By  on December 12, 2005

PARIS — Developing brand identity and positioning lingerie as an integral part of fashionable women's wardrobes will be the focus of Salon International de la Lingerie, set to run at the Porte de Versailles here Feb. 2-5.

"We're emphasizing the need for brands to work [on their] identity," said Chantal Malingrey, SIL's manager. "Our message centers on the fact that lingerie is part of the fashion world, with prêt-à-porter taking inspiration from lingerie and vice versa."

Some 20,000 visitors are expected at the event, with preregistration numbers indicating strong retailer attendance from the U.S. and Canada, as well as the Middle East.

"More and more women in the Middle East are opening boutiques, so there is a lot of action in that sector," said Malingrey.

As for exhibitors, French, Italian and British vendors top the list.

To facilitate buyers' visits, the 570 innerwear brands to be exhibited will be grouped in clearly named sections. Areas will be dubbed, for example, Eternity for traditional corsetry houses or Icon for fashion brands.

Some 90 newcomers are expected this year, including Fruit of the Loom, Josie, Viktor & Rolf and Gianfranco Ferré.

Meanwhile, the Interfilière section, set to run Feb. 2-4 in Hall 1, will split its 230 exhibitors into four categories: Lace It for lace, Brod'Cust for embroidery and customization, Access Folies for fittings and accessories and Neoskin for prints, knits and woven textiles.

SIL's trend forum will be arranged like a mini village, with four houses decorated with themes such as Candy Cottage for youth market trends and Love Nest for bodywear and loungewear.

"We want to give merchandising inspiration to brands and encourage them to attach their identity to a universe," said Malingrey, who also has lined up conferences on Russia as a new market and China, with a focus on that market's sociological factors.

Other highlights will include a bigger catwalk podium with personalized revolving themed sets in Hall 2. For the first time, 30 brands from the men's innerwear section, a continuing major growth area for the salon, will open the show. A separate show dedicated to the Best of Italian Brands also will convene.

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