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NEW YORK — “The thong was a killer. I want my agent to wear thongs from now on,” stated Regis Philbin, TV talk show host of “Live with Regis and Kelly.” Philbin was co-hosting a lingerie fashion show for the full-scale introduction of Body Creations by Hanes Her Way, a Sara Lee megabrand aimed at Target, Kmart and Wal-Mart.

This story first appeared in the November 10, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“I’ve never been a big lingerie man, but my wife is really into it. Hmm…lingerie does make me happy. I’m wearing Hanes His Way right now,” said Philbin, who is a self-professed wearer of men’s “briefs and a couple of boxers, but nothing novelty.”

The show, themed “Banking on Beauty with Hanes Her Way,” was staged at Coda, a former bank turned into a Manhattan night club. Featuring a mix-and-match statement for spring and fall 2004, new styles included high-waisted shapers, microfiber camis, satins and feminine laces that had a cross-dyed effect.

Adding to the “reality fashion” aspect of the show, which featured pretty yet comfortable lingerie for mainstream America, was co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, former “Survivor” star and host of Style Network’s “The Look for Less.” Two sweethearts from reality shows added a little steam to the runway show in skimpy bras and panties by Body Creations — Lisa Donohue, winner of “Big Brother 3” and Gwen Goia, first runner-up of “The Bachelor 2.”

Meanwhile, another major event reflected the buoyant mood of manufacturers and retailers at last week’s market: the official launch of the Lejaby Rose brand by The Warnaco Group at a cocktail party and informal fashion show at Bloom, a florist.

The models, accessorized in bracelets, necklaces, hair ornaments and garters of fresh roses, showcased French-inspired bras and panties by Lejaby Rose in Lexington Avenue windows that typically display floral arrangements. A traffic jam as well as blocked sidewalks with ogling commuters ensued as pedestrians began taking photos from the street.

As reported, the LeJaby Rose label is part of Warnaco’s plan to spin its Lejaby businesses into a global franchise. Initial distribution will be aimed at 175 major store doors. Tom Wyatt, president of the Warnaco Intimate Apparel division, said reaction has been “tremendous.”

“I’ve been in this business for 29 years, and I’ve never had a launch for the image of a brand like this,” said Wyatt. “At this point, if we were to [base expectations on] the demand, it would be well in excess of 175 doors.”

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