LONDON — When designer Damaris Evans created her first diffusion line called Mimi Holliday, which launched in the U.K. earlier this month, cost-cutting wasn’t high on her list of priorities.
This story first appeared in the January 26, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“Obviously, when you’re doing a diffusion line, you’re restricted on price,” said 28-year-old Evans during a phone interview from her Notting Hill studio. “Although I haven’t done French seams this time, I have most certainly used silk chiffon.”
The Mimi Holliday collection of bras and panties has all the same trademarks as the main Damaris collection, such as cutaways and satin bows at the back of the panties. Other styles have corset ties at the back or front of the panties. The collection comes in candy colors such as pink, peach and mint green.
Bras are priced at $64 and panties cost $46. Her main line retails from $267 to $2,760. Evans estimated first-year sales of Mimi Holliday to reach $1.4 million at retail. All figures are converted from the pound at current exchange.
Unlike Damaris, Mimi Holliday also offers thongs. “Personally I don’t like thongs — they’re not very feminine,” said Evans. “But when doing a diffusion line for the high street, you need to include practical thongs for no VPL [visible panty line].
“Pamela Anderson had a private view to see the Damaris collection, but asked to look only at thongs,” added Evans, whose celebrity clients also include Kate Moss, Jade Jagger, Liberty Ross, Liv Tyler and Kirsten Dunst. “There wasn’t much choice for her, but she ended up leaving with plenty of big knickers instead.”
Mimi Holliday consists of 31 styles split into five different groups: cotton tulle, silk chiffon, polyester, cotton candy-stripe and satin with net.
The cotton tulle comes in two color combinations: white with white lace and green ribbon trim or pink with white lace and organza ribbon trim. Both are available in a bra, thong and panty.
The silk chiffon collection — Evans’ personal favorite — comes in two basic colors: baby pink and black. Both come in a ruched demi-bra, panty and a thong that ties at the back with a mini bow.
The polyester line is available in black or peach. The black offers a padded bra, while the peach offers a soft bra. The panties come in both colors, have a mini cutout at the back and satin ribbon bow. There is a thong in the same style.
The cotton candy-stripe garments — in pink and white or blue and white — come in two styles of corset-style panty, plain or thong. The pink is available in a soft bra and the blue in a padded bra.
The fifth group comes in mint satin with tan net or pink satin with black net, and each offers a padded bra and thong with back-bow design. The pink satin panty is the only one in the collection with the large cutout and satin bow for which Evans has become known. She expects it to be a bestseller, along with the corset-style panties.
Initially, the diffusion line will be sold exclusively at the House of Fraser department store chain, which has 25 doors across the U.K. In the fall, Mimi Holliday will roll out to other U.K. stores.
Mimi Holliday will hit the U.S. market next spring. Evans said Damaris would be relaunched in the U.S. later this year. She said she is in talks with Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys and Neiman Marcus.