Silhouettes Adopts a New Look

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Based on early results from a new style guide called The Look from apparel cataloger Silhouettes, the New York-based company is planning to repeat its strategy four times next year.

Silhouettes offers a variety of apparel, intimates and accessories for plus-size women in its catalog and online at The Look, on the other hand, highlights a strategically edited selection of key items. The premiere issue was mailed last month.

"These are the most important looks of the season presented as head-to-toe looks, including the accessories," Silhouettes president Neil Mulhall said of the new catalog.

Several of the looks featured in the premiere issue are Best Western, Something Wild and Party Perfect.

Compared to Silhouettes' general catalog, The Look's layout features bolder imagery and composition as well as more descriptive and functional product profiles, the company said. While the average fall Silhouettes catalog has 84 pages, The Look is just 52 pages. The book was mailed at the end of August of to the company's in-house list of active and inactive buyers as well as to prospects.

"We used more rental lists than we would in a typical mailing," Mulhall said, adding that although the prospecting was broader for The Look, the overall print run was higher than average.

Early results for The Look are good, even in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, said Mulhall, who estimated that 2 percent of the catalog's circulation went into the affected areas. Based on the results, The Look will be repeated for spring, summer, fall and holiday 2006, Silhouettes said.

Chantal Todé covers catalog and retail news and BTB marketing for DM News and DM To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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