I talk to people in the lingerie industry every day, and a lot of them – particularly the smaller, independent companies – ask the same questions again and again. Namely, how can they build their business? How can they boost their bottom line and be more profitable without having the business take over their lives completely. 7 Steps to Boost Your Lingerie Business takes real-world examples of companies from throughout the industry and applies an important business objective to each one. Manufacturers, retailers and even bloggers will get tremendous value from this book because it’s about the world we live in, written in the terms we all deal with every day.
I wanted to post a personal note about a subject that is always a “hot topic” in industry news: proper fit, function and the sizing of bras. Everywhere you look, a news outlet is talking about how many women are wearing the wrong size bra. And in the past year or so, we have seen numerous brands and businesses attempting to resolve this issue with new fit techniques, new sizing systems, innovative business models, at-home fittings, subscription services, apps, algorithms, etc, etc. As we all know from working in this industry, it’s not easy to properly fit a woman to make sure she is in the best sized bra for her. That is where Ali Cudby comes into the picture!
Ali Cudby, the author of Busted! The Fab Foundations Guide to Bras that Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic, started the FabFit Academy where you can take a virtual certification course to become an expert fitter! I highly regard Ali’s methodology and suggest that you arm yourself with the expertise to give you the competitive edge that is so desperately needed to stand out in this difficult market. In my business, I am always looking for ways to differentiate my services and provide added value. Here’s one opportunity to set yourself apart!
Whether you are an emerging brand, start-up company, manufacturer, retailer or other industry pro, you can benefit from Ali’s course. It’s in our best interest to keep up-to-date on the latest happenings in the business.
Because I believe in Ali’s expertise and want to see all of us excel in our respective businesses, I am offering a 1 Hour FREE Skype Video Chat Consultation to anyone that signs up for Ali’s upcoming course using this link:
Ali has extended the deadline to register….. exclusively for friends of Bra La Mode….Register by Tuesday, October 22nd!
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to hone your skills and ultimately increase your revenues.
May All of your Dreams Become a Reality!
Only 1 FREE Hour Skype Video Chat Consultation per Registrant. New Clients Only. You will be contacted to schedule your 1 FREE Hour by November 15, 2013. FREE Consultation to take place prior to February 1, 2014.
February is one of the busiest months of the year for the Intimate Apparel industry. This week is “Market Week” in the mass wholesale side of the business. Major retailers fly into New York from all over the country to shop for Fall ’13 and to preview product for Spring ’14.
Boutiques and brands are making every possible last ditch effort to capitalize on Valentine’s Day.
The annual FEMMY Gala was held Tuesday night at Cipriani 42nd Street. Again this year, the “Intimate Affair” was hosted by Carson Kressley. This year’s Student Design Contest was sponsored by Penn Asia Co., Ltd., Regina Miracle International Ltd. and Stretchline Holdings Ltd. And the theme of the Student Design Contest was “Midnight Garden” – Seduction of Flowers.
We wrap up the month with Curve NY at Jacob Javits from February 24th – 26th. The Lingerie Collective is making its debut in NYC and the world’s first fashion week dedicated to the intimate apparel industry, LingerieFW, is launching on February 22nd. And of course, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is February 7th through the 14th.
Here are a few highlights in other lingerie news and upcoming events:
I’m excited to announce that my friend and fellow Lingerie Briefs columnist, Ali Cudby, Bra Fit Coach and bestselling author of the lingerie book Busted! The Fab Foundations® Guide to Bras That Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic has launched the FabFit™ Academy, a comprehensive, online certification course in bra fitting. The course begins with some complimentary videos designed expressly for the lingerie industry, and offers essential training for people working in all sectors of intimates, from retailers and manufacturers to bloggers and sales reps. “The best assurance of a profitable return in any Lingerie business is to be consistently trained in the art of bra fitting,” says industry veteran and Lingerie Briefs Publisher Ellen Lewis. The FabFit™ Academy offers complimentary online training videos in advance of course registration at FabFitAcademy.com.
