Tag Archives: Ecommerce

Intimate Insight: Curvy Couture — Beautiful Bras For the Full Figured Woman

25 Jan

All too often curvaceous women have to settle for ill-fitting, frumpy looking bras while their smaller counterparts get to enjoy the luxury of fashion forward designs.  Dora Lau, president of Dora L. Inc., became frustrated with the small selection of beautiful, well priced bras for full figured women and decided to launch Curvy Couture, a collection that uses the latest technologies to create intimate apparel that enhances a woman’s curves and makes her feel wonderful.

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After graduating from FIDM, Dora Lau started her career in Full Figure eveningwear.  This experience working with beautiful, luxurious fabrics gave her the push to begin working in the intimate apparel industry.  Since then, Dora has been manufacturing bras for top brands for over 25 years, including the likes of Victoria’s Secret and Lane Bryant.

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The brand offers solutions to women who all too often have to compromise themselves by wearing bras and panties that do not fit correctly.  Oftentimes this results in pained shoulders from straps that are too tight and dig into the skin.  Curvy Couture offers products that lift the bosom and allow women to feel confident showing their curves without hiding under loose tops.

Curvy Couture has been in the making for many years, but only recently has Dora been able to set aside the funds to make her dream of offering affordable and beautiful bras to full figured women a reality.  Launching the new label and branching out into e-commerce offers customers the latest fabrics and trims utilizing the latest innovation and technology to enhance fit and comfort.  “Retail stores have been reluctant to carry curvy lingerie nor do they have a special section to service my customer.  I believe e-commerce is the best way to reach out to my girls.  She will enjoy the luxury of fitting our bras with total privacy at home, or wherever she prefers, and does not have to deal with the pressure of being intruded by sales associates in stores,” says Dora.

Dora grew up in the world of entertainment, with her parents owning a record label in Hong Kong.  She was able to be very much involved with the dressing of her parents’ singers for performances and gained an appreciation for fashion and flair.  As a result, it came as no surprise that inspiration for the launch collection came from Hollywood glamour and the Art Deco era.

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One of the most intimidating aspects of purchasing a bra online is the fear that it will not fit.  However, Dora has done away with this fear by offering a unique feature called Pick 2 on Curvy Couture’s e-commerce site that allows women to choose two bras to test for size and fit.  The bra that does not work is simply returned.

Currently Curvy Couture offers styles in C-DD cup sizes, but Dora plans on expanding the size range to include F, G, and H cups in spring 2013.  Other endeavors for the brand include producing a line of sports bras that are easy to put on without causing a heart attack to take off as well as a line of light shapewear that is easy to wear and provides sculpture for curves.

It will certainly be exciting to see how the brand develops throughout this coming year and beyond.  The lingerie industry could definitely use more entrepreneurs like Dora who realize that full figured women want to celebrate their curves and not hide them.

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

10 Jul

“I Love Paris in the Summer when it Sizzles…”  I can’t think of a more appropriate song lyric to sum up the essence of the annual Salon International du Swimwear and de la Lingerie and Interfiliere held in Paris each July.  The famous trade shows which feature the latest lingerie and swimwear designs from brands around the world as well raw materials such as fabric, embroidery, lace and trims, are wrapping up as we speak….  Although I didn’t attend this year, I can assure you that these shows are “sizzling.”  I look forward to reading (and seeing) the trend reports from my colleagues in the coming weeks.  These shows (which take place concurrently) inspire intimate apparel professionals to do what they do….  To bring you the latest and greatest lingerie and swimwear designs conceivable!

A few Intimate Insights for the week….

There seems to be a new trend in Intimate Apparel Retailing….  I recently introduced you to the ecom site, True & Co.  True & Co. claims to solve our bra fit problems with a proprietary online fit process (sans measuring tape.)  Unfortunately, when I filled out their “simple quiz,” the results revealed that they had no matches for me.  Since then, I’ve discovered two more websites offering intimate apparel in a members-only environment.  Both sites create a customized showroom for members based on your preferences (another “simple quiz.”)  Each site varies slightly.  But the overall concept seems to be the same. 

Social commerce company BeachMint  launched their latest site, intiMINT, on May 30th.  They partnered with Dancing with the Stars host, Brooke Burke-Charvet to create the brand.  Available exclusively at intimint.com, the collection includes intimate apparel, loungewear, and sleepwear.

