For the first time in its 60-year history, a Frederick's catalog cover features a celebrity: "burlesque bombshell" Dita Von Teese. The cover, the centerpiece of a multimedia "Pin-Up Parade" holiday campaign, is also Von Teese's first collaboration with an American lingerie purveyor.
The celeb angle, and "the undeniable consumer appeal" of Von Teese, "can only have a positive effect on our holiday season," Frederick's senior vice president of brand and direct marketing Yolanda Dunbar comments to Marketing Daily.
The company will distribute more than four million catalogs for the campaign, a 20% increase over last year's holiday catalog. Tracy Rhyan, Frederick's director of multichannel marketing, adds that the company expects the catalog to become a collector's item.
The first wave of catalogs hit homes last week. The second wave will be delivered during the week of Nov. 26.
The Pin-Up campaign also includes efforts such as a "12 Days of Dita" showcase on the Frederick's Web site (frederick's.com), wherein a new selection of "Dita's sexiest picks" (modeled by Dita, of course) is posted each day to encourage multiple visits to the site. The vintage glam-themed collection was inspired by Frederick's own line of lingerie from the 1940s.
Von Teese, sometimes described as an "internationally known fetish supermodel," was trained as a ballerina, began her stripping career at age 19 in a club in her hometown of Rochester, Mich., and quickly moved on to become a burlesque star. Featured in Playboy 17 times to date, she further heightened her profile by marrying shock-rocker Marilyn Manson. (They divorced in 2006.)
A stellar holiday sales showing would set the stage for a New Year that's already destined to be a milestone one for Frederick's: Its merger with intimate apparel designer/manufacturer Movie Star, Inc. is expected to close in second-quarter '08.
Frederick's had $56.7 million in revenue for fiscal 2007 (ending July). Movie Star reported net sales of $63.5 million (fiscal ending June), a 23% increase over '06.
In addition to its catalog and online channels, Frederick's operates more than 130 retail stores, primarily in the United States. Movie Star designs, manufactures (through independent contractors), imports, markets and distributes women's intimate apparel. The company is a lingerie source for mass-merchandisers such as Wal-Mart and Sears.
According to Multichannel Marketer, Movie Star will design and manufacturer lingerie for Frederick's, which will lower sourcing costs and improve gross margins.
Executives have confirmed that the combined company--to be called Frederick's of Hollywood Group, Inc.--will launch an accelerated growth plan, including the opening of about 50 new Frederick's store locations.