Archive | Trend Report RSS feed for this section

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

30 Jan

The winter weather has arrived!  It has been incredibly brisk here in New York.  And I understand there was a bit of snow in Paris during the 50th Anniversary edition of Salon International de la Lingerie as well.  Despite the delayed flights and mucky city streets, I bet the flurries inspired a certain romanticism. 

Salon de la Paris_ICE imageI can only imagine the Paris city lights twinkling through a nighttime snow fall… It seems apropos that the theme of the renowned show’s trend forum was “Ice Land” which featured four “universes” — Romantic, Innovation, Savage and Neo Nude.  I first saw this emerging trend last year at a preview of the Marlies Dekkers Winter 2012 “Ice Queen” – Cool Scandinavia collection.  At first glance, I fell in love with the icy, frosted, muted hues which were presented in delicate snowflake-inspired laces and embroideries adorned with crystal embellishments.  The colors are quite a departure from the more traditional lingerie colors- black, nude, pink and red.

Speaking of pink and red…  Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away!  How do you celebrate the only day dedicated to romantic love?  Do you cherish this day to honor your lover or has it become just another “Hallmark Holiday” for you?  Do you shower your partner with intimate gifts, a handwritten love letter, red roses, confections, jewelry?  Is lingerie in your Valentine’s Day forecast?

Rouge Seduire_Pin It To Win It V Day Contest_Jan 2013If you are looking to seduce your partner with a little something special this Valentine’s Day…. Dare to enter Rouge Séduire’s “Pin It to Win It” Valentine’s Day Contest to win a Bra and Panty set that is sure to tease and tempt the senses, intrigue the soul, and entice the very essence of self.  The unparalleled, sexy and seductive, luxury lingerie line, Rouge Séduire has launched the “Pin It to Win It” Valentine’s Day Contest.  Fans of the brand have the opportunity to express their originality by creating a dedicated Pinterest board representing the theme #TheArtofSeduction.  On February 4th, the brand’s designer, Sharon Fan, will select one winner to receive a Rouge Séduire Bra and Panty set of their choice (valued up to $500 USD.)  The winner will receive her new lingerie set just in time for the hottest holiday of the year, Valentine’s Day!

Linger MinglerLinger in Spring Lake, N.J. is hosting the “Linger Mingler,” a Men’s Night Out this Thursday, January 31st from 6:30-8:00pm.  The “Intimate Affair” will feature a LIVE Fashion Show and complimentary cocktails.

sweetest sin_soiree_flyer2013_facebook[1]Sweetest Sin in Red Bank, N.J. is hosting their annual Valentine’s Day Soiree on Thursday, February 7th from 6:00-9:00pm.  You can expect free gifts from brands such as Hanky Panty & Booty Parlor AND the event will feature special guests from LELO, the world’s leading designer brand for intimate lifestyle products.

Fleur du Mal monogrammed pantiesFleur du Mal has launched the Say My Name bespoke panty service exclusively on http://www.fleurdumal.com … just in time for Valentine’s Day.  Order beautiful silk chiffon panties with a custom embroidered name or monogram for $98 in sizes S/M or M/L in either Blush or Fever.

This year, technology enabled brands like Ampere are making it easier for men and women to give or receive lingerie.  Here are a few great Valentine’s Day gift options from Ampere: 

Romper Productthe Madison Romper constructed of the finest silk charmeuse and accented with silk chiffon and lace details, the Gramercy and/or Chelsea Thongs which are designed to make a woman look and feel sexy while being comfortable enough to take her from day to night, the Gramercy and/or Chelsea Bras which are crafted with a luxurious scalloped, gold bourdon yarn embellished lace and silk lining (each bra order comes with a FREE matching panty,) or an E-Gift Card for $25 – $145.

femmy2013The Underfashion Club is hosting its annual FEMMY Gala on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at Cipriani 42nd Street, NYC.  Again this year, the “Intimate Affair” will be hosted by Carson Kressley.  This year’s Student Design Contest is sponsored by Penn Asia Co., Ltd., Regina Miracle International Ltd. and Stretchline Holdings Ltd.  The theme is “Midnight Garden” – Seduction of Flowers.  The Underfashion Club will be presenting FEMMY Awards to Bloomingdale’s, Cosabella and The Lenzing Group, the Innovation Award is being presented to Hautelook, and the Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient is Josie Natori of The Natori Company.  For additional information regarding ticket purchase or to sponsor a table or to advertise in the event program, visit www.underfashionclub.org.

