By  on August 14, 2006

NEW YORK — The spring market here ended up being a high-traffic, fast-paced, two-week affair featuring a plethora of trends.

The first half kicked off with the three-day Lingerie Americas trade show, which closed Aug. 1 and drew 2,709 retailers, reflecting a 2 percent increase over the year-ago session. The intimates fair also featured two new segments that received positive reactions from merchants: fashion runway shows staged three times daily highlighting lingerie, sleepwear and swimwear, and an expanded exhibit space called The Level on the fifth floor of the Metropolitan Pavilion, a venue for 45 fashion brands, such as René Rofé and Playboy Intimates.

Key trends included

  • Retro floral prints.
  • Bold colors, such as pink, green, yellow, mauve and blue.
  • Luxe fabrics, such as silk charmeuse, pima cottons and cotton lawn, and an abundance of sheers including tulle, chiffon and georgette.
  • Blatantly sexy bra and panty sets, especially boudoir looks dressed up with short, seductive robes.
The momentum picked up at Madison Avenue showrooms such as the Warnaco Group with the Warner's and Olga labels; Movie Star Inc.; Vanity Fair and Vassarette; the Age Group with the Flora Nikrooz and licensed Baby Phat Intimates by Kimora Lee Simmons collections; Maidenform Inc. with the Maidenform, Flexees and Lilyette bra brands, and Sara Lee Intimate Apparel, which unveiled its Bali, Wonderbra, Barely There, Playtex, Hanes and Just My Size lines for spring selling.

The pace also accelerated at showrooms with brands that received dual exposure at Lingerie Americas, including the Natori, Josie Natori and Josie brands by the Natori Co.; Hanky Panky; Vera Wang Intimates, Eileen West and Donna Nadeau at the Komar Co.; Elle Macpherson Intimates, and the Carole Hochman Design Group, which showcased several labels including Oscar de la Renta, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Betsey Johnson Intimates, Stan Herman and On Gossamer.

A number of vendors said two heavy hitters in a shrinking market place — Federated Department Stores and Kohl's Corp. — were making the rounds last week.

Also lending excitement were two events: the first Lingerie for the Cure fashion show and cocktail party staged by the Boutique Lingerie Show, a compact trade fair at the Royalton Hotel organized by designer Samantha Chang, and a cocktail party and fashion show at the Wacoal America showrooms. The Wacoal soiree, which was staged for specialty boutique buyers, highlighted new styles by the DKNY Underwear and Donna Karan Intimates lines, as well as new Wacoal G cup bra styles.

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