Byline: Karyn Monget

NEW YORK — “There are ladies who actually stop me in the street and say, ‘I slept with you last night,’ or some even say, ‘You saved my marriage,’ or ‘You got me that special lover,’ ” said Fernando Sanchez.
Sanchez — who specializes in luxurious sleepwear and at-homewear — was talking about the boudoir fare he designs, of course.
Now, Sanchez said his designs for both men and women will be available on the Internet on the luxury Web site Sanchez’s site is expected to be ready for business in May. His designs will also be available on, he said. will have a soft launch this summer and a full-blown launch in the fall.
“We will have a home page for women’s lingerie and sleepwear, and possibly a second page for beach cover-ups,” said Sanchez. “Another page will definitely be for men and will feature styles such as cotton drawstring pants, shirts and cotton jackets, you know, the kind of things men can sleep in or go out in. I don’t think I will feature men’s pajamas or robes.
“But everything, whether it’s for men or women, will pertain to a leisurely way of life,” said Sanchez, who has been designing innerwear for 26 years. He added that the styles to be sold on the Internet will be different from those sold at his core channels of distribution, including major specialty stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, and boutiques.
How has Sanchez been able to survive all these years when many of his contemporaries have either gone out of business or been bought by huge corporations?
“I can say with a certain pride, without being pompous, that I have always designed products that are different, and people continue to want our product. Reaction from stores has always been strong, and we try to remain strong and creative.
“I’ve also chosen to be alone, because I never wanted anyone to tell me what to do. If I see something ugly, poorly made apparel, it disturbs me,” said Sanchez, referring to volume-oriented merchandise.
Among the ideas Sanchez said retailers have embraced for fall and holiday, are new fabrics and treatments: double-faced quilted satin robes in contrasting colors, Fortuny pleated and chevron-pattern microfiber, and a variety of imprints that have a “shiny, sexy look.” A perennial bestseller is a quilted brushed-back satin and cotton terry robe. A top color combination is toffee and ivory.
“Bookings are up 30 percent compared to a year ago,” said Sanchez. “Retailers like the collection because it’s very festive looking.”