NICOLE MILLER’S NEW SPIN ON SLEEPWEAR
SIGNATURE PRINTS AND A PLETHORA OF COLORS SHOWCASE NICOLE MILLER’S PLAYFUL COLLECTION OF SILK SLEEPWEAR FOR FALL.

Byline: Karyn Monget

Nicole Miller is getting serious about lingerie again.
The designer — who rose to prominence in ready-to-wear and accessories in the Eighties — has given a fresh spin to a collection of sleepwear and related daywear pieces for fall.
The line, which is produced under license by Exquisite Apparel, is projected to generate wholesale sales of $2 million the first full year, said Miller.
“The whole concept of conversational prints seems to be happening all over again,” said Miller, whose signature is whimsical prints. She said reaction from major specialty and department stores — which are looking for merchandise that will differentiate them from competitors — has been “strong.”
Miller first introduced a line of intimate apparel and sleepwear that was produced in-house in the early Nineties. But she noted that innerwear is a “highly specialized” line of business, and has since held a license with Exquisite for the past 2 1/2 years.
“One of the complaints in the past was that the intimates were too pricy. We’ve brought down the prices, and are now using 16-momme silk instead of 19-momme silk,” said Miller.
Wholesale prices run from $25.75 to $78.50.
The compact collection of approximately a dozen pieces features a mix of fabrics and prints that are showcased in Miller’s rtw and accessories collections, including socks.
Styles include short slip gowns and coordinating robes, playful camis and matching boxers as well as a variety of pajamas, which Miller said she likes to coordinate with a “wife beater” T-shirt for an edgier look.
Prints include an amusing motif of multicolor stiletto-heeled shoes on a black ground, a “marriage” print with sayings like “Rental to Mortgage,” romantic florals and Pucci-inspired graphics. A key item is a silk velvet burnout slip gown and marabou-trimmed wrap robe.
Miller said she has taken the new sleepwear concept a step further — cotton items rendered in whimsical prints and bright colors for patients in hospitals. The idea was tested at Hackensack Hospital in New Jersey last November, where the opening order was $500,000, she said.
The hospital wear wholesales from $7 to $14.50.
So far, the items, which are sold in hospital gift shops, include robes, nighties, pajamas and various tops. Two prints are featured: an accessories print on a bright blue ground, and a pink strawberries and champagne motif.
“I thought the idea of a glass of champagne would give patients something to look forward to,” said Miller, noting that other hospitals in the Northeast and Midwest are beginning to buy the specialty sleepwear.
Miller added that she plans to expand the idea to doctors’ and technicians’ lab coats, as well as nurses uniforms.