LingerieFW_imageSAVE THE DATE – Lauren Rich, founder of RICHPR and LingerieFW, is planning a party to celebrate the close of Lingerie Fashion Week (LingerieFW) which is set to debut on February 22nd.  The “Intimate Affair” will be sponsored in part by The Lingerie Journal and The Lingerie Alliance and will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2013 following the last runway show of the day.  Details to follow….

Mark your calendars for these upcoming “Intimate Affairs” which are taking place here in the USA and around the World:

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

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

5 Dec

Let’s cut right to the chase.  There are tons of Intimate Affairs over the next few weeks.  Great opportunities for networking with fellow industry pros and excellent bargains for lingerie collectors!  Or perhaps you would like to make a difference this Season by getting involved in one of the industry’s charitable organizations?  I hope to see you at one of these festive events.

On December 4, 2012, The Underfashion Club hosted its annual Holiday Party at The National Arts Club on Gramercy Park South.  The Intimate Affair featured dinner, dancing and a whimsical bra & bottoms design contest.  In addition, gifts of clothing and toys were collected and donated to the New York Foundling Children.  Members of the Club and other industry professionals came together to celebrate the season in style.  Stay tuned for pictures of the event and the list of design contest winners.

Here are the Upcoming Intimate Affairs:

clowintersale2012Today, December 5th, Clo Intimo is hosting a Holiday Sale which will also feature NY-based, independent jewelry designs from Poupette.  The Holiday Sale is taking place from 5-10pm at the Archstone Murray Hill, 245 E. 40th Street, Penthouse, NYC.

Paris Trend Event Dec 6thThe Paris Region Economic Development Agency (PREDA) is hosting a trend presentation on Thursday, December 6th at the Consulate General of France in NYC.  The presentation is a fresh insight into the latest fashion and home trends by the trend forecasting agency NellyRodi.  It will be followed by a panel discussion between Paris-based trade shows and American trend experts.

Dear Kate launch invite Dec 7The official Dear Kate Launch Party is being held this Friday, December 7th from 6-9pm.  The Intimate Affair is being hosted by Azaleas, 140 Second Avenue, NYC.  Celebrate the launch of this unique and innovative lingerie line with cocktails, music and more.  The first 50 guests will receive a Dear Kate tote bag.  RSVP to party@dearkates.com

PrintBra La Mode presents a Festive Affair Holiday Trunk Show on Saturday, December 8th featuring Dirty Dolls Lingerie, Love & Dream Sleepwear and Loungewear and introducing – for the first time ever – luxury lingerie line Rouge Séduire.  As an added bonus, Stella and Dot jewelry and accessories will be sold too!  Wrap up your holiday shopping in one stop.  The Intimate Affair will be held at Spa 34 on 34th Street in NYC from 10am-3pm and will feature Spa Specials including a Traditional Mani/Pedi for only $22 (reg. $34.) and a ½ Hour Full Body Massage for only $30 (reg. $40.)  Come in from the cold and shop for Holiday Gifts up to 50% off and indulge yourself with a Spa treatment!  Be sure to RSVP at www.festivetrunkshow1.eventbrite.com.  Guests can expect refreshments and gifts with purchase.

Lille Boutique_astral-bodies-flyer-1On December 12, 2012, from 7pm to midnight. Lille Boutique will be celebrating the holidays in style with a Planned Parenthood benefit at Holocene nightclub, located at 1001 SE Morrison Street in Portland, Oregon.  The highlight of the event will be a Fashion Show with models by Q6 (styled by Sephora and Proper Salon) for the launch of Fortnight Lingerie’s latest collection, Asteria 2013, inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Lille will be raising funds for Planned Parenthood, so 100% of the profits from this amazing event will go to charity.  Tickets are currently sold out, but an additional 15 general admission tickets to the fashion show will be released at the door.  The free after-party does not require a ticket, so all are welcome to attend for a chance to win over $1000 in donated raffle prizes, including gift certificates to Lille Boutique, lingerie from Fortnight, Maison Close, Only Hearts, Unforeseen Circumstances, The Lake and Stars, Huit, and much more.  New Deal Distillery will be donating complimentary drinks during the cocktail hour, and the event will be catered by Luce, with cupcakes donated by Cupcake Jones.  There will be additional entertainment in the form of Astrological Readings by Psychic Siamese Terror, film projection, a giant photo booth, and music by the Sex Life DJs.  Fortnight Lingerie’s designer, Christina Remenyi, will travel to Portland from Toronto to attend the event and answer questions about the collection.  Lille Boutique and Lille Trousseau carry high-end lingerie, swimwear, antiques and accessories, with an emphasis on vintage-inspired garments, independent designers and natural fibers.