Brooke Burke-Charvet

intiMINT’s launch collection ranges in price from twenty dollars for two pairs of panties to eighty dollars for more substantial pieces.  intiMINT’s monthly membership (twenty dollars) is applied as a credit towards any purchase and is only charged when a member makes her first purchase.  As with BeachMint’s other brands, members receive personalized selections each month matched to their Style Profile with the option to choose items they love or skip the month for no charge.  Members also receive exclusive behind the scenes content and how-to styling tips.

 

The website AdoreMe.com claims to be the world’s first online lingerie personalized club providing the convenience and luxury of a personal shopping experience.  Upon entering the website, Adore Me members fill out a free lingerie consultation (AKA the “simple quiz”) indicating preferences in color, size, shape, and fit.  Additionally, fun questions such as, “Which Gossip Girl style best fits you?” provides additional insight into each member’s individual tastes.  Based on this style profile, a private showroom is handpicked.  Then, members receive one-on-one attention from lingerie experts who create a new showroom for them each month.  Monthly membership is just $39.95 and includes one set, free shipping and free exchange!  Adore Me offers bras, panties, boy shorts, bathing suits, stockings, leggings, chemises, baby doll, and more!

How do you feel about this type of online retailing?  Do you trust a computer quiz to “match” you with your perfect bra even if an intimate apparel expert had a hand in selecting it for you?  Heck…  If we can trust a “simple quiz” on Match.com or eHarmony to match us with our perfect mate, why not bras?  But I’m beginning to think it’s easier to find the perfect life partner than it is to find the perfect bra!  Thoughts? 

Another designer has been added to the line-up of the next edition of the Lingerie Journal Designer Showcase.  I’m excited to report that Angela Friedman will be showing her Versailles Collection alongside independent brands With Love Lingerie, Nevaeh Intimates, Dirty Dolls Lingerie and Clare Bare Eco-Friendly Intimate Apparel.  This season’s show runs from Sunday, August 5th through August 8th at the AKA Hotel on West 44th Street, NYC.  The Lingerie Designer Showcase had an incredibly successful show last February with several independent designers showing their lines and a sold out Brand Affair Seminar and Lingerie Exhibition that drew in close to 200 guests including buyers, lingerie retail store owners, independent lingerie designers, wholesale manufacturers, influential lingerie bloggers, and other intimate apparel professionals.  Buyers are welcome to pre-register here:  www.LingerieDesignerShowcase.com/attendee-registration/

OK….. I may have lied (not intentionally, of course.)  Web development is running a few days behind schedule (to be expected.)  Soooo….  We’re not quite ready for our big announcement.  But I promise it will happen this week.  Follow Bra La Mode & The Lingerie Journal (I’m thinking Wednesday or Thursday latest) to hear about my latest endeavor with Luis Paredes, publisher of The Lingerie Journal.  I’m really excited about this project and can’t wait to share it with the entire lingerie community. It will align all facets of our industry in very unique ways.

Buyers are welcome to register for the upcoming CurvExpo at www.CurvExpo.com.  The Designer Lingerie and Swim Show is being held in NYC from August 5th through August 7th and in Las Vegas from August 21st through the 23rd.

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

As seen on LingerieBriefs.com

Intimate Insight: Antoinette Paris Brings French Lingerie To The US!

27 Mar

As a working American woman, it can be easy to find yourself buying only the most practical nude t-shirt bras.  Luckily, Antoinette Paris is out to change the way we think about lingerie and our every day lingerie wardrobe.

When a pair of French sisters came to LA, they couldn’t find the lingerie they were looking for.  Instead of complaining, they decided to create their own boutique where they could bring the beauty and Parisian sensibility they were looking for to other women in the US.  Owners Caroline and Laure Gilleron currently stock only “the best, the handmade and the up-and-coming” in their unique online luxury boutique.

Antoinette Paris currently carries three designers: Odile de Chagny, Prelude, and French CanCan.  Each embraces playful luxury in a different way, but all are committed to quality materials and meticulous details.

Odile de Chagny is a designer who is inspired by traditional French lingerie.  She began her lingerie business after discovering a trunk of vintage lingerie in her family chateau, and is inspired by traditional construction methods.  All of her pieces are hand-sewn works of art.  Caroline and Laure were attracted to her fabrics and her sense of femininity.  Her current collection is inspired by hearts and lace.

Prelude is another designer who loves to work with lace, but has a more Eastern European sensibility.  The collection consists of luxury pieces in lace and satin that fit perfectly into your every day lingerie drawer.  The current collection focuses on practical but oh-so-pretty styles like high waisted panties and balconette bras.

French CanCan combines luxury fabrics and construction with burlesque styles to create a unique and playful collection.  Their sheer sets and ruffled babydolls take the wearer back to the Moulin Rogue.

