By  on July 5, 2007

Puma is entering the body-wear market.

The German sports lifestyle brand will launch its Complete Bodywear Collection this fall, putting its own stamp on a category made hot by Under Armour.

"The performance bodywear category has grown significantly in the last five years, creating a great opportunity to infuse the Puma DNA of sport lifestyle and fashion into this performance product," said Tom Morgan, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Puma North America. "As a brand, we are always trying to influence the worlds of lifestyle and sport, and show that more technical fabrics can also be worn as part of fashion and lifestyle. From a fit and design standpoint, ours is not the traditional high-end, very male-looking product."

The fitted women's and men's bodywear, which includes shirts, tanks, shorts and sports bras, is offered in three categories:

l The Advanced collection, which provides the highest level of compression and wicking technology, is targeted to Puma's athletes, including the teams it dresses for events like the World Cup. Wholesaling from $15 to $25, the top line will be distributed to a small number of stores, including Eurosport, Sports Authority and Puma stores, and is expected to generate minimal volume.

l The Active collection wholesales from $12 to $18 and delivers performance-level compression and wicking, well-suited for a noncompetitive athlete.

l The Authentic collection offers "wicking at an accessible price point," for $10 to $14.

The first delivery goes out this month to about 150 doors, including sporting goods, sports specialty, department and Puma stores, according to Morgan.

He predicted Bodywear could make up at least 5 percent of Puma's U.S. apparel business. The company doesn't break out U.S. sales, but globally, Puma's apparel brings in about $1 billion annually.

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