LOS ANGELES — With business up 20 percent over last year, the $50 million–plus junior knit resource Eyeshadow is riding the momentum with the launch of a new skirt line and intimates apparel licensing deal.

This story first appeared in the November 6, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The 50-piece skirt collection bowed at the junior market week last month, meeting with positive reaction from the company’s 125 appointments with retailers, according to Tony Litman, owner of Stony Apparel, the manufacturer of Eyeshadow. The skirt line features wrap styles, cheerleader looks, clubby pieces and party skirts wholesaling for $7 to $12.

The company’s other venture is a partnership with Burlen Corp., a New York-based lingerie manufacturer of private label product for mass merchandisers, including Wal-Mart Corp. Burlen will design, sell and distribute the collection under the Eyeshadow name. It will consist of panties, sleepwear, camisoles and chemises. Key items are expected to be thongs and hipsters in laces and tie-dyes, pull-on pants and camis in bright pinks and camouflages, and printed chemises.

“Thongs have become quite important in the market and juniors are wearing pajamas as daywear, so the whole category represents great opportunity,” said Bridgit Frank, Burlen’s vice president of sales.

Last year, teenage girls spent $152 million on thongs, or 40 percent of their overall spending, according to market-tracking firm NPD Fashionworld.

Burlen was eager to branch out to more up-market players with a branded label. Department stores have already expressed interest at previews. The line wholesales from $2.50 for a hipster to $8.50 for pants.

First-year sales are expected to hit $2 million to $5 million, Frank said.

Helping to move product is Eyeshadow’s foray into movie-theater advertising. The company recently tested ads in mall movie theaters in 10 states and then tracked sales at the mall’s stores, which saw an uptick in business. A similar program will hit during spring break next year with a potential national rollout for back-to-school.

“I’m not a big believer in magazine ads: a teenager turns the page and she’s done,” Litman said. “Here in the theaters, she’s a captive audience.”

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