Pieces from these designers can be purchased at Antoinette Paris.

Intimate Affair: Bare Necessities…. Always ‘Ahead of the Curve’

10 Feb

Bare Necessities Launches BarePlus for Curvy Girls Just Like Us!

Today, everyone in the Intimate Apparel industry is familiar with BareNecessities.com.  But I grew up with them.  The company was around long before they were a dot com.  Initially, Bare Necessities was a well established family-run, brick-and-mortar retailer with a few boutiques in central New Jersey.  I remember them as the intimate apparel store you visited if you needed specialty intimate apparel that couldn’t be found at my local Sears or at the Monmouth Mall.  My Mom took me to one of their shops for a strapless/backless bustier to wear to my junior prom.  Of course, that was ages ago…. (But I think I still have that fiber-fill “contraption” tucked away in a box along with the prom dress.)  Since launching as BareNecessities.com in 1998, they have emerged as the number one multi-brand online lingerie retailer.  And for good reason… they have always been ‘ahead of the curve.’ 

As a champion of curvy girls, I am pleased to announce that Bare Necessities launched a new online boutique designed specifically for curvy women called BarePlus by Bare Necessities.  And, I am honored to say that I was invited to attend their press conference at the Warwick Hotel in midtown Manhattan this afternoon where I received the news firsthand alongside fellow intimate apparel industry professionals, influential bloggers, publicists, media and press.  The theme of the event was “inclusion” for E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E.

The announcement regarding BarePlus came along with news of a Curvy Fashion Show to be hitting Fashion Week in September 2012.  Jeff Grinstein, CEO of Jeff Grinstein Entertainment which is responsible for the Curvy Fashion Show, stated that the new fashion show will be a high-end couture show that is dedicated to serving the full-figure woman and that it will change Fashion Week forever.

BarePlus by Bare Necessities will feature more than 500 bras that fit sizes 38A – 56J, including everyday bras, sports bras, and sexy bra and panty sets.  The website, www.bareplus.com, will offer more than 1,000 styles of plus size lingerie, hosiery and swimwear, from 81 brands including Elomi, SPANX, Bali, Wacoal, Hanky Panky and Calvin Klein.

“The launch of BarePlus reinforces our commitment to serving the woman with curves,” said Jay Dunn, Chief Marketing Officer for Bare Necessities.  “The launch marks the beginning of our effort to build the best shopping experience for curvy women.  Over the next several months, you’ll see more features, photography representative of our customer, and exciting new products from the world’s best brands that you won’t find anywhere else.”

BarePlus marks the first major effort executed by Dunn since joining Bare Necessities in 2011 as its first Chief Marketing Officer.  Dunn came from Lane Bryant, where he had been the mastermind behind the landmark “Red Bra” ad campaign.  The advertisement, which ran on American Idol, featured a plus size model flaunting a sexy red bra and panty set and became a national sensation after it was initially banned by both ABC and Fox for showing too much cleavage. The controversy ignited a national debate regarding how curvy women are portrayed in the media.

Curvy Lingerie Models at BareNecessities Launch of BarePlusAt the Intimate Affair, Jay Dunn said that many curvy women are unaware of the vast number of brands available to them.  BarePlus brings all of the brands together in one place.  BarePlus.com and BareNecessities.com will coexist in a tabbed shopping environment, all with a shared shopping cart and checkout process.  Shoppers clicking on the BarePlus tab will see items available exclusively in plus sizes, with navigation and imagery tailored to the plus size product assortment.

Having worked in the intimate apparel industry for over a decade, I can say with confidence that BarePlus will be a true success.  And, as a curvy consumer, I know that there is certainly a demand for an intimate apparel site dedicated to serving the plus size woman. 

Bare Necessities….Always ‘Ahead of the Curve.’

About Bare Necessities

Bare Necessities is the second largest online lingerie retailer (only Victoria’s Secret is larger).  Launched in December 1998, Bare Necessities has sold more than 5 million bras, and also offers lingerie, shapewear, swimwear, sleepwear, hosiery and men’s underwear from more than 180 brands, including Calvin Klein, Wacoal, SPANX, Hanky Panky, Chantelle, Elomi and La Perla.

CEO Noah Wrubel, CMO Jay Dunn and Jeff Grinstein with Curvy Lingerie Models

Resources:

www.BareNecessities.com

www.BarePlus.com

Follow @BareNecessities & @BarePlus

www.CurvyFashionShow.com

Sponsors of today’s Intimate Affair and the upcoming Curvy Fashion Show include BloogLife and St. Elias Mines.

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