HUG AwardThe Intimate Apparel Square Club’s Holiday Party is being held on December 13, 2012.  This year, Santa will be visiting the “Rusk Kids” one-on-one in their rooms while the new RUSK facility is being built.  But members and guests are welcome to join us for dinner at Trattoria Alba on 34th Street, NYC at 6pm.  The Intimate Affair includes presentation of the prestigious Al Jaffin Award to Diane Paccione as well as presentation of the 2012 H.U.G. Award Gala proceeds to the administrators and doctors at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Rehabilitation Center and Tisch Hospital.  Members and their families: $70; Guests: $80 (Dinner and Open Bar.)

Bella Intimates in Rye, New Hampshire is hosting “Men’s Night” on Thursday, December 13th from 6-8pm at the store located at 150 Lafayette Road, Rt. 1 in Rye.  Bella Intimates Holiday Collection will be modeled throughout the evening.  Guests are welcome to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while shopping.  Your gifts will be wrapped AND… Bella is offering Curb Side Service!  Just pull up in front and your packages will be delivered to you! www.bellaintimatesNH.com

TLA_FestiveAffairInviteOn December 18, 2012, The Lingerie Alliance presents A Festive Affair Holiday Networking Social at Legends Loft Lounge, 6 West 33rd Street between 5th Ave & 6th Ave from 6:30-8:30pm.  Two hours open bar, giveaways & gift bags, an Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest and more.  The primary sponsor of the Festive Affair is LELO, the world’s leading designer brand for intimate lifestyle products.  LELO is donating Prize Baskets for winners of the Ugly Sweater Contest with the Grand Prize Basket valued at $1000!  The legendary lingerie lady, Roslyn Harte, will be judging the Ugly Sweater Contest.  Additional sponsors include byChez Designer Lingerie Boutique.  This event costs $35/ per person and is limited to 60 people.  RSVP and purchase your tickets before they sell out: www.festiveaffair1.eventbrite.com

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

As seen on LingerieBriefs.com

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

8 Aug

It’s that time of the year….  Too much lingerie; not enough time to do all of the things I want to do!  From trade shows to press previews, market week kick-off parties, fashion shows, seminars, conferences and other events….  There’s no rest for the weary!

On Wednesday, August 1, 2012, The Intimate Apparel Council hosted an Intimate Affair at the Union League Club in NYC.  Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Analyst of The NPD Group, presented “50 Shades of Intimates.”  He discussed retail trends and the “consumerology” impacting our industry in particular.  Marshal provided invaluable intimate insight such as current “distractions” that are affecting consumer spending and he emphasized the importance of value and innovation. 

On Thursday, August 2nd, I had the privilege of attending a Press Preview Event where I was introduced to the EMPOWERED BY YOU (“EBY”) panty.  The high-tech panty incorporates a patented silicone “flocking” technology and side-seam fusion technique to prevent slippage, impart smoothness and ensure steady wear.  A cause-brand initiative, $1 from the sale of every EBY panty will fund Seven Bar Foundation, a non-profit organization that extends its trademark “ladder” to women out of poverty and into business through microfinance.  Each panty includes an insert with a testimonial from a woman who has been empowered by the Foundation, which works closely with both international and local partners such as Project Enterprise which benefits women in the New York City area.  Project Enterprise is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to support and develop entrepreneurs and small businesses in under-resourced communities in New York City.  The Seven Bar Foundation lends women a “hand up”, not a “hand out” by giving them a “first break”.