On Monday evening, the NYC-based handmade lingerie company RELIQUE hosted an “Intimate Affair” to preview their Fall/Winter 2013 Collection. The brand uses graphic lingerie shapes accented with experimental fabric dyeing and trimming combinations. The focus in each collection is lingerie that is meant to be seen as a piece of fashion rather than traditional lingerie, while still keeping its sex appeal. Designers Chelsea Carson and Kait Vasquez believe that lingerie doesn’t need to be just for the bedroom or hidden under clothing; it should be an enhancement to an outfit. By taking a more modern approach in design, they want to fill the gap between basics and special occasion and give lingerie an outerwear functionality.
New York-based independent brands Lola Haze Lingerie and Victoria Bekerman Jewelry invite you to their Valentine’s Quickie Pop-Up Shop located at the RS Pop Space – 501 Lexington Avenue between 47th & 48th Streets, NYC. The “fling” is running February 1st through the 14th from 10am-8pm and includes discounts of up to 50% off on select items. In addition to every day shopping, you can join them for a special Valentine’s shopping event on February 12th from 5-9pm. Sip wine, receive personalized shopping consultations from the designers, and sneak a preview of the Lola Haze Fall/Winter 2013 collection. For 24/7 indulgence, visit http://www.lolahaze.com and enter code LolaLove20 for 20% off sitewide.
Sweetest Sin in Red Bank, N.J. is hosting their annual Valentine’s Day Soiree this 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.
The Fitting Room, a chic bra fitting boutique in Grayslake, Illinois and Eminjayin Productions are co-hosting a Valentine’s Day themed Lingerie Fashion Show Benefit Event to raise funds for The Sandy Hook School Support Fund. In addition to the Lingerie Fashion Show, the festive affair will include a burlesque show, raffle prizes, cocktails provided courtesy of The Vine, a DJ and a photo booth. The event organizers will donate 100% of the proceeds to the Newtown/Sandy Hook families and schools. The event is taking place on Saturday, February 9th from 7-10pm at The Studio.
Chez Johnson of byChez Designer Lingerie Boutique is featuring her collections in a Trunk Show on Sunday, February 10th from 4-9pm. The “Intimate Affair” called “Welcome to the Sweet Life” is being hosted by Posh Beauté in SoHo, NYC (and is also the location for the affair.) The event will offer sweet treats, a candied cocktail concoction, a champagne hour from 6-7pm and a lot of fun!
SAVE 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
Got Insight? Having an Intimate Affair? Let us know! Everyone can be an Intimate Insider!
As seen on LingerieBriefs.com
Bra La Mode’s Debut Intimate Affair — an in-store Bra Fit Event — was held on January 29, 2012 at the unique, appointment-only, intimate apparel store, Bra*Tenders located in New York’s Theater district. The event was a tremendous success as it provided women of all ages, shapes, and sizes the opportunity to receive a free bra fitting in an exclusive environment as well as education on the importance of a proper fit courtesy of Bra*Tenders. The in-store Bra Fit Event was sponsored by renowned French lingerie brand, Chantelle Paris and leading lingerie publication, The Lingerie Journal.
The Intimate Affair brought together consumers, intimate apparel professionals, independent lingerie designers, influential lingerie bloggers, public relations reps, press and media as well as “Bra-lebrities” including celebrity stylist and author of The Bra Book, Jene’ Luciani, designer Layla L’Obatti and her partner Josh Verleun of lingerie brand Between the Sheets, designers Courtney Newman and Erica Paul of Dirty Dolls Lingerie, designer Ellen Jacobson of full-figure lingerie brand Elila, designer Asi Efros of the high-end independent lingerie line Ann Vogue, Ellen Lewis of LingerieBriefs.com, the “Lingerie Goddess” Margaret Shrum, lingerie designer Camille Block, publicist Lauren Rich of fashion PR agency RichPR which specializes in intimate apparel, legendary intimate apparel designer and lifetime member of the Intimate Apparel Square Club Roslyn Harte of Lances Harte, Intimate Apparel Square Club president Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti and IASC board members Michael De Prisco and Nina Levine among others.
