Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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April 6, 2014

Penney teams up with Elle Macpherson for lingerie

NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney is hoping that some supermodel magic will win over shoppers in the lingerie department.

The beleaguered department store chain is launching an exclusive lingerie collection in the U.S. with a partnership with Elle Macpherson, who along with Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and others became part of a new generation of supermodels in the 1980s.

The collection will be in 300 of Penney's 1,100 stores starting 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 Macpherson's lingerie business that she founded in 1990 with the launch of an collection of lacy and silk lingerie that's sold at upscale stores here and abroad including Bloomingdale's and Harrod's.

The Body Bras top out at around $50, while bras in the Elle Macpherson Intimates Collection can go as high as $150. 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, who 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.

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