NEW YORK — Thanks to the lens of Helmut Newton, Wolford’s racy new packaging should tie up traffic in hosiery departments.
The legendary 75-year-old photographer has developed edgy packaging that will double as advertising for the Bregenz, Austria-based luxury hosiery maker.
True to form, Newton shot a series of women in provocative positions: They were wearing only black sheer pantyhose, stiletto pumps and black bras. Ten photographs — including one featuring two women embracing, and another of a woman bracing her leather-gloved arms against a rock with another woman’s hand pressed against her bare stomach — will be used for the packaging of Wolford’s 10-piece group of shaping pantyhose called Support and Forming.
Some of the shots also will be used for an outdoor advertising campaign that breaks here and in Los Angeles, and possibly in Chicago, this fall. A print campaign is planned for fall. When the first billboard featuring Wolford Fatal Neon pantyhose was posted earlier this month outside Galleries Lafayette in Paris, the retailer sold 600 units in three days, according to Russ Klein, president of Easton International, the U.S. distributor of Wolford.
Fatal Neon pantyhose are available in stores now; the other nine pieces of the line will be shipped to stores in August.
With wholesale prices range from $18.50 to $22.50, first-year projected retail volume for Support and Forming in the U.S. is $3 million, he said. Newton’s work will be credited on all ads, packaging and in-store displays. Fritz Humer, chairman and chief executive officer of Wolford, who convinced Newton to do the project, flew to Monte Carlo for the shoot, Klein said. When Humer offered Newton some unsolicited advice, Newton told him, “Fritz, you know hosiery, I know women. Sit down.”
In other company news, Wolford last week opened its second boutique here on Madison Avenue between 76th and 77th Streets. The 500-square-foot store is the seventh in this country.

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