NEW YORK — Everything is new when it comes to lingerie at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship here: a new location; a fresh contemporary look, and a new divisional merchandise manager, Anne Caetano.
Unveiled in late August, the new ninth-floor area for foundations, daywear, sleepwear and at-homewear takes up 11,435 square feet, about the same square footage of its former home on the eighth level. Intimate apparel also shares real estate with hosiery, which is ensconced in 950 square feet at the back of the department. Formerly on the ninth floor were coats and swimwear, which are now housed on the eighth level. Petites continue to be on nine.
Caetano, who was named dmm of intimate apparel and hosiery in July, said the department reflects a fresh, modern image for established Saks customers who shop for sophisticated lingerie, as well as items that have a hip, edgier look for a new generation of younger Saks shoppers.
The move is apparently clicking for lingerie, according to Caetano.
"All of our [lingerie] businesses are experiencing double-digit increases, some above 28 percent. It has a lot to do with the new layout," she said. "In the past, there was an imbalance of the business trend, where we saw foundations outperform sleepwear. Now, we’re starting to see sleepwear pick up."
"We are exceeding our season plan by 10 percent in New York, based on the season trend. Contemporary [lingerie] business is up 65 percent against a year ago on an average."
The new layout is highlighted by pale marble floors and wide aisles that wind around a number of spacious, uncluttered environments. The department is seamlessly segmented into areas dedicated to young contemporary, fashion-forward and traditional fare, and a boutique setting for the luxury Italian label La Perla.
Generating the most interest is a contemporary area that started out as an experiment and has proven to be a success, said Caetano. Instead of merchandising goods by specific category, the new 1,720-square-foot area showcases a mix of categories, including sleepwear; bras and panties; bustiers; daywear items such as bodysuits, camis and slips, and at-homewear separates. There are some 17 brands representing the various classifications, with many featured in multiple categories.The diversity of brands include: Princesse Tam Tam, Christian Dior, Occhi Verdi, Chantal Thomass, Burberry’s, Eres, Mossimo, Escada, Samantha Chang, Frances Smily, Chiaruggi, Bella Sera, Leigh Bantivoglio, Lejaby, Aubade, Lise Charmel, Josie and Natori.
"We wanted to create an entirely new concept, a lifestyle environment for contemporary foundations, daywear and sleepwear in one area, and it’s been extremely successful," said Caetano. "This room is making its mark. The whole contemporary business is such an emerging category at Saks. One thing we’ve heard from customers and sales associates is they didn’t realize we had this category at Saks. New product arrives daily and we have the flexibility of moving merchandise around because it’s multivendor."
Regarding the customer profile for contemporary items, Caetano said: "She’s brand-conscious, but she’s looking for the look and buys into the image. She wants dual-purpose items, innerwear that can also be outerwear."
Caetano said foundations and daywear by La Perla, which she called "our crown jewel," was specifically housed in a separate boutique environment to achieve a "designer effect."
"The La Perla room is very shallow and long like a runway. You can see all of the merchandise that way," said Caetano, noting that Saks will introduce daywear by Malitzia in November, a secondary label produced by Bologna, Italy-based Gruppo La Perla.
Caetano also outlined other areas within the sprawling lingerie department, which house several foundation brands she described as generating lots of business: Chantelle, Wacoal, Donna Karan Intimates, Natori, Rigby & Peller and Le Mystere.
"Hanro [daywear and sleepwear] is looking very strong and it’s much more updated," said Caetano. "We’ll be staging a Hanro retrospective on Oct. 7 with vintage pieces."
The Hanro promotion, which runs through Oct. 13, will feature 25 Hanro originals in vitrines along the perimeter of the lingerie floor. A gift bag containing a free lingerie bag from Hanro, bath beads and the WWD Intimates magazine will be given to the first 100 customers at the event.
Other events will include a Donna Karan Body Spa promotion on Oct. 23 to 25, which will highlight the new line of yoga-inspired separates by Donna Karan Intimates. "Wellness Day" events include a massage therapist and yoga instruction. A promotion for the new Wacoal Touch microfiber intimates will run through this Sunday.Michelle White, manager of foundations at Saks, noted that a recent book-signing event featuring clairvoyant Laura Bushnell with her book "You Are A Rose," sparked a lot of customer interest.
"Her whole concept is about beauty, and it was a great tie-in with lingerie and beauty from the inside out," White said.
Regarding the pace of traffic on the ninth floor, Stephen D’Urso, director of intimate apparel, hosiery and accessories at Saks, said: "It’s taking a little while to adjust. But the employee cafeteria is on nine and sales associates see the lingerie and suggest it to their customers. It’s been very busy."
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over the top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty