LEG BEAT

DIOR TALKS: Christian Dior and its legwear licensee Pennaco Hosiery could be parting ways before the year ends.
Mitch Brown, executive vice president of Pennaco, said the company does not expect to renew its four-year-old legwear license with Christian Dior Inc., the U.S. arm of the Paris fashion house.
Christian Dior executives are still negotiating with Pennaco officials, but Dior “has not ruled out other options,” said Beatrice du Pont, Dior’s director of licensing.
Last week Christian Dior revealed that it was ending its licensed coat and suit business in a move to concentrate on the designer segment of its apparel business. The licenses were held by Jones Apparel Group. However, Dior intends to stay in the legwear business, according to du Pont.
“Hosiery is definitely a category that we plan to protect and keep growing,” du Pont said.

CALVIN SHAPES UP: In February, Calvin Klein Hosiery plans a direct-mail campaign with major retailers for the designer’s Shaper System, a five-piece collection of contouring legwear.
Designed to educate shoppers about the products’ benefits, the mailers feature information and photographs of models wearing the uplift shaper, tapered shaper, total shaper, abs shaper and shaper short, according to Julia Clunard, vice president of marketing for Kayser-Roth, which holds the license for Calvin Klein hosiery.
Wholesale prices range from $5.75 for the total shaper to $7.25 for the uplift shaper or the abs shaper. All the products are in stores now, except for the abs shaper, which will be introduced at retail next month.

RIDGEVIEW GOES PUBLIC: Ridgeview Inc., Newton, N.C., has raised $10.5 million through an initial public offering of 1.4 million shares at $8 each.
The shares of the company, which went public on Oct. 31, closed Friday down 1/8 to 7 1/2 in over-the-counter trading.
Ridgeview will use the proceeds of the offering to reduce its debt and continue a capital-investment program started three years ago. The program includes a new distribution center and the purchase of additional knitting equipment for its hosiery division.
Over three years, Ridgeview’s sales have increased 52.8 percent, from $35.6 million in 1993 to $54.4 million in 1995, a compound annual growth rate of 23.6 percent.
Ridgeview makes private-label sports, outdoor and heavyweight casual socks as well as women’s tights, trouser socks, pantyhose and knee-highs. It also holds the licenses for Ellen Tracy and Evan-Picone legwear. In the nine months ended Sept. 30, Ridgeview earned $1 million on sales of $55.9 million. The offering was underwritten by Interstate/Johnson Lane and Scott & Stringfellow Inc.

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