Gold Award, Apparel: Motherwear, Summer 2001

The tagline on the cover declares that Motherwear is “the complete catalog and Website for the nursing mother.” To live up to that promise, Motherwear doesn’t sell only bras, shirts, and dresses for nursing moms; it sells the entire concept of breastfeeding. And the judges agreed that the catalog does so wonderfully, “in many ways that are both direct and subtle,” to quote one panelist.

For instance, the opening spread features a letter from the president in which she mentions that she had breastfed all five of her children (including the four she adopted). The same spread introduces several of the real-life nursing mothers who appear as models throughout the catalog. A full page is given over to letters from customers, and testimonials along with breastfeeding tips appear throughout the book.

With all these features, said a judge, “the catalog builds overwhelming authority.” Motherwear proves that “you should not be afraid to use extensive space for editorial if editorial will help sell your product.”

The merchandise selection, said another panelist, “is a terrific mix of products targeted to the niche market. The catalog is full of clever, useful, attractive items.” In addition to the specially designed apparel for breastfeeding mothers, the catalog sells a smattering of clothes for babies (knowing full well that a mom who is charging $100 worth of apparel for herself will have few qualms about adding onto the bill $25 matching overalls for her youngster). One spread sells nothing but breast pumps and other accoutrements for nursing mothers who are heading back to work; another sells vital accessories such as breast pads and lanolin cream.

The product copy does double duty, selling the merchandise and supporting the sense of authority. Take this description: “Our double-layer Henley Crop Top is a lesson in fun and function. The overlayer conceals two nursing openings underneath. Wear the underlayer tucked in or both layers out. What other tops, nursing or not, give you the option of two different looks?” As one judge said, “The copy gives the salient info quickly and gets to the point with a touch of flair. It works.”

Ditto the design, which features a wealth of lifestyle shots proving that the clothes do indeed allow mothers to nurse discreetly and stylishly. In fact, that point is made clear from the get-go courtesy of the front cover, a portrait of an attractive mother nestling a baby against her breast. Along with the tagline, the cover promises nursing mothers that they’ll find everything they need inside. And the rest of the catalog more than lives up to that promise.

320 Riverside Dr.
Florence, MA 01062

Company founded: 1982
Director/designer/production director: Mary Alice Eckart
Merchandiser: Cindy Kunz
Copywriter: Kelsey Flynn
Photographer/illustrator: Jose Martinez
Marketing director: Stephanie Ferris
Printer: Quebecor World
Color separator/prepress provider: Que-Net Media
List broker: Fasano and Associates
Cover/text paper: 45 lb.
Trim size: 7-3/4″ × 10-7/8″

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