Tag Archives: Anita

Intimate Insight: Backstage with Bra*Tenders

10 Jan

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. 

Bra*Tenders

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.

Bra*Tenders- Racks & Racks of Bras

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 resident feline "Phineas" at the "Bra Bar"

Bra*Tenders is located at:

630 Ninth Avenue at 44th Street, Suite # 601

New York City, NY

You’re Invited: Bra La Mode’s Debut Intimate Affair

6 Jan


I am very pleased to announce Bra La Mode’s Debut Intimate Affair!  All Bra La Mode readers are welcome to attend….


The Intimate Affair
­ — an in-store Bra Fit Event on January 29, 2012 from noon to 4pm. The event will provide women of all ages, shapes, and sizes the opportunity to receive a free bra fitting in an exclusive appointment-only environment 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 will be held at the uniquely fabulous appointment-only Bra*Tenders, and 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” Jené 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.

Moira Nelson is a proud member of the non-profit Intimate Apparel Square Club (IASC) and works 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 annual fundraiser, the 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 has made a very generous contribution to this bra fit event.  At Bra La Mode’s debut Intimate Affair, guests will be invited to make a monetary donation to support the “Kids.”

When asked about Bra La Mode’s recent foray into live events, Moira Nelson said, “I am really excited about Bra La Mode’s upcoming debut Intimate Affair.  I have been writing intimate apparel industry event reports on Bra La Mode for several months now– providing my readers with an intimate look inside the glittery world of lingerie!  It only seemed natural that Bra La Mode should start hosting or sponsoring her own Intimate Affairs.  Leveraging my relationships in the industry, I have assembled a great line-up of sponsors and participants.  Everyone was thrilled to have been invited to participate in the Intimate Affair.  I couldn’t be more pleased and really look forward to bringing together consumers, intimate apparel professionals, independent lingerie designers, influential lingerie bloggers, public relations reps, press and media as well as “Bra-lebrities!”

Guests are encouraged to RSVP for the Intimate Affair at: www.bralamode.eventbrite.com.

More About Bra*Tenders:

Bra*Tenders is one of the most exclusive and experienced lingerie shops in New York. Their cozy and colorful shop contains thousands of styles and brands of undergarments. Aside from their expertise in theatrical, bridal, and full-busted custom-fittings and sales, every woman can find products that will undoubtedly enhance her figure and make that little black dress look 1000 times sexier. In addition to walls and racks filled with every type of bra imaginable, Bra*Tenders has an overflowing stockroom containing a plethora of panties, accessories, and hosiery ranging in prices from $5 to $175.  Co-founders and co-owners Alan and Lori Kaplan put it best. “We’ve never let a customer walk out of Bra*Tenders without the right-fitting bra for her body”, they say, “and we never will. It’s our sincere vow to help you find the undergarments you need to look and feel your best.”

More About Chantelle Paris:

Chantelle Paris has been designing couture lingerie since 1876. Today, Chantelle draws inspiration from this heritage and confirms their desire to create undergarments that are a perfect fit, made with the purest fabrics and the most delicate lace. All of these little secrets of the Chantelle creators, with their invaluable skills, imperceptibly transform women and give them that elegance, that little “je ne sais quoi” which embodies a unique Parisian style.

Please contact Moira Nelson for interviews, press inquiries, and more information.

Bra*Tenders is located at:

630 Ninth Avenue at 44th Street, Suite # 601

New York City, NY

#IntimateAffair


Intimate Affair: Care for the Cause at Linda’s in Murray Hill

31 Oct

Linda Becker hosted a Breast Cancer Awareness event at her Murray Hill NYC store on Thursday, October 27, 2011.  The Care for the Cause event was the first of its kind for Linda’s store.  However, Linda is no stranger to breast health.  In fact, Linda started her career in bra fitting over twenty years ago when the American Cancer Society invited her to a bra and prostheses fitting class.  Linda and her staff are all trained in mastectomy bra and prostheses fittings and she is proud that she has been able to assist many women over the years with post-surgical options.

Linda Becker at her Murray Hill Store

The intimate affair provided free fittings from 1pm-9pm for all of those who have battled breast cancer (or other breast diseases) and require post-surgical solutions.  But, the event was open to all women looking for a bra fitting and some education about breast health.  The event was a great way to support an important cause whether you have been directly affected by breast cancer or not. 

Linda's Care for the Cause Event- Cupcakes, Giveaways, Prizes, Rub-On Nipple Demos

Although breast cancer is a sensitive topic, Linda and her staff turned the Murray Hill store into a festive environment by offering pink lemonade, strawberry ginger ale, and mini cupcakes in vanilla and strawberry vanilla flavors from Buzzed Cupcakes.  Every customer who made a purchase was entered into a drawing to win one of several prizes including gift certificates, OnGossamer thongs, the Romina bra and panty set from Anita, among other fun goodies.  And any customer that made a cash donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure at Linda’s that day received an additional entry into the drawing.

On hand at the event were two special ladies— Elizabeth Vivenzio, founder of the educational sites www.EmbracingMastectomy.com and www.TattooedNipples.com,  and inventor of the U.S. patent pending Rub-On Nipples, and Joyce Rylander, a certified mastectomy fitter and care consultant from Anita, a well-known manufacturer of foundations, swimwear, and accessories including mastectomy bras. 

