Tag Archives: Cosabella

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

16 Jan

Rouge Seduire_Mimi SetWe’re halfway through January… Can you believe it?  That means Valentine’s Day is just a month away!  I think of Valentine’s Day as the Super Bowl of the Intimate Apparel industry.  I can’t think of any other Holiday that almost requires a lingerie purchase, can you? 

I’d love to hear your innovative merchandising strategies for increasing sales between now and February 14th.  Are you having a sale? Offering a Gift-with-Purchase? An in-store event?  Last year, Margo Andros of The Pink Slip in NYC’s Grand Central Station marketed a “Dear John” campaign which targeted the men that frequent her store.  She sent out a hand-written note to her best male clientele.  Margo recognizes the fact that men appreciate convenience and ease of purchase (especially when it comes to buying underthings for their loved ones!)  So she offered three Ready-To-Give “Packages” to remove the guesswork for the fellas, including optional delivery / messenger service.  It was genius, and proved to be a real success.  What do you have up your sleeve?  If you are planning something special, please let me know.  I would be happy to post it in my Weekly Column.

Here are a few upcoming “Intimate Affairs” (some of which are Valentine’s Day centric):

BN_FitEventTonight, Bare Necessities is hosting fashion’s first LIVE webcast featuring bra fit experts, sexy models, real-time audience Q&A, and lots of special features (and a viewer-only secret deal).  The “Intimate Affair” is being hosted by Bra Fit Expert Freddy Zappe of Eveden and Bare Necessities’ Erin McLaughlin.  Log on at 7:00pm EST and use hashtag #BAREFIT.

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

2013 FEMMYThe 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.

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.

LingerieFW_imageSAVE THE DATE – Lauren Rich is planning an event to kick-off the first ever Lingerie Fashion Week (LingerieFW.)  The “Intimate Affair” will be sponsored in part by The Lingerie Alliance.  It will be held on Thursday, February 21, 2013.  Details to follow….

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

Salon International de la Lingerie and Interfiliere in Paris- January 19th – 21st, 2013

Pure London in London- February 10th – 12th, 2013

Moda Lingerie and Swimwear in Birmingham- February 17th – 19th, 2013

Curve NV in Las Vegas- February 18th – 19th, 2013

Lingerie Fashion Week (LingerieFW) in New York- February 22nd – 23rd, 2013

The Lingerie Collective in New York- February 24th – 26th, 2013

Curve NY in New York- February 24th – 26th, 2013

INDX Intimate Apparel Show in the UK- March 19th – 21st, 2013

China Sourcing Fair in Hong Kong- April 27th – 30th, 2013

As seen on LingerieBriefs.com

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

17 Jul

I am so excited about the launch of The Lingerie Alliance!  Inspired by the enthusiasm surrounding the Brand Affair Panel Discussion and Lingerie Exhibition we hosted during February market, my partner Luis Paredes, publisher of The Lingerie Journal & founder of The Lingerie Journal Designer Showcase, and I set out to create The Lingerie Alliance, an interactive, online collaborative community of professionals in the intimate apparel industry and related fields.  When the site is fully developed, The Lingerie Alliance will be an exclusive, members-only platform utilizing the latest technology to create a collaborative community experience.  The site will feature a searchable directory of members (by area of expertise,) as well as interactive LIVE forums and chat sessions with industry experts as well as offline workshops, panel discussions and seminars.  In addition, The Lingerie Alliance will host networking socials and other special events throughout the year.

Affinitas Parfait Florence Set SS13

We are hosting an “Intimate Affair” Launch Party and SS13 Lingerie Fashion Show to celebrate our partnership and the site’s launch on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at Griffin lounge and nightclub in Manhattan.  The Event is sponsored by leading lingerie lines Affinitas & Parfait and takes place on the eve of the bi-annual Lingerie Market Week in NYC.  Celebrity stylist and author of The Bra Book, Jené Luciani, has signed on to emcee the event.

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 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 five 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.  Buyers looking for innovative, new collections can pre-register for the Designer Showcase at: http://lingeriedesignershowcase.com/attendee-registration/

Additional sponsors of the “Intimate Affair” include Jené Luciani and her well-known publication, The Bra Book, the luxury beauty and lingerie brand Naked Princess, leading lingerie publication The Lingerie Journal and the Lingerie Journal Designer Showcase, fine lingerie stylist, sensuality stylist and personal shopper, The Lingerie Goddess, boutique PR firm specializing in intimate apparel, RICHPR, the intimate apparel resource site and consulting company, Bra La Mode, and The Full Figured Chest, a marketing firm catering to lingerie pros.

Here are a few Intimate Insights for the week:

Velda Lauder Corsetiere is offering 20% Off all designs for the month of July!  On the website, enter code: VLC Summer Sale 2012.

Velda Lauder Corsetiere

On Thursday, July 19th, Decoded Fashion is hosting “Startup Showcase: Underthings Edition” in NYC.  Panelists include the men’s underwear brand Flint and Tinder (considered to be the best fashion pitch in Kickstarter’s history,) the personalized online retailer Adore Me (which I discussed in last week’s column,) Julie Sygiel of Underbrella (and Sexy Period,) and a fourth “Mystery Guest Panelist” to be revealed at the Event.  Decoded Fashion is a new, exclusive monthly Meet-Up group with top fashion tech startups, tech leaders, investors and influencers in the Fashion & Retail industries – curated by Lauren Indvik of Mashable and Liz Bacelar, founder of the Decoded Fashion Forum.  There are only a few spots left for this particular “Intimate Affair.”  Log on to register: http://www.meetup.com/Decoded-Fashion/events/69734172/

Cosabella, which is famous for its use of vibrant, cutting-edge colors, is having a Sample Sale from July 22nd through July 24th at 220 Lafayette Street, NYC.  Select items will be available up to 60% Off!

The downtown lingerie boutique, La Petite Coquette, is hosting “Fifty Shades of Kink” on Thursday, July 26th.  The “Intimate Affair” will feature an interactive workshop presented by top kink experts, Domi Dollz.  They will be touching on the many levels of kink and how it can be used to enhance your love life & your sex life!  The event is limited to 25 guests so be sure to RSVP soon.

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

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