Luis Paredes and Moira Nelson

The Lingerie Alliance Launch Party and Lingerie Fashion Show held on Saturday, August 4th at The Griffin lounge in NYC was a huge success.  The Intimate Affair introduced industry leaders, buyers, media and press to the online collaborative community of intimate apparel professionals created by me and my partner, Luis Paredes.  We are so pleased with the way things turned out and are motivated by the enthusiasm and support we have received from the industry.  The Fashion Show featured the SS13 collections from the event’s key sponsor, Affinitas & Parfait, as well as the imaginative designs of independent brands Angela Friedman, Clare Bare Eco Intimates, Dirty Dolls Lingerie, Nevaeh Intimates, Ombrato and With Love Lingerie.  Buyers that missed the Intimate Affair on Saturday night can still get a look at the six emerging brands at the Lingerie Journal Designer Showcase today, August 8th at the AKA Hotel, Times Square, NYC.  The Showcase gives buyers that are looking for innovative, new collections the opportunity to meet one-on-one with these indie designers in a relaxed setting. 

The Best of Intima’s Best Shop Awards were held in the Penthouse at 230 Fifth Ave on Sunday, August 5th.  Last year’s winner of the Best of Intima’s Choice Award, Angela Courtney of Sweetest Sin Boutique in Red Bank, New Jersey, was an honored guest at this year’s awards ceremony.  She said, “It was a great night in Lingerie-land.  It was such an accomplishment for me to win last year’s Best Shop Award and reliving the night with the industry’s crème de la crème again this year was incredible.  I mingled with other boutique owners and CEO’s of the biggest lingerie brands.  Plus the venue was fabulous…a rooftop lounge overlooking the empire state building.  I’m truly looking forward to next year.” 

The 2012 Best of Intima Best Shop Awards were presented to:

Concept Store: Knickers of Hyde Park

European Flair: Forty Winks

Personal Touch: Toujours

Reference Shop: Sara’s Lingerie

The Best of Intima’s Choice: Le Boudoir, Inc.

And Special Recognition Prizes were awarded to:

Best Unexpected Location: Bella Fine Lingerie

Best Niche Product: Kaori’s Closet Tokyo

CONGRATS to the 2012 Best Shop Award Nominees and Winners!

On Monday evening, CURVENY presented The So Curve Fashion Show.  From ballet to burlesque… From a Gotye remix to a touch of the Material Girl…and intervals topless…. The So Curve Fashion Show performed by the renowned Crazy Horse Paris dancers at CurvExpo was a spectacular performance.  The dancers wore selected styles from exhibitors at CurvExpo including Affinitas, Fantasie, Fauve and Freya, Hanky Panky, LOU Paris, Simone Perele and Wacoal, among others. 

The bi-annual Lingerie Trade Show CURVENY just wrapped up and now they’re headed to Las Vegas.  CURVELV runs from August 21st through the 23rd at The Venetian.  Guests can register at www.curvexpo.com.

Last night, the Underfashion Club hosted “A Paris Report” which was presented by Mayouri Sengchanh of Carlin International.  The Intimate Affair featured a report on the MODE City and Interfiliere Trade Shows as well as highlights of the coming SS14 Season.

And tonight, the gals from ILOVEAGOOD are hosting Chantelle’s Fall/Winter 2012 Collection Preview.  The Intimate Affair is being held at the brand’s NY Showroom on Madison Ave and will include cocktails, professional bra fittings and gift bags!  Oooo La La!

What’s next?  Anyone planning a Fashion’s Night Out Event?  Let us know so we can spread the word here on Bra La Mode!

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

As seen on LingerieBriefs.com

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

24 Jul

It’s a very busy time of year for the Lingerie biz.  We’ve hardly recovered from the jetlag resulting from trips to MODE CITY in Paris and other European buying trips earlier this month.  And now we’re headed straight into the busiest few weeks of the year. 

Speaking of Europe, I’ve had the privilege of seeing a few SS13 Trend Reports over the past few weeks.  Most of these reports are proprietary, but I’ve got two words for you—floral and coral!  Yes, Tangerine Tango is here to stay….at least for a little while longer.  Although, it looks like it will be used more as an accent color than a primary color.  And designers are playing with the intensity of the color a bit.  In general, the trends are ultra-feminine…. Simply, pretty!  The bold, bright floral prints coming in Spring are fabulous….

