JC Penney is hoping that some supermodel magic will win over shoppers in the lingerie department by launching an exclusive lingerie collection in the US in partnership with Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson.
The collection will be in 300 of Penney’s 1100 stores starting on April 11. Penney says it will wait to see how the brand fares before deciding whether to roll it out to its other stores.
The collection, called The Body by Elle Macpherson, which refers to her nickname, offers bras and panties in mostly cotton. Its emphasis is on the smoothest, most precise fit that can be worn every day.
The collection builds on the lingerie business Macpherson founded in 1990 with the launch of an upscale collection of lacy and silk lingerie.
The Body Bras sell for around $US50 ($A54.31), while bras in the Elle Macpherson Intimates Collection can sell for as much as $US150 ($A162.92). The bras have four distinct silhouettes designed to suit varying needs and body shapes: the push up, a sporty demi-cut version, an unlined alternative and a subtle lift.
“I created this for myself, because I thought there was a gap,” Macpherson told The Associated Press.
“I really wanted to address this idea of shape.”
Macpherson, who is creative director for a series of fashion business ventures, said Penney offers the opportunity to design for a wider audience.
The collection comes as Penney is trying to recover from a botched transformation spearheaded by its former CEO Ron Johnson. He was fired in April 2013 after 17 months on the job. That month, Mike Ullman, Johnson’s predecessor, returned to the helm and has restored frequent sales events and basic merchandise to help reverse plunging sales and massive losses.
Macpherson’s collection will be at the high end of Penney’s offerings. Bras are priced anywhere from $US40 ($A43.45) to $US49 ($A53.22), while panties will be priced at $US12 ($A13.03) to $US14 ($A15.21
Spargo says Penney shoppers will be able to relate to Macpherson outside of being a celebrity.
“She’s a working mom. She’s a business owner,” she said.
Macpherson, who is based in London but travels around the world, says she’s “passionate” about lingerie. It began in 1990 with her partnership with Bendon Limited Apparel, the same manufacturer that is producing the line for Penney. It marked one of the first examples of a model becoming a fashion brand.
Macpherson said she created her original collection back then because she saw a void between European-style lingerie and the comfort that American brands offered.
“As a model, I was constantly getting undressed,” Macpherson added.
“I wanted to make sure I looked good.”