Elizabeth Vivenzio (left) and Joyce Rylander (right)

Elizabeth was a real inspiration to me.  She has undergone numerous breast surgeries and is now in the final stages of her reconstruction.  She has dedicated herself to providing positive and empowering information for mastectomy patients.  Her websites provide practical and essential recovery information that cannot be found elsewhere.  While researching areola pigmentation for her educational site, www.TattooedNipples.com, Elizabeth realized that temporary nipple tattoos would be a solution for her and the many others who had long periods of reconstruction which ultimately delayed permanent areola pigmentation (which is the final stage of reconstruction).  Oftentimes, the reconstruction surgeries take several years.  During this period of reconstruction, mastectomy patients live with bare mounds (or “Barbie Boobs” as they refer to them.)  Elizabeth offers a temporary solution to help patients feel “normal” again.  One of her customers commented, “After 2 ½ years of my Barbie Boobs—in my thirties—it’s nice to kind of look “normal.”  It has made a huge difference for me… and for my husband.”  Rub-On Nipples are temporary areola tattoos that can last one to two weeks and can be easily removed using rubbing alcohol.  They look amazingly similar to permanent 3-D areola pigmentation and are available in 12 shades to match your skin tone.  Elizabeth proudly pulled down her blouse to show off her very own Rub-On Nipples.  We had a good laugh… Since today is Halloween, we considered rubbing on a few extra nipples just for fun!

I spoke with Joyce Rylander from Anita regarding their innovative products.  The Anita brand and their contemporary sub-brand Rosa Faia are well-known around the world for their core foundations in regular and full-figure sizes (many styles are avail up to an I cup).  The company is celebrating 125 years in business and is still family run.  Anita provides high-quality foundations with exceptional fit and places emphasis on solutions products including mastectomy products, maternity/nursing bras, as well as innovative sports bras for active women.  I am familiar with Anita products, but I guess I didn’t realize just how long Anita has been in business.  I was impressed with their heritage and enjoyed talking to Joyce about the company philosophy.  She is passionate about the products and as a care consultant for Anita, she really enjoys working one-on-one with her wholesale customers and directly with consumers.  I was curious to learn about Anita’s Active line of Sports Bras.  Joyce proudly showed me the Anita Active Sports Bra style # 5529 which recently won Europe’s coveted RedDot Design Award for 2011.  The style is designed to support the bust (including the connective tissue).  The straps relieve pressure on the back and neck.  And the seamless, breathable high-tech “spacer” fabric cups provide moisture management and temperature regulation.  I would highly recommend this style to the active full figure or full busted women as it is a feat in bra engineering.  I was very impressed with the construction and quality of this style.

Moira Nelson (left) and Darlene Campbell (right)

The event wasn’t just about education for me (although that was very important and made a significant impact on me)….  I had a bit of fun too!  How can I go to Linda’s without trying on a few bras for myself???  I attended the event with my friend Darlene Campbell, founder of the clothing company Campbell & Kate which offers a traditional button-down, white, woven dress shirt for full-busted women—“The CEO shirt for DEF women.”  Darlene also writes a blog called Hourglassy for women with “curves on top.”  As we are both full-busted women, we can identify with one another’s struggles and we enjoy sharing our experiences….  She’s one of my favorite “bosom buddies” and shopping at Linda’s with her was a real hoot.  We tried on dozens of bras each and we both walked out with shopping bags overflowing with new, fun styles.  The quest for the perfect bra never ends for me and Darlene….  I walked out with the Freya Nieve longline bra and brief set, the exquisite Fauve Rosa molded underwire plunge bra, and a pair of Simone Perele Invisi’bulles control briefs.  Success!

Kimberly Arce, marketing manager for Linda's

It was at this event that I realized just how very little I know about breast cancer.  In my family, cancer is still considered a dirty word.  The word cancer is always muttered in a hushed tone.  My Aunt Rosemary had breast cancer.  But that’s all I know.  She had breast cancer.  Period.  It has never been talked about.  I have no idea what she went through or how it made her feel.  After attending Linda’s Care for the Cause Event, I feel ashamed that I don’t know more and haven’t educated myself….  Perhaps it is easier to live in denial…  But for someone that makes her living in the “boob business,” it’s unacceptable.  From this point forward, I am making a commitment to better understand breast care and breast related diseases.  I owe it to myself, to my friends, to my family, and to the numerous men and women in other areas of my life—including Bra La Mode readers. 

Later this week, I will be posting an article on metastatic breast cancer written by Bra La Mode contributor Liz.  Please be sure to read it as it is a poignant piece about the realities of living with breast cancer.

Resources:

Linda’s

www.LindasOnline.com

Follow @LindaTheBraLady

To read more about Linda’s, click here

Elizabeth Vivenzio- Rub-On Nipples

www.RubOnNipples.com

www.EmbracingMastectomy.com

www.TattooedNipples.com

Follow @TattooedNipples

Anita Unique Body Wear

www.Anita.com

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