INTIMATE IDEA

Byline: Karyn Monget

NEW YORK — Sara Lee Int-imate Apparel will aggressively be increasing its advertising and marketing budget this fall for an expanded launch of its biggest product introduction since last fall: Body Revolution by Barely There.
Initially launched in July 2001 at more than 3,000 department store doors, Sara Lee has commissioned Richard Avedon a second time to photograph an expanded collection, which includes a Santoni allover seamless bra and a Comfortable Curves stretch foam bra, each with coordinating briefs in basic and fashion colors.
“The momentum has been incredible and our [Barely There] business is very robust, with retail sales up 47 percent,” said Lisa Boecker, marketing manager for the Barely There brand. “We launched our first Santoni bra in July and it really hit home with consumers. We are looking to double sales of the brand following our fiscal year.”
Boecker would not give a sales estimate or an advertising budget, but a Sara Lee megabrand is expected to generate wholesale sales of at least $100 million the first couple of years.
The 12-month advertising budget the first year was estimated around $20 million, according to industry estimates.
“We are definitely increasing our [ad] budget,” continued Boecker, noting that two- and three-page spreads will appear August through November in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Jane, In Style and Harper’s Bazaar.
Boecker further noted that consumer response to the barelythere.com Web site has been “extremely strong,” noting, “we have had 750 e-mail responders to ‘have you tried this bra?’ Over 80 percent said it was more comfortable than the bra they’ve been wearing, while 18 percent said it was as comfortable. Overall, 97 percent said they would buy the bra again.”
She added that the number one reason consumers liked the Body Revolution bra was because of pliable four-way stretch and a proprietary, lightweight, flexible underwire that is “very forgiving.”
Regarding shapewear, Boecker said control capris will be added to a Seamless Shapers group that features no seams on the front or sides of the control garment. Another key item will be a program of stretch microfiber chiffon panties in fashion colors.
In conjunction with the national print ads and point-of-sale materials, Sara Lee has hired Brenda Cooper as a spokeswoman for Barely There for regional radio and talk-show programs. Cooper is the host of TV’s “E Fashion Emergency.”

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