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PARIS — One of the highlights of the industry fair Mode City here in July was the launch of Silent Assembly, a new high-tech brand created by Kay Cohen. The designer is making a splash with lingerie that features new 3-D technology.
This story first appeared in the August 14, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Cohen said she arrived at the idea by studying body-scanning technology that is used to make motion pictures.
“While underwires have given us a lovely shape for the past 20 years that I’ve been in the industry, I have heard women often complain that bras are uncomfortable,” she told WWD. “We are replacing underwires with a structure that is as strong as metal but way more comfortable.”
Two years went into the research and development of what she described as “Curvessence” technology. The 3-D bra utilizes nylon polymers sculpted to conform to a woman’s torso and remembers its shape over time, which means it slowly returns to its original form if mildly distorted.
“We have made a massive breakthrough in that area. We see it as a potential replacement of all underwires in the future,” explained Cohen, who recently inked a deal with a major Australian retailer to use the technology for its private-label offerings. She declined to reveal the name of the retailer.
As general manager of New Zealand’s intimate apparel manufacturer Bendon Group, Cohen spearheaded the development of the Elle Macpherson Intimates line. Cohen subsequently founded Pleasure State, which was sold at specialty boutiques and major stores including Victoria’s Secret. She sold Pleasure State to Bendon in 2010.
Silent Assembly is positioned as an upscale brand and features European fabrics including French leavers lace and tulle, and Italian stretch chiffon.
“The industry is inundated with very hard-core, sexy, strong looks. What gets forgotten is the beautiful prettiness that lingerie is all about,” she observed.
Silent Assembly’s look is a departure from the everyday style of Elle Macpherson Intimates and the fashion-focused positioning of Pleasure State, which is now sold at select Bloomingdale’s units in the U.S.
Silent Assembly has 11 themes, each consisting of four to five pieces, including bras, panties and bodysuits. Prices range from $200 to $250 for bras; $92 to $132 for panties, and around $495 for bodysuits.
Slated for spring delivery, the collection will begin shipping in January. Distribution is aimed at department stores in Europe and the U.S., as well as retailers in Asia and the Middle East. Cohen is initially targeting 87 to 106 doors and plans to add 100 new doors in the future. She expects first-year wholesale sales of $2.1 million, not including the business generated by the proprietary Curvessence technology.