My mission is to bridge the gap between independent lingerie professionals and larger scale intimate apparel brands, businesses and organizations. Bra La Mode’s debut Intimate Affair accomplished that. It’s really great to be part of a community of people who share the same passion. And this is just the first of many events to come.
The event included a trunk show by Darlene Campbell of the full-busted clothing company Campbell and Kate. Darlene showcased her innovative“CEO Shirt for the D.E.F. Woman” which ensures that all women can own a classic white shirt that fits them beautifully all over. Campbell commented of the event, “I loved seeing the faces of women who wear D cups and up as they discovered that a Campbell & Kate button front shirt fits them perfectly.”
Author and bra-fit expert Ali Cudby signed copies of her recently released book “Busted: The Fab Foundations Guide to Bras that Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic.” Cudby said, “Wearing a properly fitting bra is important to a woman’s health, so it was fabulous – and important – to have an event dedicated to helping women figure out their fit.”
Professional photographer Michael Steele who is known for “capturing the female form” snapped candid shots of guests enjoying the soiree. Guests enjoyed Izze sparkling juice and champagne, as well as cupcakes courtesy of M Squared Sweet and Chic Treats.
The highlight of the Intimate Affair was the raffle for a Grand Prize basket which had a value of over $600. Contributors to the raffle prize include Bra La Mode, Chantelle Paris, Campbell and Kate, author Ali Cudby, Ann Deal of Fashion Forms, and “Bra-lebrity” Jene’ Luciani. Additional sponsors of the event include the wholesale buying platform Monkey N Middle and guitarist Alan Brace. The Raffle basket was won by student Patricia Persaud from Brooklyn.
I also used the event to garner attention for the non-profit Intimate Apparel Square Club (IASC.) I am a proud member of the Club and work hard to promote the organization’s work. The IASC raises funds to support a variety of charitable organizations, with pediatric rehabilitation and treatment being the primary beneficiary of its fundraising activities. The IASC’s H.U.G. (Help Us Give) Award is presented to well-respected, high-profile companies, organizations and individuals at the IASC’s annual gala fundraiser in support of pediatric rehabilitation. Ann Deal of Fashion Forms was the 2011 H.U.G. Award recipient. Ann made a very generous contribution to this bra fit event. At Bra La Mode’s debut Intimate Affair, guests were invited to make a monetary donation to support the “Kids.”
Alan and Lori Kaplan are very serious about the business of bras. Their boutique, Bra*Tenders, is a quirky and vibrant shop with a Broadway-theme tucked inside The Film Center Building on Ninth Avenue in NYC’s Theater district. This hidden gem is not your typical bra store. There’s no store front. Passersby would never know it was there. Non-theatrical clients (civilians like you and me) are required to make an appointment. And they do very little advertising. They don’t need to…. Alan and Lori carved out their niche nearly thirty years ago and have maintained loyalty to the clients that supported them in those early days when they hand-delivered undergarments to Broadway Theater stage doors from their home in Brooklyn. They have built their business by catering to “theatrical clients” in the entertainment industry. Over the years they have provided undergarments, stockings and other unique intimate accessories (like the “Houdini” for men) to thousands of performers in showbiz.
Besides the occasional listing in a Playbill, Alan and Lori get little credit for the work they do. But they have vowed to help all of their customers find the undergarments that help them look and feel their best. This commitment to providing impeccable customer service sets them apart from other intimate apparel shops in the area. They dedicate a full hour to every customer that comes through the door. This is why non-theatrical clients are required to schedule an appointment. Professional Fit Specialist, Cristal Gordon, sees a client every hour of every day, five to six days per week. She says, “Every hour is a different boob; and that’s a lot of boob!” Dedicating a full hour to every client ensures a loyal customer. As Cristal says, “Finding the right bra isn’t an easy task.” The unique store often sees brides-to-be looking for a solution-type undergarment to wear on that special day, full-busted and full-figure women that are “hard to fit,” and simply women that are struggling to find a great bra that fits properly and feels good. The store has held private bridal parties, bachelorette parties and even “Bra-Mitzvahs!” Bra*Tenders carries every brand imaginable including top-sellers such as Wacoal, Fantasie, Freya, Chantelle, Panache, Cleo, Le Mystere, Simone Perele, The Little Bra Company, and b’temptd.
