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Wacoal axes licence deals

Wacoal will cease to act as a licensee for lingerie brands by spring 09, as it gears up to launch a new label called B.tempted.

Wacoal, which holds the licence for Donna Karan Intimates and DKNY Underwear, will focus on developing its own brands after launching premium label Wacoal Luxe for spring 08.

Maidenform, the lingerie supplier and brand, will take over the Donna Karan and DNKY licences for spring 09.

Wacoal will unveil B.tempted – a younger and cheaper brand – at the Harrogate Lingerie and Swimwear exhibition, which takes place on August 17-19.

A spokeswoman for Wacoal said: “We wanted to have more control of our brands, from design to marketing. That’s why we’ve decided to stop licensing.”

B.tempted will target the 18- to 35-year-old market, with prices from £31 to £39 for bras and £10 for briefs.

The spokeswoman added that its competitors will be Elle Macpherson Intimates, Calvin Klein and DKNY. “So far, Brown Thomas and Asos have decided to stock B.tempted, with other department stores expressing an interest,” she said.

Wacoal, which also owns the Wacoal brand, has 20 independent stockists but hopes to double that figure by the end of the year and move distribution beyond its London heartland.

B.tempted’s range will comprise five bra and four briefs categories, with floral prints and tone-on-tone lace overlay.

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