February 2, 2008 / 12:22 AM / 10 years ago

French lingerie maker plans Valentine fashion show

PARIS (Reuters) - A French lingerie maker will hold a free Valentine’s Day fashion show to glam up its image and mark its near 100 years of existence.

The company, with the un-sexy name of Etam Developpement, has origins dating back to 1916.

The firm suffered at the end of 2007 from sluggish sales in its core domestic market and does not have the advertising spending power of larger groups.

“It definitely can’t harm them to do a bit more advertising ... even if their brand equity is still quite strong in France,” said one London-based analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Etam spokeswoman Judith Sebban said the event, which will feature dancers, models and singers, was inspired in part by the annual shows held for the past 12 years by U.S. lingerie group Victoria’s Secret, a unit of Limited Brands Inc.

However, unlike Victoria’s Secret, which gives tickets to charities that are then sold at upwards of $25,000 a pair, the Etam show will be free and aimed at around 2,000 customers as well as VIPs and the fashion press.

Customers are invited to win places via a special website (www.qui-aime-autant-les-femmes.com) or via their stores.

Reporting by Nick Antonovics; Editing by Paul Bolding

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