I Dreamed of a Class Action ... in My Maidenform 'Shapewear'

     BROOKLYN (CN) - Maidenform makes absurd claims for its underwear, including that its "embedded microcapsules containing caffeine ... promote fat destruction," a class action claims in Federal Court.
     Lead plaintiff Christina Caramore sued Maidenform Brands and Wacoal America, for their "shapewear," underwear they sell "for women who want a flawless, bulge-free silhouette," according to the lawsuit.
     Caramore says the defendants claim "the fabric is constructed with minerals and nutrients that are absorbed by the skin and can permanently change women's body shape and skin tone. For example, defendant Wacoal claims that that the shapewear fabric ... is constructed 'with embedded microcapsules containing caffeine to promote fat destruction; vitamin E to prevent the effects of aging; ceramides to restore and maintain the skin's smoothness; and retinol and aloe vera to moisturize and increase the firmness of the skin.'"
     The lawsuit continues: "The Federal Trade Commission calls such claims 'about as credible as a note from the Tooth Fairy.'"
     The "shapewear fabric" is made by the Spanish company Nurel, according to the lawsuit, which does not name Nurel as a defendant.
     "Shapewear" accounts for about $1 billion of the U.S. weight-loss industry's annual $20 billion revenue, according to the complaint. It claims that Maidenform and Wacola "prey upon women's insecurities about their body images" and that "sales of 'nutrient-infused' textiles or 'cosmeto-textiles' are estimated at more than $600 million annually."
     The defendants charge as much as 50 percent more for their snake-oil fabrics, the class claims, "despite the fact that the purported nutrients cannot permanently cure cellulite, destroy fat, or cause weight loss. As a result of defendants' misrepresentations, plaintiffs and the class have suffered out-of-pocket losses, did not receive the benefit of the bargain, and have been damaged."
     The plaintiffs seek class certification, restitution, and statutory, treble damages and punitive damages for consumer fraud, breach of warranty and unjust enrichment.
     Their lead counsel is Andres Alonso with Alonso Krangle, of Melville, N.Y.