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 am pleased to announce the official launch of Bra La Mode Consulting. I initally launched Bra La Mode in September 2011 with the notion that I could be of service to individuals and/or businesses that are looking to break into the intimate apparel industry. Over the course of the past two years, it became apparent that there was a definitive need for the services I could provide. The business has evolved over time, and the result is Bra La Mode Consulting.
I established the full-service consulting company to assist independent lingerie designers, start-up companies and other small, wholesale Intimate Apparel businesses in executing their vision.
From concept to consumer, I collaborate with my clients, evaluate their individual needs and formulate a strategic plan to execute their initiatives.
Some clients approach me in the concept stage. We work together to establish a solid business plan and budget; we focus on brand identity, define the target consumer, determine key differentiators, create a marketing strategy, and then move forward with a clear plan of action. I walk my clients through product development, pre-production and production, including the sourcing of materials and locating the appropriate production facility (domestic or overseas)….all the way through the launch of their brand or business.
Others reach out to me after they’ve launched. We evaluate their current business to determine weaknesses and missing links. Is their marketing strategy in sync with their brand identity? Do they have a clearly defined target consumer or are they still trying to target a base of consumers that is too broad? How can we tighten up their strategy to achieve success?
I take great pleasure in watching my clients’ businesses evolve and grow. Each client is different. With a one-on-one approach, I devise a strategic plan tailored specifically to each brand’s individual needs and implement key initiatives to execute their objectives.
Follow @MoiraNelson & @BraLaMode
Bare Necessities is hosting a LIVE fit event this Wednesday in New York City! This will be 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). This is a totally up-close and personal experience featuring Eveden bra fit expert, Freddy Zappe and Bare Necessities’ Erin McLaughlin! Freddy and Erin will show women how to measure themselves properly, how to find the perfect fitting bra, and how to know the difference between a very good bra and an ill-fitting bra.
Freddy Zappe has conducted one-on-one fit sessions internationally for over 16 years, so viewers are in for a real treat during this live streaming video event. Viewers will get to participate during the show by submitting questions via Twitter, Facebook, and live chat, and have a select number of them answered during the show.
To make sure you don’t miss out on the event, get an automated reminder at http://www.ustream.tv/barefit by clicking the “REMIND ME” button under “Upcoming Shows”.
I’m in sunny southern California for a few days – for both business and pleasure. While here, I had the pleasure of spending a lovely afternoon with boob and bra expert, Elisabeth Dale, author of bOObs- a Guide to your Girls and founder of The Breast Life. We took a lingerie tour of Los Angeles and its environs beginning with the award-winning luxury lingerie boutique, Faire Frou Frou.
Faire Frou Frou is located on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City, Ca. This lovely boutique evokes the nostalgia of old Hollywood glamour. The mother-daughter team of Gail and Alison Rubke carefully curate a selection of the world’s finest lingerie which can be best described as elegant, ultra-feminine and sophisticated.
I commend them for including independent, emerging designers and brands in their collection. This tiny space is chock full of discoveries! Just inside the front door is a table featuring the retro-inspired brand Dottie’s Delights which is designed and hand-made by Stephanie Kuhr in Chicago.
For me, the highlight of Faire Frou Frou was the discovery of a new brand, Gold Hawk. Gold Hawk is a local Los Angeles-based brand which includes silk camisoles, tunics and nightgowns. And Alison made a point to show me how each of the Gold Hawk pieces can easily translate into “innerwear as outerwear.” She commented, “Even the floor-length silk gown would look fabulous with a pair of boots and a chunky sweater.” Thanks for the tip, Alison! Every time I picked up a piece of lingerie that grabbed my attention, it carried the Gold Hawk label! I look forward to learning more about this elegant line.
Just a few of the other brands carried at the store include Zinke, Cadolle, Naked Princess, Marlies Dekkers, Ari Dein, The Lake and Stars, Fortnight, Janine Robin, Claudette, Fleur of England, La Fee Verte, Skin, Araks, Else, Deborah Marquit and Result Wear Shapewear. If you’re looking to embrace your inner Glamourpuss…. head to Faire Frou Frou!
Next, Elisabeth and I ventured “over the hill” into Hollywood to visit Jenette Goldstein at Jenette Bras on Melrose. This funky, retro boutique was opened by the spunky Jenette Goldstein in 2009 and caters to D Cups and Up. Jenette says that full-breasted women are “overdeveloped and underserved.” This bra fit salon specializes in quality bras from Europe including Prima Donna, Twist by Prima Donna, Marie Jo, Empreinte, Freya, Panache, Anita and Simone Perele among others.
The boutique is a bit “off the beaten path,” but if you’re looking for a true bra fit salon, this is the place to go. Jenette says that the women that walk into her store are on a mission… they are looking for a properly fitting bra which she says “is indispensable for a chesty gal!” Clients come to Jenette Bras from all over because true bra fit stores are few and far between. Jenette also carries a small selection of lingerie, slips and shapewear from brands including Samantha Chang, Lindsey Roscoe and my friends, the Dirty Dolls. My favorite piece in the store is an under-the-bust shaping slip by Twist by Prima Donna. This shapewear piece is functional and practical, yet sexy as all hell…. To quote Jenette, “You will rock that hourglass, honey!”
