I was first introduced to Intimate Insider Asi Efros last Fall when she was showing her line, Ann Vogue, at a private sale hosted by The Lingerie Goddess Margaret Shrum. At that time, I wrote “The attention to detail is impeccable. Each stitch is sheer perfection. Ann Vogue is an exquisite lingerie collection which should be reserved for your most special occasions. The quality of the fabrics, the attention to detail, and the construction of these pieces insure you will cherish them for a lifetime. The unparalleled fabrics include silk, silk chiffon and crinkle silk chiffon and most styles are trimmed with a delicate French leavers lace trim in a medallion motif. Even the straps and ties are handmade of self-fabrics such as chiffon and are fully functional. Ann Vogue epitomizes absolutely luxurious lingerie!” My point of view has not changed since then. I discover emerging lingerie designers on a fairly regular basis. But it is only one in a million that really captures my attention. Ann Vogue is unequivocally my favorite independent lingerie brand. At Bra La Mode’s Debut Intimate Affair, Asi provided my guests with a sneak preview of her latest collection which will be premiering next week at The Lingerie Designer Showcase, Tuesday, February 21st through Thursday, February 23rd at the AKA Hotel on 44th Street, NYC. Make it a point to visit her at the show…. You will not be disappointed!
Late last year, Asi and I met for a cup of tea to discuss her brand and more importantly…. So I could discover the “women in black” behind the brand. I am always fascinated by the designer. I want to better understand their thought processes, what inspires them, how they got their start and where they are hoping to take their brand. Each designer is as unique as the garments they create. Their designs are usually a reflection of their soul. Asi Efros’ line, Ann Vogue, is no exception. Here’s some Intimate Insight into the birth of her brand….
Asi is an immigrant from Russia. She fled to the United States with her family in 1989. As they were leaving, her husband said to her “as long as we have your sewing machine, we will be fine.” Initially, she was sewing dresses here in the States. But eventually she learned fitting, draping and other techniques they simply don’t teach in Russia. She landed in the intimate apparel industry where she worked for others for many years….always dreaming of creating her own brand. In the Spring of 2010, Asi decided to take a break to rediscover herself. She booked a trip to Europe and left everything behind. Asi says, “I have a lot of respect for the European culture; they put life before work.”
Asi spent the next few months observing and absorbing the culture of London, Brussels and Paris. It is in Paris that the Ann Vogue brand began to take form. She says, “France is so different from the United States….. The entire city of Paris is enormously sexy! It’s inherent in the people. They exude sex. It’s in their mannerisms, how they move and talk, the language, their attention to detail.” By the end of the sabbatical, Asi’s concept came to life.
The Ann Vogue brand is organically sexy and forever elegant. The styles are not overly complicated; they are timeless, classic styles which can be treasured forever. Asi says, “Like Paris, the collection doesn’t need to try to be sexy… It just is.” Asi believes that every night can be your “wedding night.” There’s no need to “wait for sexy.” She continued, “Life consists of little memories and moments evoking certain emotions. This is how art is created.” Each piece is handmade in NYC in the heart of the garment district by amazingly talented people whose craftsmanship and attention to detail is legendary. Only a few pieces of each style are being produced to maintain the exclusivity of the collection.
Asi hopes to reintroduce the long forgotten lifestyle when nice clothes were purchased, cherished and cared for as a tribute to its value and craftsmanship. She remembers her grandfather saying, “We are not rich enough to buy cheap things.” She says, “It sounds even truer now than it did about a quarter century ago. Our young generation spends thousands of dollars at stores just to throw away shrunken, pilled or deformed garments a month later.” Asi aspires to continue creating individual works of art in the form of one-of-a-kind, super special sleepwear pieces…..Ann Vogue.
Here are a few pictures Asi took while in Europe in 2010. Each image inspired her in some way to create the unique Ann Vogue Collection.