Although this is plenty to keep any lingerie aficionado satisfied, what really intrigues me about Bra*Tenders is what goes on “behind the scenes.” Bra*Tenders has a team devoted to filling orders for the shop’s theatrical clients. Wardrobe supervisors and costume designers are not required to make an appointment. They often walk in with a cast list as long as your arm. They provide the Bra*Tenders staff with their requirements and a list of measurements and the team gets to work filling the order. Behind the “stage door” are racks and racks of bras and other specialty undergarments and accessories. And there are half a dozen people picking and packing undergarments for shipment or hand delivery to theaters and studios around the globe. Bra*Tenders has such strong relationships with their theatrical clients that they often send out garments on “memo.” This means that the staff will select a handful of styles and sizes that they think will suit the performer. They messenger the garments to the client. She (or he) tries on the assorted styles and picks the best ones. Then, they return the balance. The cast members never have to set foot in the store! And, Bra*Tenders keeps track of each performer’s prior purchases and sizes. So when they’re performing in their next show, the wardrobe supervisor simply asks Bra*Tenders to check their records. This level of service is unheard of in the fast-paced environment we’ve all grown accustomed to. But Lori says, “Our theatrical clients come before everything else. I don’t know how to do it any other way.” I can see why the Kaplan’s have dedicated their business to serving this unique client….. A typical performer goes through a dozen pairs of pantyhose a week! By providing undergarments to theater, television and film, Alan and Lori have built a “Broadway Bra Empire.” Further attesting to their dedication, although the shop is only open from 10am-6pm, Alan and Lori are available 24 hours a day to solve a costume emergency or wardrobe malfunction.
This highly unique bra boutique will play the role of “host” in Bra La Mode’s Debut Intimate Affair on Sunday, January 29, 2012 from noon to 4pm. The in-store bra fit event will provide women of all ages, shapes, and sizes the opportunity to receive a free bra fitting as well as education on the importance of a proper fit courtesy of Bra*Tenders. Various designers, authors, photographers, and “Bra-lebrities” will also be on hand to showcase everything from newly released books to the classic white work shirt. Attendees will snack on champagne and cupcakes while they mix and mingle with the hottest lingerie professionals in the New York area. The event is sponsored in collaboration with the world- renowned French lingerie brand, Chantelle Paris, and in association with the leading lingerie trade publication, The Lingerie Journal.
The event will include a trunk show by Darlene Campbell of the full-busted clothing company Campbell and Kate. Darlene will be showcasing her innovative“CEO Shirt for the D.E.F. Woman” which ensures that all women can own a classic white shirt that fits them beautifully all over. Author and bra-fit expert Ali Cudby will be signing copies of her recently released book “Busted: The Fab Foundations Guide to Bras that Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic.” Professional photographer Michael Steele who is known for “capturing the female form” will be snapping candid shots of guests enjoying the soiree. Guests will be treated to champagne and cupcakes courtesy of M Squared Sweet and Chic Treats. All sponsors of the event have generously contributed product for giveaways and/or gifts with purchase.
The highlight of the Intimate Affair will be the raffle for a Grand Prize basket that is estimated as having a value of over $600. Contributors to the raffle prize include Bra La Mode, Chantelle Paris, The Lingerie Journal, Campbell and Kate, author Ali Cudby, Ann Deal of Fashion Forms, international intimate apparel brand Anita, photographer Michael Steele, and “Bra-lebrity” Jene’ Luciani. Additional sponsors of the event include the wholesale buying platform Monkey N Middle and guitarist Alan Brace. All guests at the event will receive one entry into the raffle and guests that make a purchase of a bra at the event will receive a second entry into the raffle. Attendees can purchase a third entry for the raffle by donating to pediatric rehabilitation at a prominent NYC medical center, supporting the non-profit Intimate Apparel Square Club and their fundraising efforts.
Guests are encouraged to RSVP for the Intimate Affair at: www.bralamode.eventbrite.com
Bra*Tenders is located at:
630 Ninth Avenue at 44th Street, Suite # 601
New York City, NY