NEW YORK — While buyers at CurveNY — the lingerie, swim and men’s underwear show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center here — were focused on shapewear and fashion options, manufacturers were touting new fabric innovations.
Most vendors seemed pleased with the orders they booked, noting the good turnout despite the cold weather.
Meredith Straus, a designer for Street People Atelier, said on the second day of the show, “The traffic so far is excellent.”
Street People, which has roots in the direct-to-consumer channel, has two lines that it is hoping to build a presence for in brick and mortar. ART, which stands for Artistic Revolution in Time, and its new line for fall, Street People Atelier. A year old, ART is a concept inspired by life in New York City, and involves a collaborative effort of designers from the local area. It’s the casual entry level offering where rayon kimonos wholesale for $34 and panties range from $5.50 to $9. The turns are about two times at retail. According to Straus, the line targets the younger consumer who wants colorful prints and styles. “It’s not super sexy and is seasonless for all-year-round wear. This group is getting away from the matchy-matchy sets.”
Sexy is reserved in part for the higher-end Atelier line, which caters to a woman who is bold and fashion-forward. Think of graphic tees worn under a motorcycle jacket with a denim pant or patent leather skirt and 4-inch stiletto heels, or bras with bustier details meant to be seen. A Neoprene jacket wholesales for $89, while tees start at $26.
Rebecca Jennings, chief executive officer of e-tailer Hips and Curves, was shopping with her team for plus-size options. Roisin Brodie, the site’s buyer, said, “There could be more options for plus sizes. I’m looking for more color rather than the basics, that little pop of fashion that everyone gets…Just because she’s a bigger girl doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to be fashionable. It may mean a bra with three hooks instead of two, but the customer still wants the same thing as everyone else.”
Showing a wide range of size offerings was the display from ComfortKing USA Inc., the distributor for Hanesbrands Inc. for brands including Maidenform, Bali, Barely There and Lilyette.
Cassie Weaver, a sales associate modeling a Maidenform one-piece, all over bodybriefer — her colleague Jaclyn Marie was modeling a Maidenform high-waist shaping brief and a Bali bra — said, “Most buyers are buying black and nude. They buy the whites for weddings. For Maidenform, the most popular shapewear is the one-piece torso where you wear your own bra.” Weaver noted that high-waisted shapewear briefs are also popular with the wear-your-own-bra crowd. That’s because one-piece shapers can be hard to fit, she said. Price points range from $17 to $25 wholesale.
For buyers such as Brodie, there were some — although limited — plus-size options. According to Weaver, many of the Hanesbrands products go up to 2X and 3X, with a smaller amount available in 4X.
Sheri Harabedian, a buyer for high-end boutique Fiamour Lingerie & Intimi in Richmond, Va., said, “This is a good show. My favorites are in the new colors for fall, the oranges and steel blues. There are also a lot of sheer offerings, more sheer than before.”
Harabedian said women are still making mistakes when buying lingerie, mostly because sizing is so different from one company to another. As for what she’s buying for her store, she said, “Basics always sell more than fashion. In the U.S. market, she wants smooth cups, with a little padding. In Europe, she wants lace and cutouts.”
While the sales team at Hanro of Switzerland was showing off the selections from its Valerie Collection — a tank that wholesales for $44.50 and a brief at $20.50 — that were featured in the movie “50 Shades of Grey,” Hanro USA president Jan Snodgrass was highlighting the company’s new ultrasoft fabrications. Hanro’s beginnings were as a knitting factory.
Snodgrass was noting the new Soft Touch MicroModal fabric that’s buttery soft for use for basic underwear for women. While Hanro is still primarily a cotton company, microfiber is the most popular fabrication that’s sold. He also unveiled a new silky cotton offering called Sea Island Cotton from the Caribbean West Indies — spinning is done in Switzerland and knitting in Austria — that will be used in its men’s line this fall. Price points are high, at $70 on average for a tee and $60 to $70 for the bottoms.
Over at Saxx Underwear Co. — primarily a Millennial men’s boxer line that, according to ceo Tim Bartels, features an articulated front pouch for support and internal mesh panels — there are two new fabrications for fall.
Bartels was showing a compression short under the line Force, and a 160 gram, anti-odor 95 percent merino wool, 5 percent spandex available in a boxer option or as a pair of long johns. Most of the current product offerings are in viscose, selling for $12 wholesale and double that at retail.
Mirja Riester, designer and owner of Mia Piuma Nightstyle line, was showing her evening sleepwear collection available in eight styles. Although traffic was slower than the Las Vegas show last fall, Riester said reaction to the new line has been growing from show to show.
“This is really for women who enjoy luxury couture clothes during the day and want to look fabulous in the evening hours,” she said. The line can be worn under a blazer, and some women wear it with jeans as a tunic top, Riester said.
Made of hand-washable silk and viscose, the line wholesales on average for $195. The suggested retail prices are between $395 and $500.