LEIGH DOES BENDEL’S: Henri Bendel and lingerie designer Leigh Bantivoglio have joined forces for a lace collection for Bendel’s La Lingerie department called Leigh Bantivoglio for Henri Bendel.

Bantivoglio is the second lingerie designer to collaborate with Bendel’s on an exclusive collection. Last summer, the retailer partnered with Samantha Chang to create intimate apparel that has a contemporary edge. Bendel’s also hooked up with the hip sportswear label Heatherette this fall for an exclusive line.

Bantivoglio’s signature is daywear, corsetry and a select number of sleepwear pieces rendered in European lace and silk. The young designer will launch her Bendel’s exclusive mid-October with a collection called Natalia that will feature Leavers lace adorned with black jet beads, velvet ribbon, fur pompoms and gold cording.

“My designs will be in the La Lingerie department, but what’s really great is they will also be merchandised all through the store,” Bantivoglio said.

Scott Tepper, fashion director and division merchandising manager for Bendel’s, said the store has successfully been selling Bantivoglio’s lingerie since November 2004 to consumers who want luxe lingerie.

“The response to Leigh’s sensibility has been amazing since the lingerie department opened, so we felt there was an opportunity to take it a step further and incorporate fashion elements of the season that we had not found in the intimate apparel market for this group,” Tepper said. “Adding fur and velvet trims, metallic laces and black jet beads gave this capsule group a rich, luxurious feeling our customers can wear as easily to holiday events as the boudoir.”

The collection consists of four styles: a wrap retailing at a suggested $238, a cocktail camisole for $228, a full-coverage cocktail camisole for $248 and a dual-purpose cocktail dress for $398.

Bantivoglio said she will pledge 10 percent of the wholesale proceeds of the Natalia collection to the CFDA Foundation/Fashion Targets Breast Cancer for as long as the collection is sold at Bendel’s.

This story first appeared in the October 10, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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