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Bra Breaking News: Bra La Mode Consulting Officially Launches

31 Jul

I am pleased to announce the official launch of Bra La Mode Consulting.  I initally launched Bra La Mode in September 2011 with the notion that I could be of service to individuals and/or businesses that are looking to break into the intimate apparel industry.  Over the course of the past two years, it became apparent that there was a definitive need for the services I could provide.  The business has evolved over time, and the result is Bra La Mode Consulting. 

I established the full-service consulting company to assist independent lingerie designers, start-up companies and other small, wholesale Intimate Apparel businesses in executing their vision. 

From concept to consumer, I collaborate with my clients, evaluate their individual needs and formulate a strategic plan to execute their initiatives.

Some clients approach me in the concept stage. We work together to establish a solid business plan and budget; we focus on brand identity, define the target consumer, determine key differentiators, create a marketing strategy, and then move forward with a clear plan of action.  I walk my clients through product development, pre-production and production, including the sourcing of materials and locating the appropriate production facility (domestic or overseas)….all the way through the launch of their brand or business.

Others reach out to me after they’ve launched. We evaluate their current business to determine weaknesses and missing links. Is their marketing strategy in sync with their brand identity? Do they have a clearly defined target consumer or are they still trying to target a base of consumers that is too broad? How can we tighten up their strategy to achieve success?

I take great pleasure in watching my clients’ businesses evolve and grow. Each client is different. With a one-on-one approach, I devise a strategic plan tailored specifically to each brand’s individual needs and implement key initiatives to execute their objectives.

Bra La Mode Consulting Announcement_FINALFor additional information on Bra La Mode’s Intimate Apparel Consulting Services or to arrange a personal assessment of your current Intimates business, please contact me

Follow @MoiraNelson & @BraLaMode

www.facebook.com/BraLaMode

Intimate Insight: Curvy Couture — Beautiful Bras For the Full Figured Woman

25 Jan

All too often curvaceous women have to settle for ill-fitting, frumpy looking bras while their smaller counterparts get to enjoy the luxury of fashion forward designs.  Dora Lau, president of Dora L. Inc., became frustrated with the small selection of beautiful, well priced bras for full figured women and decided to launch Curvy Couture, a collection that uses the latest technologies to create intimate apparel that enhances a woman’s curves and makes her feel wonderful.

Leopard-

After graduating from FIDM, Dora Lau started her career in Full Figure eveningwear.  This experience working with beautiful, luxurious fabrics gave her the push to begin working in the intimate apparel industry.  Since then, Dora has been manufacturing bras for top brands for over 25 years, including the likes of Victoria’s Secret and Lane Bryant.

designer

The brand offers solutions to women who all too often have to compromise themselves by wearing bras and panties that do not fit correctly.  Oftentimes this results in pained shoulders from straps that are too tight and dig into the skin.  Curvy Couture offers products that lift the bosom and allow women to feel confident showing their curves without hiding under loose tops.

Curvy Couture has been in the making for many years, but only recently has Dora been able to set aside the funds to make her dream of offering affordable and beautiful bras to full figured women a reality.  Launching the new label and branching out into e-commerce offers customers the latest fabrics and trims utilizing the latest innovation and technology to enhance fit and comfort.  “Retail stores have been reluctant to carry curvy lingerie nor do they have a special section to service my customer.  I believe e-commerce is the best way to reach out to my girls.  She will enjoy the luxury of fitting our bras with total privacy at home, or wherever she prefers, and does not have to deal with the pressure of being intruded by sales associates in stores,” says Dora.

Dora grew up in the world of entertainment, with her parents owning a record label in Hong Kong.  She was able to be very much involved with the dressing of her parents’ singers for performances and gained an appreciation for fashion and flair.  As a result, it came as no surprise that inspiration for the launch collection came from Hollywood glamour and the Art Deco era.

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One of the most intimidating aspects of purchasing a bra online is the fear that it will not fit.  However, Dora has done away with this fear by offering a unique feature called Pick 2 on Curvy Couture’s e-commerce site that allows women to choose two bras to test for size and fit.  The bra that does not work is simply returned.

