A look from Madewell's new intimate apparel collection.
Madewell is hopping on the bralette train.The retailer is moving into the intimate apparel category with a line of bralettes and underwear.“I feel like we’ve always been trying to find ways to get further into our girls' lives and it just made sense for us to be able to dress her inside and out,” said Joyce Lee, Madewell’s head of design. “We saw a gap in the market to offer her something that fell in line with our brand and what’s going on out there. The line is really minimal, very comfortable and functional but also really beautiful.”The collection, which will be available starting today, will include 16 bralettes and 26 bottoms that will come in three different fabrics: cotton Modal, lace and mesh trimmed. The underwear silhouettes will range from the classic bikini brief to a boy short to a thong. There’s also a high-waisted style as well.The line, which retails from $12.50 to $32 will be sold on Madewell’s e-commerce site, select Nordstrom locations and within all of its 112 retail locations. Lee said that within Madewell stores, the merchandise will have its own dedicated fixture that will be displayed next to the brand’s sleep and lounge collection.Bralettes have been driving business for many intimate apparel retailers including Aerie and Victoria’s Secret. WWD previously reported that Millennials are rejecting padded and push-up styles for a more natural silhouette.While the retailer’s parent company J. Crew has struggled to maintain sales, Madewell has continued to grow and outpace its parent company.For its 2016 third-quarter earnings, J. Crew reported revenue for the company declined by four percent for the same period last year and J. Crew saw a seven percent drop to $488 million. Meanwhile, Madewell had a 12 percent gain, which brought its revenues to $88 million.Earlier this month, J. Crew filed a lawsuit against Wilmington Savings Fund Society, the successor agent under the firm’s term loan agreement, asking a New York State Supreme Court judge for an official seal of approval to initiatives last year that put 72 percent of the J. Crew U.S. trademarks, valued at $250 million, into a separate subsidiary and out of reach of lenders.J. Crew says its dealings with debt holders are becoming a “hostage” situation.
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