Next week is the wholesale Market Week here in New York City.  Buyers from major retailers come in from around the country to meet with their current vendors and to meet-and-greet with potential new vendors.  The focus will be on wrapping up SS13 buys and previewing Back-to-School and Fall 13 assortments.  That is followed by the bi-annual Lingerie Trade Shows CURVENY and The Lingerie Journal Designer Showcase here in NYC.  And then, CURVELV takes place a few weeks later in Las Vegas.  In addition to the Market appointments, buyers and brands are busy attending various other industry related events such as The Best of Intima’s Best Shop Awards on August 5th

And of course, no one wants to miss The Lingerie Alliance Launch Party and Lingerie Fashion Show on Saturday, August 4th!  The Intimate Affair will introduce industry leaders, buyers, media and press to the online collaborative community of intimate apparel professionals created by me and my partner, Luis Paredes.  The Fashion Show will feature SS13 collections from Affinitas & Parfait as well as the imaginative designs of independent brands Angela Friedman, Clare Bare Eco Intimates, Dirty Dolls Lingerie, Nevaeh Intimates, Ombrato Lingerie & Sleepwear and With Love Lingerie.  Buyers and Media/Press are welcome to attend the Intimate Affair or they can register to view the designer collections during Market Week.  Affinitas & Parfait will be exhibiting at CurvExpo from August 5th through the 7th while the six emerging, independent labels will be showing their lines at the Lingerie Journal Designer Showcase from August 5th through August 8th at the AKA Hotel, Times Square, NYC.  The Showcase gives buyers the opportunity to meet one-on-one with designers in a relaxed setting.  Buyers looking for innovative, new collections can pre-register for the Designer Showcase at: http://lingeriedesignershowcase.com/attendee-registration/

REMINDER- The Intimate Apparel Square Club is having their annual Christmas in July Party at the RUSK Institute on 34th Street and First Ave in NYC this Wednesday, July 25th.   Members of the Club and other supporters of IASC and RUSK come together to visit with the children who are suffering from life-altering illnesses or disabilities to spread some “holiday” cheer.  The festive Intimate Affair brings joy to the children and warms the hearts of all those who attend.  If you are interested in attending this special event or want to learn more about how you can get involved in the IASC, feel free to reach out to me. 

The Intimate Apparel Council is gathering together for their next event at the Union League Club in NYC on Wednesday, August 1, 2012.  Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Analyst of The NPD Group, will present “50 Shades of Intimates” as he discusses trends impacting our industry.  The event is free for members of the Intimate Apparel Council (and their employees.)  The Intimate Apparel Council is a division of the American Apparel and Footwear Association.

On Tuesday, August 7th, the Underfashion Club is hosting “A Paris Report” to be presented by Mayouri Sengchanh of Carlin International.  The “Intimate Affair” will feature a report on the MODE City and Interfiliere Trade Shows as well as highlights of the SS14 Season.

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

As seen on LingerieBriefs.com

Intimate Affair: The Underfashion Club Hosts “Eye on Trends”

17 Oct

The Underfashion Club hosted a panel discussion entitled “Eye on Trends” on Thursday, October 13, 2011.  The event was moderated by Guido Campello, Cosabella’s vice president of sales, branding, and innovation and member of the Underfashion Club’s board of directors.  The panel was comprised of trend experts David Wolfe, creative director of The Doneger Group, Sharon Graubard, senior vice president of trend analysis at Stylesight, and Danielle Black, co-founder and chic operating officer of www.iloveagood.com.  The event was held at St. Giles Hotel on Manhattan’s east side. 

The evening began with a cocktail hour which allowed the Club’s membership to mingle and network with fellow industry professionals.  Like all Underfashion Club events, it was well attended and the evening’s “Eye on Trends” panel discussion was highly anticipated.  Attendees at the Intimate Affair included the Club’s president Walter Costello, lifetime member Roslyn Lances Harte who coordinated the event, the Club’s executive vice president Victor Vega, several members of the Club’s board of directors including Suzanne Beck and Gary Hughes, as well as dozens of members and new members including buyers, merchandisers, designers, marketing executives, consultants, and account management executives from intimate apparel retailers, ecommerce retailers, manufacturers, trend services, fabric and lace mills, and trim suppliers. 