Currently Curvy Couture offers styles in C-DD cup sizes, but Dora plans on expanding the size range to include F, G, and H cups in spring 2013.  Other endeavors for the brand include producing a line of sports bras that are easy to put on without causing a heart attack to take off as well as a line of light shapewear that is easy to wear and provides sculpture for curves.

It will certainly be exciting to see how the brand develops throughout this coming year and beyond.  The lingerie industry could definitely use more entrepreneurs like Dora who realize that full figured women want to celebrate their curves and not hide them.

Intimate Insight: Christine Quartier la Tente Brings Dreams to Life

1 Aug

 

I am mesmerized by the images from Christine Quartier la Tente’s first collection.   The various collections take us from the clouds, to a mysterious fortress, to Asia, and back.  It’s an incredibly ambitious and beautiful collection, which reflects this French designer’s personality perfectly….. Passionionate, audacious and determined.

The sophistication of this line isn’t surprising, considering that Christine has worked for both Chantal Thomass as well as the likes of Julia Clancey and jewelry designer Lolita Pompadour.  Her attention to detail in her designs is evident, but the diversity within the collection is what impresses me the most.  It also isn’t surprising that her lingerie has been popping up everywhere.  It can be seen in the movie “Two Jacks”, it has become a favorite among Hollywood celebrities and has been seen at charity events and other gala events in Los Angeles.

 

Her Amandine line focuses on retro elegance.  Dotted mesh and French lace are used to weave sheer floral pieces that are classic, but still have an edge.

 

Her Leonor collection is shot in a mysterious tower, and takes the line in a distinctly edgier direction.  Velvet, vinyl, and transparent mesh are used to create pieces that help you embrace the vixen hiding inside.

 

Her Asia line takes the traditional cherry blossom motif and turns it upside down.  Bright cherry blossom prints are combined with sheer dot mesh to create a look that is both retro and surprising.

The Asia Night line takes the patterns from the Asia line and continues them in a series of babydolls and sexy kimonos.

Christine Quartier la Tente

Christine Quartier la Tente pieces are currently available at Lingerie on Lex in New York City.

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

10 Jul

“I Love Paris in the Summer when it Sizzles…”  I can’t think of a more appropriate song lyric to sum up the essence of the annual Salon International du Swimwear and de la Lingerie and Interfiliere held in Paris each July.  The famous trade shows which feature the latest lingerie and swimwear designs from brands around the world as well raw materials such as fabric, embroidery, lace and trims, are wrapping up as we speak….  Although I didn’t attend this year, I can assure you that these shows are “sizzling.”  I look forward to reading (and seeing) the trend reports from my colleagues in the coming weeks.  These shows (which take place concurrently) inspire intimate apparel professionals to do what they do….  To bring you the latest and greatest lingerie and swimwear designs conceivable!

A few Intimate Insights for the week….

There seems to be a new trend in Intimate Apparel Retailing….  I recently introduced you to the ecom site, True & Co.  True & Co. claims to solve our bra fit problems with a proprietary online fit process (sans measuring tape.)  Unfortunately, when I filled out their “simple quiz,” the results revealed that they had no matches for me.  Since then, I’ve discovered two more websites offering intimate apparel in a members-only environment.  Both sites create a customized showroom for members based on your preferences (another “simple quiz.”)  Each site varies slightly.  But the overall concept seems to be the same. 

Social commerce company BeachMint  launched their latest site, intiMINT, on May 30th.  They partnered with Dancing with the Stars host, Brooke Burke-Charvet to create the brand.  Available exclusively at intimint.com, the collection includes intimate apparel, loungewear, and sleepwear.

Brooke Burke-Charvet

intiMINT’s launch collection ranges in price from twenty dollars for two pairs of panties to eighty dollars for more substantial pieces.  intiMINT’s monthly membership (twenty dollars) is applied as a credit towards any purchase and is only charged when a member makes her first purchase.  As with BeachMint’s other brands, members receive personalized selections each month matched to their Style Profile with the option to choose items they love or skip the month for no charge.  Members also receive exclusive behind the scenes content and how-to styling tips.

