Tag Archives: Bra-lebrity

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: The Intimate Apparel Square Club’s Annual Holiday Party for the “Rusk Kids”

19 Dec

IASC Holiday Party- Santa with the Rusk Kids

On Wednesday, December 14, 2011, the Intimate Apparel Square Club (IASC) held their annual Holiday Party at Horizon House at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine.  The Holiday Party is an annual event and has become one of the highlights of the year.  Members of IASC celebrate by visiting with the children that are hospitalized at the Rusk Institute, “Santa Claus” pays a visit and distributes gifts to the children, food is provided and a DJ plays favorite tunes to the delight of the guests and the Kids at Rusk. 

Prior to the party at Horizon House, a small group of club members are invited to join “Santa Claus” upstairs to visit with those children that are unable to come down to the facilities’ gathering space.  Visiting with the Kids at Rusk is one of the most important missions of IASC.  Unlike most non-profit organizations, the members of IASC are actively involved in the lives of those they support.  This is one of the reasons I joined the organization and champion its mission.  I was truly touched by the outpouring of love and generosity I witnessed at Wednesday’s Intimate Affair.  The IASC only has a few dozen members, but each one is dedicated to the club’s work.  As club member Roslyn Harte always says, “We’re small, but mighty!”  The members of the club give tirelessly to promote the club’s work and, most importantly, they lift the spirits of the children they help by participating in the activities at Rusk Institute.  Since 1983, the IASC has donated $5 Million to Rusk. 

Moira Nelson with Bra-lebrity Jene Luciani

The Intimate Affair at Rusk Institute was followed by a dinner at Trattoria Alba on 34th Street in NYC.  Club members gathered together to celebrate the season, awards were presented, and funds raised at the H.U.G. Award Gala on November 2, 2011 were presented to Dr. Steven R. Flanagan, chair of the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and Marianne Hardart, head of recreational therapy at Rusk.  The program began with a welcome from club president Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti.  She turned the podium over to longtime club member, Barry Ross, who presented the Al Jaffin Award to board member Gary Hughes.  The Al Jaffin Award was created over twenty years ago to honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to the IASC.  When presenting the award, Barry Ross said of Gary Hughes, “If you can count Gary Hughes as your friend, you are very fortunate.”  Gary graciously accepted the award and thanked club president Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti, Dr. Flanagan of the Rusk Institute, IASC members and family and friends.  Gary said that next month will mark fifty years that he’s been in the lace business.  Over the years he has been honored with several awards.  But he said that none have been as rewarding as receiving the Al Jaffin Award.  Gary Hughes has been a member of the IASC for twenty-eight years.  And he has performed the role of “Santa Claus” at the Holiday Party at Rusk Institute for as far back as I can remember.  His devotion to the club is admirable.  This award is truly well-deserved. 

Barry Ross presenting the Al Jaffin Award to Gary Hughes

For the first time, the club presented a special award at the annual Holiday Dinner.  This award was presented to Wacoal America president and CEO, Richard C. Murray.  After twenty-four years at Wacoal, Mr. Murray is retiring from his post and is being appointed as vice chairman of Wacoal’s U.S. unit effective March 31, 2012.  Club member Victor Vega, also of Wacoal America, presented the award to Richard C. Murray for his support of the IASC and the H.U.G. Award over the years.  This first time special award read “Thank You for Helping Us Give.”  Victor Vega commented that although Richard is retiring as Wacoal America’s president and CEO, he is not leaving us.  He will still be with us in the industry and in the club.  Upon receiving his award, Richard C. Murray commented that he has been fortunate to have worked at Wacoal and in such a great industry that has an organization like this (IASC.)  He said that he (and Wacoal) will continue to support and participate in this great organization. 

Victor Vega presenting the first time special award to Richard C. Murray

The program ended with the presentation of funds to the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine.  Club president Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti presented the check to Dr. Flanagan and Marianne Hardart, head of recreational therapy.  Funds will be used for programs at Rusk including pediatric research, children’s equipment, special instruments, art therapy and music therapy.  Dr. Flanagan said that he’s honored to have the IASC as part of the Rusk family.

Also, the new officers of the Intimate Apparel Square Club were appointed for the year 2012.  The new slate of officers includes Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti, Michael De Prisco, Clelia Parisi, Gary Hughes and Adam Masry.

Club President Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti and Jene Luciani

The Intimate Apparel Square Club is continually looking for new members to help “contribute to the triumph of the human spirit.”  Membership is not limited to persons working in the intimate apparel industry.  Interested individuals are welcome to contact me for more information about joining the club.

And, I’m sad to report that we recently lost our longest living club member, Joe Ferrara.  Joe joined IASC in 1955 just shortly after the club was founded and has been an active member ever since.  He will be missed by all those who knew him and the many lives he touched over the years through his contributions to the Intimate Apparel Square Club.

