Happy New Year! For me, the New Year is a great time for reflection. Many years ago I started a habit of keeping a journal. I am not one to write in it daily; but I make it a point to pull it out in the first part of January to write out my accomplishments from the previous year and to list out my goals, hopes, dreams and initiatives for the coming year (both personal and professional.) It’s fascinating to look at what was written the previous January. Most of the time, I forget what I wrote! Usually, the goals that were set have been accomplished (in some shape or form.) And more often than not, the outcome is far better than I could have imagined! So before I get you up to speed on the upcoming “Intimate Affairs,” I’d like to reflect back on 2012.
In 2012, we saw the launch of several new independent brands including Angela Friedman, Nevaeh Intimates, Fleur du Mal, Cheeki brand and Rouge Séduire among others. Julie Sygiel re-launched the revolutionary, absorbent, leak-proof and stain-resistant underthings now known as Dear Kate. And the Empowered By You panty was launched which enables underprivileged women to spearhead their own businesses.
The lingerie blogosphere expanded to include new bloggers and other independent intimate apparel professionals including my personal new fave, Caro the Lingerie Lesbian!
In ecommerce retailing, we saw new methods of marketing and selling intimates from sites including True & Co., IntiMint, AdoreMe.com and Ampere. Ecom retailers are offering lingerie subscription services and other innovative methods of retailing.
I witnessed an increased awareness of the importance of a proper fit. There were numerous online “debates” regarding the best way to fit, vanity sizing and so on. More and more brands, manufacturers and retailers are paying closer attention to the needs specific to the full-figure and full-busted consumer. Early last year, Bare Necessities launched their sister site, Bare Plus, which is an online shopping environment dedicated to this consumer.
Several e-tailers made an attempt to answer the question of how to get a proper fit when purchasing online. HerRoom.com launched the proprietary “Know your Breasts Bra Finder” questionnaire which purports to help you discover your best bra styles. And Freshpair.com re-launched their website which now includes more personalized services such as an At-Home Bra Fit Service and a Men’s Underwear Club. Freshpair also celebrated the 10th Anniversary of National Underwear Day by hosting a one-of-a-kind “It’s Time for a Change” pop-up store experience in New York City in August.
In August of 2012, my partner Luis Paredes, publisher of The Lingerie Journal (and The Business of Pleasure,) and I launched the online collaborative community of intimate apparel professionals known as The Lingerie Alliance. The Lingerie Alliance was inspired by the Brand Affair Marketing and PR Panel Discussion we hosted during February Market 2012. The Brand Affair proved to us that there is a need for a collaborative community of lingerie professionals as well as education, information and resources. Throughout the year, we sponsored several events including NOLCHA Fashion Week’s Closing Party and the non-profit fundraisers PinkChoseMe’s BRA Day USA 2012 and Go Naked and Check Yourself. We ended the year with a fun “Festive Affair” Holiday Networking Social which represented our vision for The Lingerie Alliance. The coming year will bring more events, workshops and seminars tailored specifically for today’s intimate apparel professional and we hope to have the membership functionality for the site itself completed before Summer.
Lauren Rich of RICHPR announced that she will be launching LingerieFW in New York City in February 2013. LingerieFW will be the first fashion week dedicated to intimate apparel brands.
In late October, the northeast suffered the wrath of Hurricane Sandy which delayed the quarterly wholesale market week and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses including my friend Marla Wink’s lingerie store, Indian Summer, in Beach Haven, Long Beach Island, New Jersey. (I’m happy to report that Marla is as determined as ever to rebuild her store and is hopeful that she will re-open her doors in time for the busy Summer selling season down the shore.)
The Lingerie Collective is coming to New York City in February 2013! The boutique trade show is well-known in London for featuring British and international emerging brands with a focus on innovation and luxury.
The non-profit Underfashion Club and the Intimate Apparel Square Club continued their programs in 2012 including the FEMMY Gala last February, the H.U.G. Awards Gala in November, various other programs throughout the year and their annual Holiday parties in December. Both organizations make significant contributions to our industry and raise funds to support their respective causes.
Other charity events included Go Naked and Check Yourself which was hosted in part by Sweetest Sin Boutique in Red Bank, New Jersey and included sponsors LELO and The Lingerie Alliance.
Overall, 2012 was a year full of growth and advancements. I am motivated by the forward movement in our industry and look forward to seeing further progress throughout 2013. I wish all of you the best of health, happiness, a sense of well-being, success and prosperity in your professional lives and in your personal endeavors.
Mark your calendars for these upcoming “Intimate Affairs” which are taking place here in the USA and around the World:
The Lingerie Collective in London- January 13th – 15th, 2013
Salon International de la Lingerie and Interfiliere in Paris- January 19th – 21st, 2013
Pure London in London- February 10th – 12th, 2013
Moda Lingerie and Swimwear in Birmingham- February 17th – 19th, 2013
Curve NV in Las Vegas- February 18th – 19th, 2013
Lingerie Fashion Week (LingerieFW) in New York- February 22nd – 23rd, 2013
The Lingerie Collective in New York- February 24th – 26th, 2013
Curve NY in New York- February 24th – 26th, 2013
INDX Intimate Apparel Show in the UK- March 19th – 21st, 2013
China Sourcing Fair in Hong Kong- April 27th – 30th, 2013
As seen on LingerieBriefs.com