After a few years in the doldrums, executives at legwear companies say sales of tights, leggings and sheers picked up dramatically this year, with increases of 10 percent or more.
A couple of factors are driving the category: First, there’s been a huge emphasis on the leg, short skirts, slits and asymmetric hemlines on fashion runways. Second, the recession has transformed legwear into an affordable indulgence, like buying a new lipstick. And, not forgetting the star quotient, legwear is flaunted by divas like Rihanna, Katy Perry, Ke$ha and Beyoncé, who performs wearing several pairs at a time to make her legs look smooth and buffed.
Between June 2010 and May 2011, tights were the big winner with a 29.2 percent increase in dollar sales totaling $414.7 million, according to research firm The NPD Group. Sheer hosiery edged up 1.7 percent to $959.4 million.
“The tight is no longer just an accessory, it is a garment unto itself,” said designer Emilio Cavallini. “Miniskirts expose so much of the leg that tights are an integral part of any outfit. Let’s face it, the leg makes up more than 30 percent of a head-to-toe look.”
“Ready-to-wear is really on our side,” said Cathleen Moxham, designer of Hanes legwear at Hanesbrands Inc., citing more sheers and ultrasheers, opaques, tights, patterns and texture. “A very feminine cycle continues into spring and the next two seasons. It’s all about looking very feminine, polished and pulled together.”
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Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews