By  on April 30, 2007

The Natori Co. has found a new niche in the lingerie industry — luxury sleepwear and at-homewear that has a modern, glamorous twist.

The luxe collection, which retails from $700 for embroidered silk pants to $4,500 for embroidered and appliquéd pants, top and kimono, hasn't triggered sticker shock since its introduction in February at major retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Holt Renfrew, said Josie Natori, founder and chief executive officer.

"The Josie Natori Couture collection for fall was created to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Natori company, the best of what Natori is all about," Natori said. "I started thinking of the things I would wear while entertaining in Paris; things to show off in."

She said the collection was over the top with intricate, elaborate, handcrafted embroideries, appliqués, beading, quilting and custom-made lace from Italy, and the response was positive despite the expense.

"There wasn't an item that wasn't bought," Natori said. "As a matter of fact, I want it [distribution] to be very limited, but we sold more than [the] plan."

Fabrics for fall inclupde 30-momme silk and cashmere. Colors are black, taupe, silver and white. For spring 2008, which will be shown in August, linens and silks are being developed in Europe; the color palette will be "lively and colorful," Natori said.

Inspiration for the capsule collection was gleaned from a 30-year heritage of prints, colors, special effects, dressmaker touches and trims from the Natori sleepwear and upscale accessories line that was discontinued in 2005. In addition to ultra-glam long and short kimonos, top-booking ideas include custom-embroidered chenille with lace from Italy and an updated style of a cheongsam, a Suzie Wong-inspired silhouette with a thigh-high side slit.

'This collection is not about hanging around the house watching television," Natori said. "It's special occasion and it's dressy. You can wear it at home while giving a party or wear a glorious-looking kimono out to a party."

She noted that retailers requested that two dual-purpose styles be added to the collection: hand-beaded slip gowns and special-looking caftans."A lot of Natori customers would wear the slip gowns, even the caftans, as eveningwear," she said. (For more on Josie Natori, see page 23.)

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