Hanro of Switzerland will be launching its first collection of luxury shapewear called Natural Shape by Hanro for spring.
The line will bow at upscale department and specialty stores including Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue in the U.S., and key retailers in Europe including Harrods in London. The shapewear will also be available at high-end specialty boutiques and e-commerce sites including hanrousa.com, barenecessities.com, and herroom.com, said Jan Snodgrass, president of Hanro USA.
Snodgrass said the luxury innerwear specialist created a proprietary knitting process for its shapewear introduction.
“We stayed away from shapewear mainly because everybody is doing it and we wanted to do it the Hanro way. Hanro developed a unique process to produce the shapewear which is very different than what you see in the market,” explained Snodgrass.
The control garments are rendered in a blend of 89 percent Micro Modal with Lycra spandex and 11 percent elastane as opposed to traditional polyester or microfiber blends.
“We are using 11 percent Lycra [as part of the Micro Modal blend] versus the 20 to 30 percent Lycra content traditionally used in shapewear.…We think this is a new innovation because it’s an interlock that’s knitted with the Lycra on the inside while the Micro Modal is knit around the Lycra on the exterior. People have struggled with the issue of breathability in shapewear and this process makes shapewear more breathable, it has a softer hand, and it’s significantly lighter in weight,” said Snodgrass.
The line is comprised of four styles: a slip dress which will retail for $148, a high-waist brief for $82, a bike short for $86, and an open-bust top priced at $99 that can be worn with a bra. Colors are nude, black, and scarlet. Sizes will be XS to L.
“This will be a replenishable product, even styles in scarlet,” said Snodgrass. He added that Hanro products are sold at 35 Nordstrom doors, 20 Bloomingdale’s units, five Lord & Taylor locations, and 40 doors each at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Hanro is also sold at Bergdorf Goodman.
A first-year wholesale sales projection was not available for the shapers, but worldwide distribution including Asia could generate between $40 million and $50 million, according to industry estimates.
Regarding Hanro’s business in the U.S., Snodgrass said the women’s business was up “18 percent for the first half of 2011.”
“But the men’s [underwear and loungewear] business has been significant with more than 50 percent growth over the past two years,” he said.
Snodgrass described the men’s luxury innerwear segment as “very profitable for department stores.”
“It’s a segment that’s been overlooked but major stores are now beginning to see that it’s been successful on Web sites and retailers are looking at the margins…it’s a product that’s sold day-in and day-out at full price,” he said.
In other developments, Snodgrass said Hanro is relaunching a women’s daywear and sleepwear collection which will be renamed Classic Seamless. It was introduced in the Eighties as Cotton Seamless and became a cult favorite after Nicole Kidman wore a semi-sheer cami and undies in the 1999 motion picture, “Eyes Wide Shut.”
“Hanro built unique machinery last November that creates multiples degrees of mercerisation [the chemical structure of cotton fiber] for this relaunch]…we liken it to a hair conditioner that gives hair more volume and makes it softer,” said Snodgrass.
Updated styling will include a built-up camisole with a round neck, knit-in seamless hemlines, and satin piping with a matte finish. New colors will be fuchsia and a rose-gray shade.
Suggested retail will remain the same for undies at $36 to $38, while tops will be slightly higher at $58 compared with $56 a year ago.