. Niki Kalish Sachs, president and chief executive officer of Hanro USA, a maker of daywear and sleepwear, said three additional lines of updated basic daywear are being shown this month — a rib-pattern cotton and Lycra spandex group, an allover lace stretch cotton group and a silk and Lycra group.

“Retailers have been asking for more of these looks because they are key replenishment items,” said Sachs.

At BettyWear, Jennifer Buckley, co-designer and co-owner, said five new groups will be added to the moderate-price line of sleepwear under the EveryWhere label, totaling 11 groups. The line was introduced in November.

A key group, she said, in the BettyWear line will be a red-and-white pattern done in woven red satin stripes on gingham. It will be a Fourth of July item, she said.