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November 15, 2003
Women's Wear Journal
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Economy looking UP! UP! UP!
WASHINGTON -- The economy has created nearly
300,000 new jobs in the past three months after a half-year drought,
pushing unemployment down to 6 percent in October and leaving little doubt
that the jobs market is bouncing back.
The Labor Department reported that payrolls grew by 126,000 last month -- many more than economists had predicted. That followed a revised 125,000 new jobs in September, more than double what initially was reported.
U.S. companies added 35,000 people to their payrolls in August.
Wacoal Plans Worldwide Upscale Lingerie Line
Wacoal Corp, Japanís largest maker of women's undergarments, is planning to launch an upscale lingerie brand in January 2004, which will be sold around the world.
The flagship store for the new, as yet unnamed, brand will be in Tokyo, with new stores rolling out in the US, Europe and other Asian countries over the next two years company officials said.
First-year sales expectations are 80 million yen, rising to 1.5 billion yen after two years.
The new products will be targeted mainly at working women aged around 30 and the price of a set consisting of a brassiere, panties and another lingerie item such as a slip or camisole will cost between 30,000 and 100,000 yen.
National Sizing Survey To Begin Next Year
Around 6,600 men and women in Mexico are to take part in a comprehensive national sizing survey in 2004, with later extensions planned to bring the survey to a total of 12,000 subjects.
Using the 3D body measurement system developed by [TC]2 (Textile/Clothing Technology Corporation), the SizeMx project has been approved for funding by CONACYT, the National Counsel of Science and Technology and is jointly supported by trusts and the Federal Public Administration.
Mexicoís size survey continues a trend that began with SizeUK in 2001, initiating the modern era of population sizing using 3D full body scanning combined with automatic size, shape, and measurement extraction.
SizeUK was followed by SizeUSA, which kicked off in July 2002 and completed subject scanning in September 2003. Over 10,000 subjects participated in SizeUK and also in SizeUSA.
May Dept Stores' Oct Sales Slip 2.4%
Major retailer May Department Stores Co on Sunday posted a 4.2 per cent slide in October same-store sales.
The operator of around 1,000 stores under banners such as Lord & Taylor and Filene's, said preliminary net sales for the four weeks ended November 1 fell 2.4 per cent to $887.2 million from $909.1m last year.
It added third quarter sales slipped to $2.98 billion from $2.99bn in the year-ago period.
Saks Fifth Avenue CEO Johnson Quits
Retail giant Saks Inc on Thursday said Christina Johnson had quit as president and chief executive officer of Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises in order to devote more time to family matters.
The Alabama-based company said her successor has been selected but will not be revealed until December.
Paris department store offers lessons in strip-tease
To promote its newly-refurbished lingerie department, one of Paris's leading stores is not only encouraging customers to buy its lacy underwear but also giving lessons in how to remove it.
Galeries Lafayette is offering "seduction classes" conducted by two strip-tease artists for women who turn up at its new Red Hot Boulevard lingerie section on Saturday afternoon.
"When people buy underwear, they want to show it off - but you have to know how to do it. We want to teach women how to get undressed in front of their men. It's not that easy to get out of a pair of trousers without looking ridiculous," said a store spokeswoman.
Groups of about 100 women will attend half-hour sessions in a closed area on the seventh floor of the store's headquarters on Boulevard Haussmann. Men are strictly forbidden.
A woman walks past mannequins in Paris' most famous department store,
Les Galeries Lafayette, Friday Nov.7, 2003. On Saturday, hundreds of women
will flock the venerable store for free striptease lessons from two
professional dancers. According to the store, the Galerie's new lingerie
department is the biggest of the world, with 2,800 square meters of
brassieres, knickers, bikinis and thongs.(
"The courses are for women who want to play the role of seductress -- either to put a bit of pzazz back in their relationship or to surprise their man," said Lea, one of the two strip teachers.
"We'll teach them how you must always unbutton your blouse from the bottom if you're wearing trousers, and how not to catch your skirt in your heels," she said.
"Strip-tease is not just for the young and trendy. We're trying to popularise something which is going to be a huge social phenomenon," said the store spokeswoman.
"Today women are more at ease with their bodies. They can be feminists, independent -- and like to have fun with their man," she said.
Paul Delaoutre, the Galeries Lafayette president, is delighted by all the attention. "Seduction is important to our clientele," he said. "We want to be on the cutting edge. Your American stores are often so banal."
Women's underwear has evolved into a full-fledged fashion statement, items to be shown off, not hidden under something else. The trend is particularly pronounced in France, where lingerie enjoys a lofty place in a woman's wardrobe.
Last year, French females at age 15 and older spent 18 percent of their clothing budget, or $2.9 billion, on lingerie, more than in any other European country, according to the French Federation of Lingerie and Beachwear.
A recent poll by the respected Ipsos polling agency for Galeries Lafayette concluded that 87 percent of French men and women believed that lingerie was always an important part of life.
Thirty-one percent of French women say they buy lingerie to seduce their partners, according to the poll. Forty-eight percent say that a matching set of lace bra and panties is the most seductive, while 25 percent of the men and 15 percent of the women preferred a string and a demi-cup bra.
Lingerie is so important to a French woman's sexual self-esteem, it seems, that only 3 percent of women say they believe they are seductive in the nude.
A recent poster campaign for Sloggi strings, for instance, showed two long-haired women from behind, dressed in strings and red boxing gloves, their posteriors buffed and shined, reaching out towards a man wearing only tight boxer shorts and a smile as he defends himself. "Be sexy. Be Sloggi," the caption reads.
Not to be outdone, the most recent Bolero lingerie ad campaign showed a young woman removing what appeared to be pants or a skirt, revealing her string. Turning towards the camera, she announces, "I'm a virgin. Are you?"
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Silk Industry In Good Health Reveals Data
China's silk industry has enjoyed a healthy 2003 so far with both sales and profit up in the January to September period, industry figures revealed on Wednesday.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics from 2,240 silk firms showed output in value terms hit $10 billion in the first nine months of this year, up 19 per cent from 2002, with profits and sales also up.
The country's silk industry employs more than one million people and exported goods worth more than $4bn last year, mainly to North America and the European Union.
Hot! Hot! Hot!
Fast-growing women's clothing chain Chico's FAS Inc reported a 20.6 per cent jump in October same-store sales and added total sales at its 541 stores for the four weeks ended November 1 surged 57.6 per cent to $68.2m from $43.3m last year.
Japan's lingerie maker Triumph International campaign girl
Shinobu Ikehata(R) displays the "Anti-Smoking Bra" which emits a
mysterious fragrance designed to kill the desire to smoke
Gap's Sales Rise Again, Strong EPS Growth
Casual clothing giant Gap Inc on Thursday posted a one per cent rise in October same-store sales and announced an eight per cent climb in total third quarter sales to $3.9 billion from $3.6bn in the year-ago period. The California-based operator of more than 4,200 stores said total sales across its banners for the four weeks ended November 1 climbed four per cent to $1.24bn from $1.19bn last year.
Only the latest fashions will do!
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