(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). While Helen Sanchez kept her namesake luxury label in operation throughout the recession, she recently renewed her focus. “When the economy tanked I kept making the line, but also went to work for the large houses,” said Sanchez, who has designed for Komar, Liz Claiborne, Ellen Tracy and private label. “Last July, I was able to leave corporate America and focus solely on my label.”
Sanchez, a Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) alumni who founded the Helen Sanchez line of sleepwear and lingerie in 1998, exhibited for the first time at CurveNY this February, where she reconnected with industry buyers and wholesalers from her days of attending Lingerie Americas.
At the show, she added sales representative Kindra Miller for the East Coast, and is launching in early fall at Joovay, an intimate apparel boutique in Rhinebeck, N.Y. Sanchez added that she and Miller have appointments set up at several other additional specialty stores. Styles—which Sanchez emphasized are made in the United States from imported European fabrics—retail from $150 to $280.
With Miller’s appointment, Sanchez wants to broaden the brand’s specialty store base. “[California-based sales rep] Jennie Nielsen has been carrying my line for 10 years, and so I’ve always had a strong west coast following even though I’m based in New York,” she said. “I was working the East Coast on my own, and I realized that I really needed somebody to help me expand in this territory.”
While broadening her presence, Sanchez will keep the line concise. “I don’t want to be all over the place, and I’m very concerned about quality and maintaining efficient shipping. So for now, I’m only offering sizes S through L and keeping the line very focused.”
She described the Helen Sanchez aesthetic as “timeless and elegant. It’s on top of fashion without being trendy.” And although the price point is high-end, she said it is fair for long-lasting styles that are made with top-quality silk, lace and other textiles.
For fall, Sanchez added a ready-to-wear twist with chemises that “can be worn under structured jackets to work” and bodysuits that “are very sexy but offer enough coverage to be worn out.”
Also seen are sleep gowns, bustiers, chemises and more in shades that range from basic ivory to deep red, as well as prints. “I am always going to throw in an animal print, people always want to see that,” said Sanchez.
Within the spring 2012 collection, she plans to include a small range of knit styles.
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