 

The website AdoreMe.com claims to be the world’s first online lingerie personalized club providing the convenience and luxury of a personal shopping experience.  Upon entering the website, Adore Me members fill out a free lingerie consultation (AKA the “simple quiz”) indicating preferences in color, size, shape, and fit.  Additionally, fun questions such as, “Which Gossip Girl style best fits you?” provides additional insight into each member’s individual tastes.  Based on this style profile, a private showroom is handpicked.  Then, members receive one-on-one attention from lingerie experts who create a new showroom for them each month.  Monthly membership is just $39.95 and includes one set, free shipping and free exchange!  Adore Me offers bras, panties, boy shorts, bathing suits, stockings, leggings, chemises, baby doll, and more!

How do you feel about this type of online retailing?  Do you trust a computer quiz to “match” you with your perfect bra even if an intimate apparel expert had a hand in selecting it for you?  Heck…  If we can trust a “simple quiz” on Match.com or eHarmony to match us with our perfect mate, why not bras?  But I’m beginning to think it’s easier to find the perfect life partner than it is to find the perfect bra!  Thoughts? 

Another designer has been added to the line-up of the next edition of the Lingerie Journal Designer Showcase.  I’m excited to report that Angela Friedman will be showing her Versailles Collection alongside independent brands With Love Lingerie, Nevaeh Intimates, Dirty Dolls Lingerie and Clare Bare Eco-Friendly Intimate Apparel.  This season’s show runs from Sunday, August 5th through August 8th at the AKA Hotel on West 44th Street, NYC.  The Lingerie Designer Showcase had an incredibly successful show last February with several independent designers showing their lines and a sold out Brand Affair Seminar and Lingerie Exhibition that drew in close to 200 guests including buyers, lingerie retail store owners, independent lingerie designers, wholesale manufacturers, influential lingerie bloggers, and other intimate apparel professionals.  Buyers are welcome to pre-register here:  www.LingerieDesignerShowcase.com/attendee-registration/

OK….. I may have lied (not intentionally, of course.)  Web development is running a few days behind schedule (to be expected.)  Soooo….  We’re not quite ready for our big announcement.  But I promise it will happen this week.  Follow Bra La Mode & The Lingerie Journal (I’m thinking Wednesday or Thursday latest) to hear about my latest endeavor with Luis Paredes, publisher of The Lingerie Journal.  I’m really excited about this project and can’t wait to share it with the entire lingerie community. It will align all facets of our industry in very unique ways.

Buyers are welcome to register for the upcoming CurvExpo at www.CurvExpo.com.  The Designer Lingerie and Swim Show is being held in NYC from August 5th through August 7th and in Las Vegas from August 21st through the 23rd.

Got Insight?  Having an Intimate Affair?  Let us know!  Everyone can be an Intimate Insider!

As seen on LingerieBriefs.com

Intimate Insight: Naked Princess Reigns Over the Luxury Lingerie Market

9 Jul

Naked Princess is the new brand in town, although one look at their website reveals that this less than one year old brand is here to stay.  Naked Princess produces luxury lingerie and eco-friendly body products that allow women to incorporate that classic boudoir feeling into their everyday life.  The lingerie is meticulously crafted from luxurious European fabrics including modal and cashmere blends married with clipped, French leavers laces, and many pieces include hand-stitched details.  The beauty and body products are all light and natural; instead of covering things up, they enhance your own natural beauty.  And, all of their products are made right here in the USA.  Naked Princess works to create a world where every woman can live, love, and reign elegantly over her own life and lingerie collection!

Fittingly, this brand was conceived and brought to market by two deeply intelligent and elegant women.  Jordana Woodland is the founder and CEO of the company, while Rebecca B. Frank is co-founder and Chief Creative Officer overseeing all creative, research and product development for the brand.  Rebecca is also creative director for the content in Reign, the lifestyle magazine associated with the brand.

