Anne Klein is trying out bras, panties, shapewear and other lingerie.
The retailer, owned by WHP Global, a brand management and acquisition firm, has signed a long-term licensing agreement with Vandale Industries to launch Anne Klein intimates. The first of many collections is expected to launch in fall 2021.
“A part of where we’re going with Anne Klein overall continues to be a mix of sophistication and comfort and where [the brand] really becomes a full lifestyle brand, where the customer is able to rely on it for all of her lifestyle and apparel and accessory needs,” Effy Zinkin, WHP Global’s chief operating officer, told WWD. “As part of that, it really becomes a head-to-toe opportunity where the customer has trust in the Anne Klein name and the direction and styling. Anne Klein becomes that resource for the modern woman’s wardrobe and lifestyle.”
The 45-piece inaugural Anne Klein intimates collection will be available at Anne Klein stores, anneklein.com, Amazon and department stores, including Macy’s Inc., Belk Inc. and Dillard’s Inc., and the respective web sites.
But Zinkin said, “most of the selling does remain in the big-box guys and we’ll continue to do that for this type of category.”
Anne Klein’s intimates will range in price from $16.99 to $19.99 for a panty pack, $24 to $28 for bras and $25 to $45 for shapewear. Bras and underwear will be available in regular and plus sizes.
Anne Klein, which WHP bought in July 2019 for an undisclosed amount, has not been in the intimates category for more than five years. “The last time they had a meaningful line was probably closer to 10 years ago,” Zinkin added.
Sales of intimates and other comfortable attire have surged amid the pandemic and work-from-home culture. But Zinkin said the plan to expand Anne Klein into intimates was hatched pre-COVID-19.
“It was a category that the Anne Klein customer was looking for,” he said. “The categories that we’re launching, intimates being one of them, are those that are addressing what the customer is looking for coming out of Anne Klein. That combination of comfort, of aspirational fashion and that trust in what the brand represents when they see that label.
“That really is why you will never see us with Anne Klein being one of those licensors where there are 40 or 50 categories being licensed,” Zinkin continued. “Because if it’s not authentic to what the brand is and what the brand stands for, it is better for us to stay out of that category than trying to force it for the sake of product extension.”
Kim Kalosinis, vice president of sales and merchandising at Vandale, added that “Anne Klein intimates will be able to fill a void in the market of ladies’ lingerie [by] focusing on fit, comfort [and] styling in great Anne Klein prints and staple colors. We look forward to creating a collection that will offer high-quality ladies intimates at a desirable price point.”
Vandale Industries distributes women’s intimate apparel under a number of licensed brands, including Jessica Simpson, Izod, Dollhouse, Rampage and Hard Candy, in addition to its own private brands.
Anne Klein also recently expanded its casual denim and at-home categories, and has plans to move into swimwear and ath-leisure some time in 2021.