Beth Gold-Cohen, a former dress buyer at Macy’s, is finding her entrepreneurial niche with a category she’s marketing as “shapewear leggings.”

This story first appeared in the April 25, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Recovering from breast cancer therapy and its sluggish side effects, Gold-Cohen said she couldn’t find leggings that were comfortable, stylish and didn’t produce a “muffin top.”

“I cut off my leggings and hand-sewed a high-waisted shapewear brief and noticed that I didn’t have a roll across my midriff when I put it on,” said Gold-Cohen. “I then shopped the stores as I used to when I was a buyer to see if there was anything out there like it, and there wasn’t. So I designed my first high-waisted [control] leggings of cotton and spandex and named the brand Lissé Leggings,” said Gold-Cohen.

A year later, the shapewear collection has expanded to 13 styles, including capris and boot-cut leggings, camis and short pencil skirts in sizes XS to XL. Plus sizes 1X to 3X will be offered this fall. Suggested retail for the leggings is between $54 and $74. Colors include black, white and fashion shades.

“I’m currently selling to more than 1,000 specialty stores, 50 Nordstrom doors, 40 Dillard’s doors, over 20 Lord & Taylor doors, and four Bloomingdale’s stores, as well as barenecessities.com,” said Gold-Cohen. “I’ve shipped $400,000 of goods from February to December 2010, and I’ll probably ship $3 million by the end of 2011. I better keep up with the demand.”

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