VMV Hypoallergenics hosted a Private Sample Sale featuring Intimate Apparel brands Lola Haze and Brulee Lingerie on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at VMV Hypoallergenics at 868 Broadway in Manhattan’s Union Square.
Initially, I thought it an unusual locale for a lingerie soiree, but the back room proved to be perfect for the intimate affair. The space is minimalist; it is light and bright which highlighted the intimate apparel collections being featured at the event. Upon entering the spa, I made my way to the back room where I was greeted by the oh-so-jovial Laura Mehlinger, designer of Lola Haze…. And her mom, Dianne Mehlinger! What a treat! Dianne is quite proud of her daughter’s success…. For good reason! After chatting with Dianne for some time about lingerie, marketing, and topics such as seo and social media marketing…we were interrupted by the sound of champagne bottles being popped open! A cork shot across the room and the bubbly flowed onto the floor. The party had begun! The occasion was festive and the room was filled with shoppers looking to discover a great find at a great price. Many pieces were one-of-a-kind and were available for purchase well below wholesale cost.
I spoke with Lauren Rich from RICH-PR who hosted the event in collaboration with VMV at length about her pr firm, how she got started and the various intimate apparel brands she represents. It’s amazing what she has been able to accomplish for her age and it is inspiring to me as a business woman in the intimate apparel industry.
I love Lola! I saw the Lola Haze collection at the Private Sale hosted by “Lingerie Goddess” Margaret Shrum on October 6th. But….Laura brought a few pieces to this event that I hadn’t seen before. I fell in love all over again with a few of her hand-painted silk tops. And my new fave Lola Haze is the “painted birds dress.” It is a bias cut jacquard silk charmeuse sheath dress with silk chiffon trim detail at the shoulders. It is hand-painted by artist Charlotte Pinson. Unfortunately, she didn’t have my size. Hopefully, she’ll have something similar in her upcoming collection. Fingers crossed! I’ve been invited to preview her latest collection next week. Being an intimate insider has its perks. I’ll be sure to report on it in the coming weeks!
The other brand featured at the intimate affair was Brulee Lingerie, launched in 2009 and designed by the beautiful and statuesque Kristian Giambi. Kristian studied visual communications and branding in school. So, it was a dream for her to create her own brand from start to finish. She has been involved in every aspect of the brand’s development and commented that she’s glad the line is produced right here in NYC because she can pop onto the sewing floor anytime she wants. I asked, “If you could create any brand you wanted, how or why did you pick lingerie?” Kristian simply said, “Because I couldn’t find what I was looking for.” Kristian was looking for intimate apparel that was feminine yet strong; a representation of today’s modern woman. Brulee Lingerie embodies this concept… Even the branding conveys this sensibility. Kristian felt that the intimate apparel in the marketplace was either boring/ commonplace or, if it was feminine, it was too “frilly” and “lace-y.” She said, “All women love something special.” Go ahead and indulge…. In Brulee Lingerie!
Brulee Lingerie is chic and sophisticated. It’s far from boring and it’s not frilly. But it’s certainly feminine. Kristian uses a lot of silk, satin, mesh, and chiffon. Body styles include slips, babydolls, chemises, camidolls, teddies, as well as loungewear pieces. Her “classic collection” is primarily made from cotton and she refers to these pieces as “wardrobe staples.” Several of these pieces can be worn as innerwear, loungewear, or outerwear. The fashion collections she featured at the sale are called “Vamp,” “Boudoir,” and “Noir.” The colors were rich and luxe- gunmetal grey, merlot, café, as well as blush, ivory and black. Styling and trim details include bold colorblocking, chiffon insets, satin piping, custom gold-tone buttons, and genuine Swarovski crystal buttons in black. Sheer elegance…. I’m hoping to get a sneak peek at Kristian’s latest collection in the next few weeks as well.
I think Brulee Lingerie is a reflection of Kristian herself. Kristian is feminine, yet powerful in personality. She is a successful business woman, a wife, and an expectant mother (any day now). She is driven and ambitious so it’s no surprise that Brulee Lingerie isn’t her only venture. She is also a founding partner and creative advisor for Afingo.com. Afingo is “the ultimate designer resource to get it made and get it sold.” Afingo grants its members access to expert advice, resources, insider tools, and connections to help designers take their idea from concept to sale. Kristian is a power of example to all women looking to achieve success in today’s world.
It was a pleasure to attend this intimate affair and I met several fabulous, new people. I look forward to seeing what’s next for both of these designers. You can be sure that I’ll share my intimate insight with you as soon as I get a sneak peek of their coming collections.
Lauren Rich- RICH-PR
Laura Mehlinger- Lola Haze
Kristian Giambi- Brulee Lingerie