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New Wrinkles In Pantyhose

In Business This Week


When it comes to food, music, painting, or conducting business, the Japanese have their own way of doing things. Even their pantyhose are unique.

Kanebo, a leading textile maker, sells stockings soaked in insect repellent. The market, presumably, is outdoorsy women. Over 400,000 pairs, at $2.60 and $4.80, have been snapped up since October. Health-conscious hoofers can buy leggings impregnated with vitamin C or algae. Or for something more fragrant and frivolous, how about Esprit de Fleurs: nylons with a choice of fragrances such as Tea Rose, Fresh Lime, and Night Lavender.

Still, there's a limit to the Japanese appetite for hosiery innovation. Wacoal, a Kanebo rival, three years ago offered made-to-order pearl-studded stockings for pampered Japanese brides but sold fewer than 10 pairs. At a price over $7,000, even million-dollar legs walked away.EDITED BY HARRIS COLLINGWOOD

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