After sipping on cocktails and munching on hors d’oeuvres, the members of the Club were ushered into an adjoining room by Roslyn Harte where the presentation was to be held.  It took a few minutes to quiet the crowd as many members look forward to catching up with old friends, associates, and former colleagues at these events.  But as soon as the Club’s president Walter Costello stood at the front of the room and greeted the members of the Club, we focused our attention on the event which was about to be presented.  Many members pulled out notebooks and prepared themselves to hear the latest trends influencing our industry and the world we live in as well as upcoming trends which we should keep an eye on.

Guido Campello, VP of Sales, Branding & Innovation at Cosabella

Utilizing a well-prepared Powerpoint presentation, Guido Campello began the evening with his own interpretation of trends.  First, we need to understand what a “trend” is…  There are various ways of looking at trends and our own experiences influence our perspective.  Guido’s dad says “It is like love…. we may not understand it, but it will be happening.”  And Guido said it is like cooking.  A cookbook helps him to get to the masterpiece.  Creativity is good, but we need tools to lead us there and to help us to understand where we should be headed.  Guido talked about knowing your brand and knowing your market.  He emphasized the importance of knowing your target consumer in each market.  A style or color could be great in one country (or one part of a country), but it may not sell well in another country.  Guido suggested a few books which have helped to influence him greatly including Buzz Marketing by Mark Hughes, Socialnomics by Erik Qualman, and Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.  He also reads industry trade papers including Women’s Wear Daily and the California Apparel News, and he follows daily and weekly email newsletters such as Daily Candy and Ellen Lewis’ Lingerie Briefs.  He also mentioned using the “blogosphere” as a resource which is becoming more and more relevant in today’s world.  Regarding trends, he said “if you see repetition, it might be a trend.”  The key is in being able to react quickly.  As an example, his company Cosabella saw bandeaus popping up…. As a brand, they recognized this as a trend and were able to jump on it quickly.  He suggested, as a vendor, assign tasks to various members of the team.  Then, when you come together to discuss ideas… If several people are seeing the same thing… It is likely to be a trend.

Guido introduced us to David Wolfe, creative director of The Doneger Group.  David is responsible for both tracking trends and forecasting trends.  He first asked, “What is a trend?”  He said, “Every definition is correct.”  He said it is easy to spot current trends and he utilized his Powerpoint presentation to illustrate his point.  We are seeing lingerie inspiration in ready-to-wear collections.  There is an “Exposure Explosion” happening as women are becoming more comfortable displaying their bodies.  He laughed while saying, “I’m so old I thought you should wear things that flatter you!”  He pointed out the fact that prints are still prevalent and color is still strong (less and less black on the runways.)  He touched on “mega forces” around us such as culture, lifestyle, economics, and demographics.  All of these things influence trends.  And we are now living in a world where the consumer has power (as a result of the internet and social networking).  My favorite line of the night was “You never want to be surprised…  If you’re surprised, it means you lost money.”  How true is that?  So how do we avoid this as a brand or as a business?  How can we be on top of the current trends and attempt to predict future trends?  As a brand or business, I don’t want to be in a position where I’m saying “coulda, woulda, shoulda.” 

Time Magazine February 2011- Singularity

So… what is about to happen?  David gets excited to think about upcoming trends….  What’s to come?  First is “The Future.”  David referenced Time magazine’s cover story on “Singularity” in which the futurist and engineer, Raymond Kurzweil, makes five incredible predictions including “computers will think like humans do by the end of the 2020’s,” “the Singularity will occur in 2045,” and “after the Singularity, humans will become functionally immortal.”  These are pretty incredible statements.  But, how far-fetched are they really?  We will start controlling our computers via brain sensors.  Internet enabled contact lenses are being developed.  And what about cars that drive themselves?  We are moving into the age of “magnetic force.”  Fossil fuels and electricity will be relatively obsolete.  So what does all of this mean for the world of fashion?  Modernism.  Apparel will be a reflection of the society that wears it.  David suggests that the apparel industry needs to catch up to other fields such as architecture and art.  Architects, designers, and engineers are using “out of the box” materials. 

