Byline: Rosemary Feitelberg

NEW YORK — Mothers in Motion, a performance-oriented maternity activewear line, is using its patented support system to reach out to a wider market.
The company has introduced three groups for July retail delivery — lifestyle-oriented maternity clothes under the Mothers in Motion label, plus-size looks under Women in Motion Plus, and styles aimed at nonpregnant women over 40 under the Women in Motion Inc. tag. They will be offered through mail-order businesses, specialty stores, department stores and at MIM’s online store.
Bess Hilpert, founder of MIM, said: “Essentially what I’m doing is starting a new classification. It’s shapewear inside of activewear.”
By providing ergonomically designed products, the company aims to encourage women to exercise during different stages of their lives despite physiological changes, she said. Katie Hubble, buyer for Athleta, a mail-order catalog and e-commerce site, said she was very impressed with the plus collection because it is designed with support — an unusual feature in most plus-size products. She liked how the styles flatter the figure, which helps encourage large-size women to exercise comfortably.
Unlike MIM’s performance activewear, the new groups are made primarily of a cotton blend. The new groups feature items such as leggings, capri pants, bike shorts, bootleg pants, hooded jackets and tanks. The aim is to generate $445,000 in wholesale volume this year, Hilpert said.
MIM’s lifestyle group is priced 33 to 50 percent lower than the brand’s performance offerings. About 350 specialty stores and catalogs are expected to carry the line this fall, Hilpert said.
Women in Motion Inc., a 16-style group aimed at women over the age of 40, is designed to give them added support due to postural shifts triggered by aging. Like pregnant women, middle-aged women often need extra support for their backs, abdomens and pelvises, Hilpert said.
Garments also have additional coverage such as slightly longer rises and more give in the abdominal area. Women in Motion Inc. will wholesale from $15 to $22.50 at department stores and specialty stores. First-year projected wholesale volume for this group and the plus-size group is $380,000.
The plus-size group stemmed from the fact that many large-size women have been buying the maternity activewear to meet their needs, Hilpert said. Priced slightly higher than the other groups, wholesale prices range from $15 to $24.50. Two years of research went into Mothers in Motion Plus to insure fit issues were addressed, Hilpert said.
Work is already under way for new Web sites for Womeninmotioninc.com and Womeninmotionplus.com.