With the recession showing no signs of ending, some consumers are looking for more innovative ways to spend and save on all purchases, even intimates. With this in mind, recessionistas should take a closer look at the bras, panties, and shapewear found on their drugstore shelves while filling up on their Crest and Clorox. Rite Aid, which sells Hanes and No Nonsense, for instance, has seen slight growth in this category in the last six months, according to Tom O’Brien, assistant category manager of general merchandise. “The story of the day is how to save money, and drugstores offer the convenience factor,” he says. And Rite Aid isn’t the only one. Walgreens spokesperson Tiffani Washington acknowledges a similar trade-down effect occurring at their stores since people are looking for more affordable options.
While it may seem that drugstore underwear purchasing for the fashion set should be reserved for in-case-of-emergency situations, there is no denying the reputable brands that are sold there. Of course, one is sure to find the tried-and-true Hanes three-pack of women’s white cotton briefs for a wallet-friendly $5.99, but the assortment is actually surprisingly rich with stylish choices. Duane Reade’s selection includes a Hanes two-pack of blue solid and striped opaque boyshorts for $6.99, which one sales associate in Midtown Manhattan calls the “best bang for your buck because of their comfort and coverage,” as well as a sleek black underwire bra for $9.99.
Linda Becker, expert bra fitter and owner of Linda’s Bra Salon, was skeptical upon hearing that you can find bras at the drugstore, saying, “Where could you try them on? It never pays off to buy a bra if it isn’t fitted.”
At Walgreens in Gramercy, bargain hunters can find a pair of Fruit of the Loom flirty, hot pink track shorts for $4.88 and L’eggs waist cinchers available in black and nude for $6.99. And Rite Aid in Grand Central Station offers No Nonsense panties in sets of two for $6.99 in pastel colors, animal print and polkadot.
“Customers tell us every day, ‘Really? You can get panties like this in drugstores? You’re kidding me,’ ” says Julia Townsend, executive vice president and general manager of the Kayser-Roth Corp., which owns No Nonsense. After years of providing reliable panty hose, the brand launched underwear in 2004. Although some retailers are having a trying time, No Nonsense’s intimates and sleepwear business is flat to last year and the company expects it to grow to be 10 percent of their brand by 2012. Townsend even sees the current economic climate as an opportunity: “Think about it: We’re in a recession right now. It’s nonsense to spend more than we have to.”
Indeed, Maricela Pena, a 25-year-old recruiting agency director who regularly buys panty hose and leggings at CVS agrees. “The economy has made me reconsider all of the items I used to think of as a necessity, like Victoria’s Secret underwear, which is now a luxury,” she says. But while some shoppers are new to the concept of buying their skivvies where they buy their Tylenol, others have been relying on their local convenience store for years. Jewelry designer Linda Krauss, 66, has been going to Duane Reade for Hanes briefs since her teens. “They are indestructible, comfortable and the price is right. If people had good horse sense, they would always buy their undies at the drugstore.”
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)