About The Intimate Apparel Square Club and the H.U.G. Award

The Intimate Apparel Square Club’s annual fundraiser was renamed the H.U.G. (Help Us Give) Award in 1998 and is presented to well-respected, high-profile companies, organizations and individuals at the IASC’s annual gala fundraiser in support of pediatric rehabilitation.  The IASC was founded in1955 with the mission of uniting professionals in intimate apparel and related industries as a charitable organization and to participate in activities that will reflect positively on the membership and the industry at large.  The membership includes management executives, designers and salespeople, among other professionals.  Initially focused on charities for the blind and the elderly, the IASC broadened its scope over the years and today supports a variety of charitable organizations, with pediatric rehabilitation and treatment at Rusk and other programs at NYU Langone Medical Center being the primary beneficiary of its fundraising activities.

Resources:

Intimate Apparel Square Club and the H.U.G. Award

www.TheHugAward.org

NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine

www.Rusk.Med.NYU.edu

Intimate Affair: Bra-lebrity Jené Luciani Premieres on Bravo’s Mad Fashion in the World’s First Couture Bra Dress

5 Dec

Jene Luciani and The Bra Book

On Tuesday, November 29, 2011, the newest Bravo-lebrity, Style Expert and Author of The Bra Book, Jené Luciani, premiered her guest-starring role on Bravo’s hit show Mad Fashion; and Bra La Mode was in the house for the star-studded event!  The Intimate Affair, which celebrated the episode, was held at NYC’s Downtown Galway Hooker.  Jené Luciani was joined by Chris March and the cast of Bravo’s Mad Fashion, NY Housewives Jill Zarin & Cindy Barshop, Doggie Moms’ Grace Forester & Karen Biel, Tracy Stern, High Society’s Paul Johnson Calderon & Tyler Burrows, Georgia Jagger, G2 Organics founder & socialite Cherie Corso, Starr Scott (wife of NY Jets Bart Scott), celebrity stylist Lauren Rae Levy, Erica Lundmark, BET’s Wayne Brown, PRO wrestlers Brimstone & Luscious, and many more famous faces.  They walked the red carpet, mingled with some 200 guests; sipped Pisco Porton Bra-tini’s, nibbled on Cupcakes by Missy, and enjoyed Shellac™ manicures courtesy of Nail Gypsy

Jene Luciani in the couture Bra Dress

The highlight of the Intimate Affair— Jené and her guests viewed her Mad Fashion premiere with the rest of the world, from the fabulous West Village venue.  Jené’s episode, entitled “Brastrocity,” revealed the creation of the world’s first couture Bra Dress created by Chris March and his Bravo team.  Jené wore the dress accented with $100,000 worth of jewels from celebrity jeweler Desires by Mikolay, topped off with a bra-cup cap accented with a feather.

 

 

 

Bravo Mad Fashion's Chris March and "The Girls"

Jené is no stranger to the small screen.  She is a regular on NBC’s TODAY Show as well as many other outlets and has appeared on the Style Network, the Discovery Channel, NBC’s New York Live, CNN Money, Good Day NY among others.  She is a regular fixture in both print and online magazines having been quoted and/or featured in nearly every major magazine and newspaper including Star, Glamour, Shape, Cosmo, etc.  Of her first Bravo experience, Jené said, “Working with Chris and team was a fashion girl’s dream come true. Together, we created something that was one of a kind.” At the Intimate Affair, she donned a couture feather confection made especially for her by Constance McCardle.

Jene Luciani and Bra La Mode's Moira Nelson

Hailed as a “brilliant bra guru” by Bravo, a “stylist extraordinaire” and “bra fit guru” by the New York Daily News, Jené is a true Bra-lebrity and is admired by many within the lingerie community.  She is a true friend to me and a huge supporter of Bra La Mode as well as to other independent lingerie professionals.  In fact, Jené is excited to be joining the writing staff of Ellen Lewis’ Lingerie Briefs which is scheduled for re-launch by the end of this month.  Jené will be answering reader’s Questions in the Intimate Inquiry forum on the new Lingerie Briefs.  And, I’m very proud to announce that I will be writing the Intimate Affairs event reports on the soon to be re-launched Lingerie Briefs too.  I’m in good company!

Additional sponsors of Jené’s “Brastrocity” Intimate Affair include HuggrzBOOTWRAPS, Caseable, Cookies.com, Helps Herbal Tea, Kusmi Tea Detox, Muse Activewear, The freshdiet, May Cookie Co., G2 Organics, Vielle + Frances, Unmarx for Clothing and Skin of Gold.

Resources:

Jené Luciani

www.JeneLuciani.com

Follow @JeneLuciani

Bravo’s Mad Fashion

www.bravotv.com/mad-fashion

Follow @BravoMadFashion

Follow @ChrisMarchlol

Follow @IzzyMadsterNYC

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