Soumaya Museum Mexico City

David referenced an image of the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City.  What’s happening in the world around us is certain to influence fashion design and the textiles used in fashion.  David thinks we’re really dragging our feet and falling far behind other fields in this regard.  He predicts luminescent fabrications, shimmery surfaces, pearlescent…. Fabrics that dazzle, shimmer, and shine.  How about clothing that changes color based on your mood (remember the good ol’ mood ring?)  How about pieces that glow in the dark, are 3-D, or light up? 

David’s second prediction is “Age in the New Age.”  People aren’t “done” at age 70 anymore.  And as advances in medicine and technology continue at the pace they have been, there is a new notion of “amortality.”  Time magazine writer Catherine Mayer coined the term and defines it as “the burgeoning trend of living agelessly.”  Age appropriate behavior and age appropriate dress codes have gone by the wayside.  Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and Cher are all turning sixty-five.  Does this change our view of the average sixty-five year old?  Market to the Baby Boomers!  Baby Boomers are rethinking old age.  The fastest growing demographic in the United States is eighty-five plus years old and they have the most money of any demographic.  Targeting the youth is still important, but they need to be regarded differently.  The Gen V (generation virtual) is different than previous generations.  What does this all mean for those of us that are designing and marketing apparel products?  The Boomers are regaining fashion economic control.  And as we are becoming “ageless,” we need to design product that caters to various groups.  We can no longer pigeon-hole apparel by the age of a certain demographic; we need to think about “cross-aging” apparel.  Is eighty the new sixty?

Sharon Graubard, SVP of Trend Analysis at Stylesight

David focused his presentation on burgeoning mega trends which fascinated the crowd.  But he was followed by Sharon Graubard, senior vice president of trend analysis at the well-known trend forecasting service, Stylesight, who made intimate apparel trends more tangible.  Sharon shared images from the Fall ’12 runway shows and helped us to understand how we can interpret these trends into our intimate apparel designs.  It was amazing to see how much of what is currently being seen on the runway is influenced by current lingerie and sleepwear trends.  Sharon said “Runway is a rich, hot bed of ideas.”  She referenced intimate apparel brand VPL and demonstrated how they are modernizing color; they are expanding how we view neutrals and as well as “sport” in intimates.  When looking at the runway shows, we should be looking for consensus in a trend and consensus in designers.  Again, if we see repetition, it is likely to be a trend.  What is that “thing” underlying it all? 

What we see on the runways can be translated into intimate apparel.  Sharon saw a “fetish” trend (soft bondage).  Many designers used interesting straps to accent the bustline.  She saw a lot of slips and slip dresses.  Vintage is still prevalent.  The brief is sexy!  There’s a lot more coverage… Sharon says, “The thong isn’t looking so sexy these days!”  The hipster is happening.  She is seeing an influence of 1960’s… Think Brigitte Bardot.  Sharon saw sweater-knit knickers on the runway.  Here’s an opportunity to explore a different fabrication.  Sharon shared her idea that “Sexy is within… Dress the way you feel.”  What about the tap pant?  It’s making a resurgence… It is more fluid and has more volume.  She saw sheer slips peeking out from underneath dresses.  Many of these slips had a certain “stiffness” to them and were meant to be seen…  Fabrications included organza, netting, and tulle.  Many gowns were floor length.  We can easily translate this trend into our lingerie and sleepwear lines.  The Camisole is still an important silhouette.  Sharon saw thermal and thinks it could be a fabrication easily incorporated into loungewear, pajamas, underwear, and tights.  There are “PJ” trends…. Classic styles with piping, silk and silk foulard, tunics, and kimonos.  The babydoll silhouette has a “ballet-look.”  Sharon said lace was key on the runway and of course, this bodes well for our industry.  Sharon saw wraps, cocoons, and tunics on the runway which can influence our upcoming designs in bathrobes.  There were cardigans in various styling which can be interpreted for our daywear and loungewear collections.  She saw robes on the runway which were reminiscent of the styles worn by 1930’s startlets such as Jean Harlow.  And, she even saw slippers on the runways!  She saw everything from man-tailored styles to fluffy, furry, fun styles!  Sharon’s intimate insight is invaluable to us as industry professionals whether we are retailers or wholesalers.  I’m sure that many members of the Club were anxious to get back to their drawing boards to put together a new collection.  The best part is that each of us interprets information differently.  I can’t wait to see what is in store for intimates for Fall ’12.