After having a bite to eat in a local watering hole, Elisabeth and I headed west on Melrose only to discover that the boutique What Katie Did is closed on Sundays! This did not deter us from continuing our lingerie road trip. Our last destination was the Addiction Nouvelle Lingerie boutique on Robertson in West Hollywood. This minimalist, modern space caters to a young contemporary consumer and carries the brands Mimi Holliday, Valery, Damaris, Lise Charmel and Nina Ricci in addition to its namesake Addiction Nouvelle. Each of these brands is well-constructed of high-quality fabrics such as silk, satin, microfiber, and exquisite European laces. Styles include bras, panties, camisoles, bustiers, babydolls, chemises, full slips, loungewear, sleepwear and robes. I fell in love with the Addiction Nouvelle high-waisted brief!
It was interesting to note that each of the stores we visited had its own unique identity. I appreciated the selection in each of these stores and would highly recommend you pay a visit depending on your personal wants and desires.
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.”
Intimate Affair: Bergdorf Goodman Hosts Bra Fit Event in Collaboration with Intimate Apparel Site ILOVEAGOOD24 Oct
Bergdorf Goodman hosted their first Bra Fit Event on Saturday afternoon, October 22, 2011 in the intimate apparel department on “6” in their midtown Manhattan store.
The Intimate Affair was co-hosted by intimate apparel stylist Jenny Altman, and chic operating officer Danielle Black, from ILOVEAGOOD, the site that aims to change the way women share, shop, and view intimates. In preparation for the in-store event, Jenny Altman hosted a “live tweet” session on Friday afternoon which gave consumers the opportunity to ask their most intimate questions in an open and supportive forum. On hand at Bergdorf’s were the merchandise coordinators for brands Commando, Hanro, Le Mystere, Spanx, La Perla, and Myla. Along with Jenny, Danielle, and the Bergdorf’s sales associates, the merchandise coordinators were available for fittings, styling, and to answer any questions the shoppers may have had concerning their intimate apparel needs. The women that took advantage of these services were quite pleased as the insights of these Intimate Insiders are invaluable.
As the bulk of my experience in the intimate apparel industry has been in mass market, I can be intimidated by high-end specialty department stores. I imagine the average American consumer may feel the same way. However, the level of customer service at a store like Bergdorf’s is unparalleled and I was made to feel right at home in the intimate setting. The product assortment is exceptional. I saw brands and styles that I do not have the opportunity to see on a regular basis such as Myla of London, Stella McCartney, and Josie Natori’s Couture collection. The styles, the fabrics, the prints, and the embellishments are exquisite. It was a real treat for me to spend the afternoon surrounded by some of the World’s finest foundations, lingerie, loungewear, and sleepwear. And I was pleased to see that they carried more affordable brands including Cosabella, Le Mystere, Chantelle, Spanx Haute Contour, Commando, Hanro, Jonquil, Wolford, and my personal favorite, the Eveden brands Fantasie and Fauve. In addition, they carry styles which have been designed exclusively for Bergdorf Goodman by Patricia Fieldwalker. I am glad I attended the Intimate Affair as I was able to experience something new. And, now I can feel comfortable recommending Bergdorf Goodman’s intimate apparel department to anyone. They carry everyday foundations and shapewear, specialty lingerie, elegant sleepwear as well as classic pajamas and robes, underwear in all styles, shapes and sizes, as well as a wide assortment of bridal pieces. There is something for everyone at Bergdorf’s. I commend the store’s buyer for putting together a very well curated assortment.
Jenny Altman from ILOVEAGOOD said, “Women buy a dress and often forget how important it is to consider what to wear underneath. Even a Givenchy will look terrible with panty lines.” I asked Jenny what she was hoping to accomplish at the event and she said, “I want to spread the word about Bergdorf Goodman’s intimate apparel department. Women should buy a dress (or other ready-to-wear) and then head right here to “6” to purchase their foundations to go with it.” After spending the afternoon with Jenny, Danielle, and the rest of the Bergdorf’s team, I will certainly add Bergdorf Goodman to my list of “go-to” retailers for intimates…especially when looking for a gift or something “extra special.”
I made two discoveries at the event that I want to share with you. Caftans! I know it sounds crazy…. But I cannot finish this piece without commenting on the Josie Natori Couture caftans. I’ve never seen anything quite like it… They carry dozens of them. And each one is more ornate than the next. In my next life, I hope to be a “lady of leisure” so I can lounge around in Josie Natori Couture caftans every day of the week. The silk fabric, the embroidery detail, the beading… to die for! Unfortunately, they’re out of my price range… But a girl can dream, can’t she??
And secondly, the Bed Jacket! My mom always wore bed jackets. There was always something so elegant and sophisticated about it…. She would sit up in bed and read a good book while wearing a bed jacket. At times, it can be much more practical than the robe and certainly sexier. I had forgotten about this intimates wardrobe staple. I hereby declare bed jackets as the next trend in intimates! Mark my words. So elegant! Bergdorf’s carries a satin silk Josie Natori Couture bed jacket in silver color with hand embroidery. I was fawning all over it. This bed jacket is on my list of “must-haves” for 2012.
What are you wearing underneath? With the Holiday season upon us, let’s make a commitment to spend as much time shopping for our foundations as we do shopping for that perfect cocktail dress to wear to the next Intimate Affair. Follow Intimate Insiders Jenny and her partner Danielle at ILOVEAGOOD for expert advice on everything intimate. Between the two of them, they have tried out, tried on, and squeezed into pretty much every bra, panty, and piece of shapewear in the business. They did it—so you don’t have to. You’ll get honest answers from them, because they love talking about underthings! At ILOVEAGOOD, they’re not afraid to say “boobs,” or share that first bra experience (these are not dirty little secrets!). It’s about time somebody talked about them!
Jenny Altman & Danielle Black
5th and 58th– the Bergdorf Goodman Blog