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Reebok’s New Foundations

NEW YORK — Reebok wants to give its customers some extra support.<br><br>So, it’s launching a technical innerwear line called Performance Foundations. The 10-piece collection is made of Play Dry, the brand’s moisture management...

NEW YORK — Reebok wants to give its customers some extra support.

So, it’s launching a technical innerwear line called Performance Foundations. The 10-piece collection is made of Play Dry, the brand’s moisture management fabrics, and has such finishing touches as molded cups, sweetheart necklines, mesh backs, keyhole details and piping.

Nancy Chew, product manager for women’s apparel, described how the company had not addressed the category prior to this. “We tend to overanalyze things,” she said. “Sometimes, what’s missing is the most obvious thing.”

Sports bras, boy shorts, tanks, bikini briefs, thongs and pants are among the offerings. Reebok’s certified “master trainers,” who teach in various health clubs across the country, and pro athletes helped wear-test the brand. The trainers singled out the thong as their favorite item, Chew said.

In December, The Sports Authority will have Perormance Foundations exclusively in 25 stores. In a serious switch for an athletic brand, Reebok plans to host trunk shows at select locations to clue customers in to the collection’s special features. It will roll out to other stores nationwide in January.

Wholesale prices range from about $19 for a sports bra to $25 for a three-quarter-length T-shirt. The collection is an extension of the brand’s “fit system,” items that are offered with various inseams, such as pants. Chew noted how many retailers, like Ann Taylor and Talbots, have petite sections in their stores, and how 40 percent of American women wear petite sizes.

Reebok aims to pitch activewear in a similarly size-conscious fashion.

“Women don’t have to compromise,” Chew said. “When we looked at the options that were already out there, there were these orthopedic looking things that made you look like you had a ‘unaboob.’ We wanted to balance form and function. It’s technically driven — not just frilly.”