Elle Macpherson Intimates and Bendon are parting ways.
This story first appeared in the October 14, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Launched in 1990, the Elle Macpherson Intimates collection, which was produced under license, was a revelation when it bowed, first in Australasia and then internationally, a feminine collection of bras and panties in different color combinations, prints and fabrics.
Macpherson Men, which was launched in 1997 to complement the women’s collection, is produced under license to Bendon as is The Body, a new collection of innovative intimate apparel launched recently at J.C. Penney Co. Inc., and is breaking sales records at Penney’s, according to the company. Both brands will follow Elle Macpherson Intimates to new partners, who were not identified, when Macpherson’s relationship with Bendon ends on Dec. 31.
Sales of the three brands are believed to be about $100 million worldwide, according to sources.
Signaling a shift in strategy, Elle Macpherson Intimates, which traditionally launched in Australia and Europe first, will place an added focus on the U.S.
“I believe that there is substantial scope for growth and diversification moving forward,” Macpherson, founder and creative director, told WWD. In fact, Macpherson already has new products in the works. Elle Macpherson Intimates will introduce activewear and swimwear “building out our global distribution with new partners to meet the wider needs of women and men of all ages and shapes,” the company said.
There was the hint that products for large sizes or petites might be under consideration.
For inspiration, brand officials this season visited India, where sun-drenched color and a rich cultural history overwhelm the senses. This resulted in intense shades of berry, jewel and spice offset by shades of pink, green and saffron, with fuchsia adding an unexpected twist.
The brand is available in the U.S. at Penney’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Shopbop.com, Journelle, Anthology and internationally in more than 16 countries in stores such as Selfridges in the U.K., Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and Galeries Lafayette in Paris.
Macpherson in May introduced The Super Elixir by WelleCo, a specialized alkalizing greens supplement, which she created for her 50th birthday in the hope of helping women live healthier lives. The online business is set to launch in the U.S. later this year after selling out four times in the U.K.
She is an executive producer of “Fashion Star” on NBC and hosted the first season.