Jenny Altman and Danielle Black, Founders of http://www.iloveagood.com

Our final trend expert panelist was Danielle Black, co-founder and chic operating officer for www.iloveagood.com.  Danielle chose to discuss marketing trends with an emphasis on the importance of social media (and the internet in general) as a means of marketing our intimate apparel brands and businesses.  She and partner Jenny Altman created I Love A Good as a forum for communicating with customers.  She said, “We put it on every day, yet it is still an unmentionable.”  She said their site is a “feel good” resource.  They want to encourage women to embrace their femininity.  Don’t be afraid of it.  She talked about Facebook and Twitter as excellent marketing tools.  She said that more users check their Facebook account at 7am and then again after 9pm.  Posts with eighty characters or less get 27% more engagement.  Brands such as Zinke Intimates are even using Twitter to book appointments.  The benefit is that they can do it while “on the go.”  Crowd sourcing is an important tool.  Listen to consumers.  Don’t tell them what they want; listen to what they want.  Use Facebook and Twitter to ask questions and to create a dialogue.  We can use Google Alerts to track key words so that we can listen in on the conversation.  Brands are now posting “sneak peeks” of upcoming collections on Facebook and Twitter so that they can gauge interest before placing bulk production orders.  Today’s consumer is looking for instant gratification.  And the consumer tells us immediately what they think.  In addition to social media in general, trends include the use of expert or celebrity partnerships to promote product.  Contests and giveaways are popular methods of generating buzz.  As consumers are being more knowledgeable, we need to make it newsworthy or give her a reason to buy.  We need to give her something she doesn’t already have.  We have heard a lot about the importance of social media and embracing technology in our industry over the past few months.  I appreciated Danielle’s intimate insights and am excited to see how more brands and businesses in our industry look to implement these tools into their marketing strategies.

The event came to a close after a brief “question and answer” session.  Anthony Oren asked, “Is Twitter perceived as a threat?”  Panelists responded with an emphatic “No.”  In fact, in terms of trend forecasting, Twitter allows us to know what people want even before they know it!  Twitter is an excellent tool for listening in on the consumer conversation.  A buyer from BareNecessities.com commented that, unfortunately, department stores are still driving the business and they are not allowed to take risks.  They are allotted very few dollars to purchase product that is truly innovative.  This makes all of our jobs more difficult.  Everyone agreed that specialty stores are critical to the future of our industry.  Guido Campello talked about our responsibility to educate our retailers about the need for more diversification in their stores.  I think we can continue to improve our industry if we work together.  The events which are hosted by The Underfashion Club throughout the year are vital to the continuing education of our industry’s professionals, especially as our world is evolving so rapidly.  This Intimate Affair proved to be no exception.  Each of the panelists brought their own unique perspective to the discussion and they each provided important Intimate Insights in their own area of expertise.  Thank You to The Underfashion Club for doing what you do. 

About The Underfashion Club

Established in 1958 as the Corset and Brassiere Women’s Club, Inc., in 1963 the group was re-invented as the Underfashion Club — a non-profit, intimate apparel industry organization dedicated to education.  The Underfashion Club’s mission is to support new talent with scholarships and internships and it offer seminars, panel discussions, and networking opportunities to industry professionals.

Today, the Underfashion Club members work in all facets of the intimate apparel industry: foundations, daywear, sleepwear, robes, and loungewear.  The Club’s membership represents all areas of the industry: retailers, manufacturers, textile mills, fiber producers, and trim suppliers.  Members hold positions in all departments: management, marketing, merchandising, sales, design, education, and human resources.

The Club’s annual Femmy Gala, a premier event in the intimate apparel industry, recognizes and celebrates the achievements of intimate apparel industry leaders worldwide.  Honorees are chosen from all sectors of the business and have included Designers Donna Karan and Josie Natori, retailers Neiman Marcus and Victoria’s Secret, manufacturers Carole Hochman Design Group and Maidenform, and industry notables Eileen West and Elle Macpherson.

Proceeds from the Femmy Gala are distributed by the SAIG Committee (Scholarships, Awards, Internships, and Grants) to deserving students who pursue high school or college–level intimate apparel related courses. The Fashion Institute of Technology and the High School of Fashion Industries in New York City are primary beneficiaries.

Resources

The Underfashion Club

www.UnderfashionClub.org

%d bloggers like this: