Lingerie vendors unveil new lines to new buyers at WWDMAGIC.
As Lingerie Americas this year becomes part of WWDMAGIC, intimate apparel exhibitors plan to show their wares to a larger pool of potential buyers and unveil new pieces that fit the trend toward mix-and-match loungewear.
"People are moving more toward that versatility," said Mitra Sanai, co-owner of Venice, Calif.-based Sheandme. "They want to be able to wear something around the house that's cute and stylish, and be able to pop out of the house with it or not feel they have to cover up to answer the door."
Sanai said Sheandme expects to gain customers in high-end and outerwear boutiques. At two years old, the company has doubled its markets each season, she added — in August 2007, Sheandme was sold in 50 boutiques and currently sells in 100. Sanai expects to reach 200 markets in about six months. "People are recognizing us and our reorder rate is getting high," she said.
The company's wholesale price points start at $13 for boyshorts and underwear, $25 to $27 for tanks and camisoles and $45 for dresses and robes.
Sheandme will exhibit three collections at the show: Be Organic, 100 percent-certified organic pointelle fabric in three color combinations and styles such as bloomers, short-sleeved shirts, tanks and hoodies; Back to Basics, a year-round collection in basic colors such as black, white, ivory and chocolate, and Loungewear and Luxury, which offers styles in Lenzing-certified Modal and charmeuse silk in bold color palettes.
"A lot of the styles mix the two fabrics, so you have the soft jersey feel mixed with very elegant and luxurious silk," Sanai said. Pieces include robes, camisoles and three-quarter-sleeve tops.
Like Sanai, Michael Herman, vice president of sales and merchandising for The Natori Co. in New York, expects to be seen by buyers that might skip dedicated lingerie shows. "We're hoping this gives us much broader exposure to the ready-to-wear stores," he said, adding that the 30-year-old company wants to gain more high-end specialty store customers, but does not want to divulge financial goals. "We're interested in finding stores that appreciate the lifestyle of the products and are looking for long-term relationships."Herman is bringing new pieces in each of the company's four lines: Josie Natori, "boudoir luxury" pieces in fabrics such as hand-painted silk, rayon blends and cashmere; Natori, which features knit separates in polymodals, velours and French and baby terry cloths; Josie, a contemporary line of "cute and fun" pieces such as camisoles and tanks, and Cruz, a line similar to Natori at more accessible price points.
Bras and panties in Josie, Natori and Josie Natori retail for between $60 and $80, and pieces in Cruz — which does not have a bra line — retail from $78 to $120, Herman said. The company is launching a rtw line, Natorious, in its showrooms later this year, he added.
Buxom Inc., a line of sleepwear for full-busted women, will launch at the show, said founder Christine Kurek, a former lawyer who created the company last year. "People think it means plus-sized, but that's not the case," she said. The line is for women with a bust size of 34C to a DD in the 40-inch range.
Knit tops feature tank bras underneath and silk items are cut larger on top but still have a trim waist, Kurek said. Pieces include a pink printed silk and satin chemise that's "very flattering and meant to be a little bit sexier for bedtime," she said. The silk "boyfriend shirt" is based on a men's tailored shirt but longer, and silk wide-legged pants paired with a camisole can double as loungewear, Kurek said.
At press time, prices were not set, but Kurek expects Buxom to be a draw at the show. "People aren't used to seeing something for full-busted women — it's a huge opportunity," she said.
Seattle-based Wildbleu LLC will launch a line of loungewear at the show, said Jay Delotte, general manager of the five-year-old company. Originally manufacturers of sleepwear for women with hot flashes or night sweats, Wildbleu also carries sheets. Its patented cotton-polyester and bamboo-polyester blend of fabric wicks moisture from the body, Delotte said, and the loungewear will contain the same fabric, as well as some spandex. Wholesale prices start at $10 for boxers or a T-shirt, and $25 for the dress or pants.The loungewear line features a front-wrap dress, a cardigan, a skirt, a T-shirt and a boot-cut pant, all in black, ecru and green tea. With the new line, he said the company expects to grow 50 to 60 percent at WWDMAGIC and has planned for up to 70 percent growth this season. "A lot of it is market demand — people have told us they are tired of sleeping in their running clothes," Delotte said. "Our overall goal is to bring technical fabrics to the masses."
Dallas-based Nundies, part of Advance Materials Inc., and launched in December 2006, is bringing its pantyless panty to the show through a new licensing agreement with Miss Oops, a four-year-old Dallas fashion solution company. "This will give us a complete solution product line," said David Pokorski, national sales manager for Advance Materials.
Nundies has shown at two prior Lingerie Americas shows and sold to more than 40 stores at each, said Pokorski, adding that he expects to double sales at WWDMAGIC. With the addition of the Miss Oops line, the company hopes to top at least a million in sales this season, "quite a substantial jump from last year," he added.
Like other lingerie exhibitors at the show, Pokorski said he looks forward to introducing so many buyers to additional products. "We should have a number of new people who have not seen us before."
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