By  on November 15, 2004

NEW YORK — VF Corp.’s Global Intimate Apparel Coalition has signed a licensing agreement with NAP Inc. to produce a collection of sleepwear, robes and loungewear bearing the Vassarette label.

The line will be shown in January for fall 2005 selling. It will be the first foray into sleepwear for the 50-year-old Vassarette name, a well-known foundations brand in mass channels including Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target and ShopKo, which generates wholesale volume of more than $200 million annually, according to industry estimates.

Officials at VF and NAP would not give a first-year sales projection for the licensed line. However, the high-volume Vassarette label could generate first-year wholesale sales of $10 million to $15 million, industry experts said.

“Sleepwear, robes and loungewear is going to be a big category for Vassarette,’’ said Debra Welsh, vice president of licensing for VF’s intimates coalition. “It follows the strategy of our chief executive officer, Mackey McDonald, to grow lifestyle brands and initiatives.”

Welsh described Vassarette as “the Victoria’s Secret of mass channels — a sexy, fun brand.” She said the consumer profile of the woman who buys Victoria’s Secret bras is similar to that of a woman who buys a new updated bra brand by Vassarette called Real Sexy. The Real Sexy label was introduced this fall. Both the foundations and sleepwear will be merchandised and marketed under three themes: Foxy Lady, Modern Romantic and Girls Rule.

“Foxy Lady’s role model could be Christina Aguilera, while Kirsten Dunst represents a Modern Romantic and Angelina Jolie serves as a role model for Girls Rule,” Welsh said.

Regarding styling and fabrics, Victor Lee, president of NAP, said: “We’ll be looking at lots of soft, Modal-like fabrics, and we’ll be using our substantial fabric resource development to come up with great, drapable fabrics.” He added that the line will feature fashion colors as well as a mix of core traditional looks, such as chemises and T-shirts, and embellished fashion items.

“The sleepwear and loungewear will retail around $10 to $18, “Lee said. “We also plan to do plus sizes up to 3X.”

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