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Frump Change: Fashions for the younger buyer

Queen Latifah and Anna Nicole Smith are helping brands like Lane Bryant and Naturalizer appeal to younger shoppers

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They’re not your mother’s fashion lines anymore. Matronly brands like Lane Bryant, Naturalizer, and Easy Spirit are revamping their images with trendier fashions and eye-catching ads. Lane Bryant (a subsidiary of The Limited, Inc., as is New York & Co.) offers updated looks this fall, modeled by Queen Latifah and Anna Nicole Smith, while the podiatrist-friendly Naturalizer hired fashion photog Bruce Weber to shoot shoes that Grandma wouldn’t be caught dead in. Literally. ”Our traditional customers are dying off,” says Maggie Laver of Naturalizer’s parent, Brown Shoe. ”We need to ditch the old-lady stuff [to appeal to] a younger audience.”