LILY OF FRANCE ROCKS ON COLOR

Byline: Karyn Monget

NEW YORK — What do you get when you combine a big dose of marketing and media hype with lots of fashion and sex appeal?
Rock On Color by Lily of France, a bra brand created for the young, hip and music-loving consumer, replied Chris Fuentes, vice president of marketing for Vanity Fair Intimates, a unit of VF Corp.
VF last week hosted a cocktail party and fashion show at the downtown club Spa here for the new line of bras, which was shipped to 2,700 major department stores Feb. 25. The launch and party were timed around the Grammys, the MTV Awards and the Oscars, because the target consumer — who is in the 18-to-34 age range with a focus age of 25 — is “interested and involved” with these events, said Fuentes.
The bold colors that the company is marketing — such as hip-hop pink, laser lime, coral jazz and orange strobe — underscore provocative ad headlines such as “Loud Enough For You” and “Shake, Shake, Shake.” The launch will be supported with colorful point-of-sale materials with the tag line, “Less Wire, More Groove,” as well as a buy-two promotion of Rock On Color bras that offers consumers a $10 gift certificate by mail for music at cdnow.com.
Anya Armstrong, marketing manager for the Lily of France brand, said initial consumer surveys revealed that younger consumers wanted a “certain tongue-in-cheek, pokin’-fun attitude. We had to change the [ad] verbiage a bit. It’s really about product and making sure it connects with the consumer.”
Fuentes would not give an advertising and marketing budget. However, over $1.5 million is being spent on the spring launch, according to industry estimates.
Ellen Rohde, president of department- and specialty-store brands for VF’s Global Intimate Apparel Coalition, said, “Market share of the Lily of France brand is skyrocketing. It’s really a tribute to the fantastic relationship this brand has with the consumer. It’s about communicating with this young, savvy consumer who loves fashion, fun and music. Rock on Color has become the third of the greatest-hits list for Lily of France.”
“We have really taken a very exciting direction,” said Stuart Greenberg, vice president and marketing manager of the Lily of France division of Bestform. “If you look back at VF’s acquisition of Bestform in 1998 and what the Vanity Fair and Lily of France brands stood for then — there was a tremendous difference.
“We have created a wonderful opportunity for department stores to capture that 18- to 34-year-old consumer. It started out with the launch of the X Bra last year, followed by Strappies, which was a huge success. Now, we are keeping the excitement and momentum going with Rock On Color and the Liquid X Bra,” said Greenberg. The Liquid X Bra will be launched at stores March 25.
Greenberg further noted that, since the introduction of the X Bra, “over-the-counter sales increases in 2000 ranged from 10 to 35 percent at major stores. We plan to continue that growth this spring.”