LEGBEAT

KUNERT’S NEW DIGS: Kunert has opened a 600-square-foot showroom at 347 Fifth Avenue in New York.
Ernst Lange, president of L’s Wear N.Y., the Commack, N.Y.-based company that distributes Kunert in the U.S., said, “Our customers asked for it. We’d been going to shows and using temporary spaces. This makes it a lot easier for our buyers.”
Knowing that most retailers are not looking for another legwear label to add to their mix, Kunert aims to emphasize its more unusual items in the U.S., Lange said. Kunert Wellness, a group made mostly of breathable fabrics, including such items as sheers with adjustable waistbands and aloe vera-treated items, is an area of focus. Most Wellness items retail from $14 to $16.
This year’s volume is expected to exceed $1 million — a 42 percent increase from last year, Lange said.

ON WITH THE SHOW: The International Hosiery Exposition is scheduled to be held April 9-11 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C. As a curtain-raiser to the event, the International Conference will be held on April 8.
More than 250 exhibitors, representing more than 90 product categories, will be featured at the Expo. There will be a range of machinery and raw materials for sheers and socks.
The IHE is expected to attract 10,000 industry executives, according to The Hosiery Association, the show’s organizer. The Hosiery Association has members from 415 corporations.
For the first time, The Hosiery Association is sponsoring a runway fashion show, which will kick off the second year of THA’s media awareness campaign for the hosiery industry.
This year’s campaign is being billed as “H2K: Hosiery for the Millennium,” and focuses on the fashionable aspects of legwear. Bare-looking styles, animal prints, denim-inspired looks and trouser socks are a few of the areas they will play up.

JOCKEY’S NEW SHOW: To draw attention to its new ultrasheers, which were shipped to stores this month, Jockey will hand out samples and hold a fashion show to be hosted by Foley’s in Houston on April 8.
The event will take place at the Sheraton Astrodome Hotel and will benefit the Alpha Kappa Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, a national African American sorority. Coverage of the fashion show is expected to be featured in the group’s newsletter, which is shipped to about 90,000 members.
Made of nylon, ultrasheers are well-suited for women with darker skin tones, said Susan Williams, vice president and general merchandise manager of women’s hosiery. The item retails for $5.50.
Ultrasheers take dye consistently and reveal the wearer’s actual skin tone, she said.
“Jockey is reaching out to African American women as a targeted market,” Williams said, adding that Jockey plans to distribute about 4,500 samples at the Foley’s event.

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