Naked Princess has successfully achieved an elegant and ethereal brand identity which is apparent in the tiniest of details.  Even their gift boxes are branded to convey the sensibility of the brand!  I asked Rebecca and Jordana what inspired the look and feel of the brand.  Rebecca told me that, “Our goal is create a lifestyle that empowers women to be confident in and outside of the boudoir.  Our desire is to have all women experience luxury, romance and femininity.  It’s not about being overtly sexual or obscene.  We believe in a “boudoir state of mind” and truly want women to relish the feeling of beautiful undergarments and luxurious, clean beauty products.”  When the two women sought inspiration, they went directly to Jordana’s collection of antique perfume bottles and vintage lingerie.  “I’ve been collecting antique perfume bottles and vintage lingerie for quite some time,” Jordana says.  “I have always appreciated beautiful details and use this to influence my interiors and environments.  It’s become a lifestyle, actually.  I’ll buy exquisite lingerie strictly for the art of it and never wear the piece.  This is what started it all.  I was sharing my collection with Becca and we both realized that this would make for an interesting collection that really harnesses the European sensibilities of boudoir and the art of dressing.”

Their collection goes far beyond elegance and femininity, though.  The Naked Princess team has worked hard to ensure that each piece is supremely comfortable and that their size range covers a wide variety of women.  Jordana says that their collection is for women who appreciate function as well as form.  “I’ve always been inspired by the intelligent and hard-working women I have met in my life.  There’s so much beauty in being a women and celebrating it.  There’s nothing more inspiring than creating a brand that encourages a woman to experience happiness, love and sexiness, all at once.”  Rebecca is focused on producing a larger size range so that a more diverse group of women can enjoy their luxurious pieces.  “I’m inspired by creating luxury that can be experienced by all women.  Society has treated the most beautiful and skinniest women as the elite and we’re trying to help resolve this conundrum.  This is why we make all of our apparel in a full size range of XS to XL.”

Many brands add a line of beauty products as an afterthought, but Naked Princess has worked hard to develop beauty products that match the sensibility of each collection season after season; and are all natural.  Rebecca graciously described the development process of the lingerie and beauty lines to me, “We feel that there are many parallels between luxury lingerie, beauty and the scents and fragrances that help make special moments all that more memorable.  Instead of treating the apparel line in a seasonal sense, we are inspired by the narrative of a love story and use it to infuse all aspects of the products in all of the product categories.  In the first collection titled “And She Lived Lovely Ever After,” we played with neutral and nude tones that work in both the lingerie and lip products.  Jordana and I worked with our team to create our first custom blended scent, Vanille Blanc –a warm and inviting scent, much like the warmth and comfort provided by the extremely soft cashmere MicroModal blend fabrics we used in the loungewear.  Our second collection, “A Thousand Kisses Deep,” is truly inspired by our muse, Jordana.  We actually looked to her for the sole inspiration for the custom floral scent called Fleur de Vivre, and the all Chantilly lace lingerie.  The creation of the new fragrance is a combination of top notes often worn by Jordana herself.  And the exquisite details of the Chantilly lace highlights Jordana’s love for intricate design.”

So how do you define sexy?  These two elegant women seem to have it figured out. “For me, sexy is about knowing who you are inside…and using that knowledge and confidence to play up those assets on the outside,” says Rebecca.  While Jordana believes that sexy is as simple as a confident smile.

To purchase Naked Princess lingerie and beauty products, go to:
Naked Princess Atelier

Intimate Insider: Sonata Lingerie Embraces the Belle Epoque

20 Jun

Using sheer, high-end laces, satin, silk chiffons and Swarovski crystals, designer Sonata Rapalyte has created multiple award-winning collections.  If you’re familiar with Sonata Lingerie, you have likely seen one of her luxurious lace bodysuits which Sonata says “is destined to adorn the bodies of those who want to be subtly reminded that they are deserving of only the very best.”  Sonata’s latest collection, ‘Belle Epoque’, is available in stores now and Sonata is excited to announce the launch of her recently re-designed website www.sonata-lingerie.com.  Intrigued by Sonata’s background and impressed by her hand-made designs, I interviewed her to get an intimate look at the designer behind the brand….

BraLaMode: What inspires you most?

Sonata: I love fashion.  I love good shoes.  Wearing good lingerie gives you the same feeling as wearing good shoes.  Wearing good lingerie makes a woman feel confident, attractive, and it gives them a real positive lift throughout the day.

BraLaMode: What did you do before starting your brand?  How did you get started?

