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Department Stores Are Getting Into Bed With Juicy Couture’s New Sleepwear and Intimates

When news broke in 2014 that Juicy Couture would close all of its U.S. stores, it was the end of a velour-clad era. Teen girls and celebrities alike had moved on from the brand’s candy-colored tracksuits that reigned supreme in the early 2000s and efforts to expand its customer base with a more Bohemian offering (see: the Stephen Meisel-shot Fall/Winter 2010 campaign) had fallen flat.

But Authentic Brands Group (ABG), which acquired Juicy Couture from Kate Spade & Co. (then known as Fifth & Pacific) for $195 million in 2013, was already plotting its comeback. The New York-based company said it would expand the pricier Juicy Couture Black Label collection in ways that would build on the brand’s DNA.

Enter Delta Galil U.S.A., a manufacturer and marketer of branded and private label apparel, which inked a deal with ABG last November to extend Juicy’s offerings to intimates and sleepwear that will launch for Holiday 2016.

“We look forward to interpreting Juicy Couture’s glamorous, irreverent and fun LA style and attitude into women’s intimates and sleepwear, and to expanding this iconic brand and category into Asia, Europe, and beyond, where the network of Juicy distributors provides us with the foundation to grow in these markets,” Maurice Reznik, the company’s president and chief executive officer of women’s intimate apparel for U.S.A. and U.K., said in a press release announcing the tie-up.

Victoria Vandagriff, president of Delta Galil’s D2 division, spoke recently to Sourcing Journal about Juicy’s new direction and which stores are interested.

“We were a little cautious about it,” Vandagriff admitted with a laugh. “But we were pleasantly surprised. If you build a buzz on social media it can have such a halo effect for a brand.”

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She was referring to an Instagram throwback by Kim Kardashian West in January that featured a photo of the reality TV star clad in a pink velour tracksuit circa 2007, captioned “Juicy Couture tracksuits give me life!” The team responded in kind with an ode to the velour two-piece and suggestions on how to wear it in 2016.

But while both the sleepwear and intimates lines will draw from Juicy Couture’s casual Los Angeles heritage, they will be much more pared down than their “heavily blinged” predecessors.

“Juicy did do sleepwear and little panty packs in the past but they didn’t have a true intimates business or bras, soft or otherwise,” Vandagriff said. “The new sleepwear is still pretty similar but we’re able to add a lot more details and values to it than the past.”

For instance, the fabrication offering has expanded to include cotton modal, rayon wovens and brushed French terry.

“The sleepwear market has changed so much. Today it’s all about the hand and feel-good fabrics. If it doesn’t feel like butter, she’s not buying it,” Vandagriff added.

On the intimates side, styles span basics with logo elastic bands to velvet longline bras and high-neck lace bralettes.

Color-wise, the holiday collections will feature lots of fuchsias, plums and gold trims.

“Gold is our metallic. Juicy is always going to be a gold trim vendor,” she laughed, adding, “It’s very print-driven as well: Siberian leopard print; Romanov floral. It’s all about luxe. It’s very opulent and Russian.”

Sleepwear items will be sold as sets and separates, with prices ranging from $42 for shorties to $64 for a pajama set, and sizes go up to 3X.

“It’s a fun, flirty, feminine, ‘doesn’t take itself too seriously’ collection,” Vandagriff said, pointing to an eyelash jersey tee featuring flocked, metallic lips and a beauty mark that’s a rhinestone. “It’s very much in line with the demographic of the Juicy customer.”

The lines will launch in select U.S. department stores, including Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdale’s, and on Amazon in September and October. A bigger roll out will follow in the fourth quarter.