INNTERWEAR: ALL STEAMED UP
Byline: KARYN MONGET
The demand for innerwear items — revolving primarily around dual-purpose looks — teamed with the popularity of lingerie looks, are expected to continue fueling business this year.
The demand for bigger breasts generated bigger bucks in foundations departments nationwide in 1994, and the lust for cleavage is expected to continue heating up bra business throughout the year.
Wonderbra by Sara Lee Foundations and the Super Up-Lift padded, push-up bra by Gossard gave the innerwear industry an additional boost when both firms staged publicity stunts last spring that threw consumers and the media into a frenzy.
Norman Katz, chairman of I. Appel Corp. and the Intimate Apparel Council, stated: “Lingerie business is hot, especially bras, and it’s expected to get hotter this year.”
June Roche, corporate fashion director of fabric giant Milliken & Co., noted, “The influence of lingerie looks on ready-to-wear runways on both sides of the Atlantic is one of the biggest influences in fashion right now.”
Now, manufacturers say the trick will be to keep the momentum going in 1995 with products that have lots of sex appeal, yet combine comfort and function.
So far, top ideas include:
Control briefs that contour and lift the derriere.
Lightweight bustiers and corsets of nylon and Lycra spandex.
Variations of softer-looking shapewear with lingerie treatments.
Items that give spot control in problem areas such as the tummy, derriere and thighs.
Camisoles and all-in-one slips with built-in padded, push-up bras that double as dresses.
A wardrobe of bras ranging from seamless numbers to sports bras.
Mixes of ready-to-wear fabrics.
Tons of lace.
Makers also believe that the appetite for more cleavage will spill over into other established bra classifications: balconette styles that lift the breasts up like a shelf and a variety of sexy-looking demicup looks that can be worn under strapless and boatneck necklines.
Katz of the IAC further noted that textured cotton knits — a classification in sleepwear that’s been key for several seasons — is expected to grow in importance this year, especially items that have a dual-purpose look like two-piece pants sets, little swing dresses, and big shirts and boxers.
At-homewear looks that feature textured effects such as rib-patterns, piqués and pointilles also are expected to continue to grow in importance, he said.