Sonata: I moved to London quite quickly and started working for the uber-trendy lingerie designer Damaris.  I worked with Damaris as a seamstress and technical designer during the launch of her brand and throughout the early years.  However, I started to want to make my own designs.  My love for travel as well as my passion for lingerie then inspired me to move to the Sardinian coast for a while.  I ended up designing my entire first collection there.  I was surrounded by the unmistakable and breathtaking beauty on the island!  It was so inspirational.  I used to take a boat and sail out to the middle of the ocean, sit in the sun with the breeze and the waves, and just design.

BraLaMode: What’s the number one thing that differentiates you from other brands?

Sonata: It is a high-end lingerie line due to the quality fabrics and handmade aspects of the designs.  Sonata Lingerie is designed with fabulous women in mind everywhere.  I hate to think I have only one type of lady buying my designs.  I hope to inspire all ages from 18 to 80!  I just want to make women feel pretty, confident and sexy.  When you wear amazing lingerie, you feel amazing.  Basically, if I’ve achieved you feeling fabulous, then I’m happy with that.

BraLaMode: Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

Sonata: Sonata lingerie will take over the world!

BraLaMode: Tell me something interesting about you that isn’t lingerie related.

Sonata: My passion is cooking.  I always have my girlfriends around for dinner to try new types of foods or dishes.  We talk, we laugh, and they love my cooking!

Sonata Lingerie is available at www.bellabellaboutique.com.

Resources:

www.sonata-lingerie.com

@SonataLingerie

Intimate Insight: Angela Friedman Presents the Versailles Collection

31 May

What do you get when you combine art, design, history, theatrical costuming and feats of engineering with European draped silks, French lace, brocade and ruffles?  Angela Friedman’s Versaille Collection!  If you haven’t heard of Angela Friedman yet…. you will soon.  Angela has been developing her line for over five years, all while running the ladies’ department at The New York City Ballet Costume Shop, building costumes for the Glimmerglass Opera and the American Players’ Theatre and making dresses for everyone’s favorite vocalist, Adele.  

The variety of underpinnings being offered in her debut lingerie collection is staggering, as are the truly opulent details that make us long for yesteryear.  The vintage-inspired designs infuse an aristocratic flair with muted dusty hues to achieve a collection that evokes beauty, elegance, romance and pure indulgence!  The collection includes real steel-boned corsets, lacy and frilly bras and panties, bias cut slips and robes, accessories and garters.

Angela’s corsets have garnered praise around the World and there is no question as to why…..  Angela has taken European luxury fabrics such as metallic brocades and hand embroidery to create fine art in fashion!

Angela will be showing her Versailles Collection in NYC this Saturday, June 2nd.  Prepare to be wooed by Angela Friedman.  All pieces will be available for purchase as of Monday, June 4, 2012.

The Versailles Collection has been designed and handmade in New York City.  Angela proudly supports NYC’s garment district and has made a commitment to use local talent in developing and manufacturing her line.

Resources:

www.AngelaFriedman.com

Intimate Insight: Private Arts Blurs the Line Between Art and Lingerie

23 Apr

What do you get when you combine a contemporary apparel designer, a fine artist/graphic designer and her business-minded sister?  You get an art-based intimates line, Private Arts, the newest lingerie label that is about to take the world by storm.

Art is a public experience, while underwear is generally a private one.  Private Arts aims to blend the two, creating pieces that move beyond trendy and comfortable: they intend to be thought provoking as well; it is an interesting juxtaposition of “public & private.”  Each piece is printed with original hand drawn art, original photography, or original graphic designs from the effortlessly creative Private Arts team.  Private Arts lingerie reflects a variety of themes and influences, but all of the pieces are united by a dedication to comfort, quality, and unique design elements. 

As a brand, Private Arts has a very tight concept.  Each season they develop approximately ten themes (for example: Americana music fest, island surf, vintage travel.) Each collection has an undie, bandeau or bralette, and a short or t- shirt that match back to each theme.  The brand targets the contemporary woman; they have pieces that are themed for a western style rodeo called “Saddle Up,” as one example.  Founder (and the brand’s print artist) Michelle says, “But it is not cheesy like a cowgirl costume would be, it is fun and in trend, something every girl can feel sexy in and wear all day without garters and frills and embellishments.  Our undies are very flat and lay against the body almost seamlessly as if they are painted on.  They are the “anti-muffin-top” undie.  We like the idea of creating these different themes to match back to different types of women.  So maybe your style is surfer girl, but you want to change it up and do some role playing, you could choose our “Saddle Up” style and secretly be a cowgirl all day underneath your clothes!”

