Nicole Miller will be launching a line of lingerie for holiday called Nicole Miller 3rd Date Collection.
The 3rd Date name was conceived in-house and inspired by the personal dating patterns of women today, many of whom are familiar with the pearls of wisdom whispered by two entertainment divas: Sarah Jessica Parker in "Sex and the City" and Jennifer Aniston in "Friends."
Miller, who introduced the licensed Nicole Miller Signature collection of lingerie in 2005, noted the new line was created for the "way women live their lives today." Both lingerie lines are produced and marketed under license by D2 Delta, a branding unit of Tel Aviv-based Delta Galil Industries.
"Lingerie should be exciting and pretty," Miller said. "The 3rd Date Collection is about those feelings. I wanted it to look feminine and sexy."
First-year wholesale sales are projected at $3 million to $5 million, said Bud Konheim, chief executive officer of Nicole Miller Ltd. The 3rd Date Collection of bras and coordinating undies will be sold exclusively at Bloomingdale's the first season, and distribution later will be expanded to other major stores, including Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, he said.
The collection will include seven bra styles: a lace balconette, a contouring plunge style, a strapless plunge number, a padded push-up demi style, a quarter-cup look, a half-moon lace bra and an unconstructed triangle bralette. Coordinating bottoms include a thong, a boy-leg brief, a string bikini, a Brazilian thong and a G-string. There's also a suspender belt with clips.
The average retail price for bras will be $50, while panties will sell for $15. The garter belt will be $24. Color combinations will be steel blue and onyx, lipstick red and onyx, ivory and white and cameo pink paired with a paler shade of pink. There also will be solid onyx.
Zack Salino, president of D2, noted a 3rddate.com Web site will be launched in October.
"In December, product will be in-store, but we actually won't sell online," Salino said. "The idea is to be part of a marketing program. The target is a woman in her 20s, based on the dating customer, so the Internet needs to be part of the message. We want to create a sense of community, and empower women and create a [dating] topic that's meaningful. There's really no safe Internet forum involving issues on dating out there."Salino added the 3rd Date Collection also will be sold at barenecessities.com, which sells the Nicole Miller Signature lingerie line.
Regarding marketing, Konheim said: "Our ad campaign will start with Elle magazine in November. Elle will be going after their readers on its Web site asking the question, 'What does 3rd Date mean to you?'"
The print advertising campaign will be expanded to other fashion books yet to be determined, he said.
Regarding how the name was created, Konheim said he wanted to develop a moniker that evokes the thought of intimacy with products that have subtle sex appeal for a modern woman, particularly one that had big-brand potential.
"I said to myself, 'Why in the world would a woman spend more money on another bra?' and Michelle [Schettino] said, 'For my third date.'" Schettino is the Miller firm's communications manager.
"I got all excited thinking about this third-date thing. What a great name for a label," Konheim said. "But I thought, who is it going to appeal to? Michelle is 24 and my wife, Colleen, is 63. I asked Colleen, 'Would you buy a bra that's called 3rd Date?' And she said, 'In a minute.' Somebody suggested I should check out what my wife does all day long."
The term "third date" has a range of descriptions, depending on who is asked.
Erin Wright Bevans, 26, designer and merchandiser of the line for D2, said, "I consider myself cool and part of young New York society. For me, a third date means I'm moving our relationship to the next step."
Schettino said: "I interpret it as a special moment or a suggestion, of being more comfortable with myself and [in] an intimate situation with someone I'm attracted to. It's anticipation and lots of excitement."
Salino, 43, said, "The idea was brought to me and I thought of myself. As a man, I have an underwear drawer and choose items for a special interview or lunch appointment."
"At my age, a third date would mean a drug company to me — I would need help," quipped Konheim, 72.
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