The concept of art-on-undies, Private Arts, is a collaboration between three women: Michelle, Meaghan, and Jeffeny.  Michelle and Meaghan are sisters, while Jeffeny is a longtime friend of the two.  Each took a different journey to land in the lingerie world, but their vision unites them and makes their company run smoothly.  Michelle has a fine arts background, while Megahan has a business background.  Jeffeny previously designed contemporary womens apparel for L.A. Made and Language.

Each woman embraced her natural talents and took on the role that fit her the best.  Meaghan is now the CFO, while Jeffeny designs the silhouettes, and Michelle is the artist behind the original artwork that becomes their prints.  The company began with a credit card and the use of Jeffney’s laundry room, but has quickly expanded to the point where they now have a warehouse and have quit their day jobs.  They’re currently being pitched to various fashion oriented TV shows including All on the Line with Joe Zee on the Sundance Channel.  In addition, Private Arts recently did a fashion show with RAW Artists at The Key Club in Hollywood which proved to be a real success. 

These three women want to emphasize that they are moms with families and they are also successful.  They want their children to grow up seeing that they can be anything the want to be if they put their minds to it!  The artistic intimates brand, Private Arts, is available at fine boutiques worldwide.

References:

www.PrivateArtsLA.com

Follow @PrivateArts

Intimate Insight: Beautiful Bottoms Introduces New Styles and Patterns for AW2012

17 Apr

The UK brand, Beautiful Bottoms, is known for luxurious silk lingerie and loungewear in vibrant patterns and prints (in addition to having a strong commitment to quality and construction.)  But in the AW2012 season, they’re taking the brand a step further with the introduction of a traditional lingerie drawer staple: the padded bra.  This is a smart move by a company that has taken the world by storm with their unique take on luxury loungewear.  This new silhouette rounds out their assortment offering yet another “must have” for Beautiful Bottoms’ fans.

If you know Beautiful Bottoms, you are well acquainted with their use of color and their dynamic prints.  Each piece is made of high quality silk georgette and the prints are truly unique as well as sophisticated, yet feminine.  Some prints are subtle, while others are sassier and more forward.  The solid pieces in each collection merchandise beautifully with the printed styles for a complete wardrobe. 

Their unconventional approach to patterns and color creates a vibrant AW2012 line that coordinates effortlessly.  All of the collections in the coming season are named after a precious stone that reflects the collection’s color palette, such as Quartz, Jade, Sapphire and Opal. 

Beautiful Bottoms pieces are made to flatter all figures, and offer lots of options for every woman.  Each piece is high quality, although the creators try to focus on affordability as well.  With the addition of padded bras, each loungewear group now has multiple bra and panty options.  Knickers, thongs, padded bras, soft-cup triangle bras, rompers and robes are all part of the AW2012 line. 

Beautiful Bottoms can be found worldwide, from Anthropologie to fine boutiques such as Journelle.

Resources:

www.BeautifulBottoms.co.uk

Follow @BeautifulBottom

Intimate Insight: Bethenny Frankel Models Skinnygirl Smoothers n’ Shapers

10 Apr

Bethenny created the shapewear brand, Skinnygirl Smoothers n’ Shapers, for every woman & every body.  Having the actual women in her life model her collection was the only truthful choice.  Looking good is about having fun and having confidence; it is a state of mind, a certain attitude.  Every woman is a Skinnygirl, no matter what size or shape we are!

Last night’s episode of Bethenny Ever After on BRAVO featured a “behind the scenes” look at the Skinnygirl Smoothers n’ Shapers photo shoot.  Bethenny and her fellow Skinnygirls had a blast modeling the line at the famed MILK Studios.  Here’s the result…..

 

The Collection is currently available online at Bare NecessitiesHer Room and on SkinnygirlShapers.com.  The new SS12 Collection will be launching at select Macy’s stores in May.

Resources:

www.SkinnygirlShapers.com

www.Bethenny.com

Follow @Bethenny & @SkinnygirlShape

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