Tag Archives: Fashion Forms

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

3 Jul

“Hot town, summer in the city…..Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty.”  Happy 4th of July.  I have fabulous memories of watching the fireworks over the Navesink River in my hometown of Red Bank, New Jersey as a kid.  But it’s the food that really sticks in my mind…. There’s nothing better than my Mom’s homemade Potato Salad alongside a few slices of tender London Broil and corn on the cob.  I wish you all a safe holiday with friends and family.  Create some great memories that you’ll cherish for years to come. 

Here are a few Intimate Insights for this holiday week….

Congrats to my friend Ann Deal at Fashion Forms!  I’m excited to hear that you’re opening an East Coast Showroom at 183 Madison.  The showroom will be built out just in time for the Wholesale Market Week- July 30th through August 3rd.  We’ll be neighbors!  Best Wishes!

Jockey is launching an Intimate Apparel collection endorsed by celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe.  The collection will be available in Jockey stores and on Jockey.com this month and will be rolled out in major retailers starting October.  I’m anxious to see the line!

Mode City PARIS starts this coming weekend.  If you haven’t already done so, register online for your badge at www.mode-city.com.  The famous Salon International du Swimwear and de la Lingerie and Interfiliere are being held from July 7th through July 9th at the Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles, Pavilion 1.

The Intimate Apparel Square Club is having their annual Christmas in July Party at the RUSK Institute on 34th Street and First Ave in NYC on Wednesday, July 25th.   Members of the Club and other supporters of IASC and RUSK come together to visit with the children who are suffering from life-altering illnesses or disabilities to spread some “holiday” cheer.  The festive Intimate Affair brings joy to the children and warms the hearts of all those who attend.  If you are interested in attending this special event or want to learn more about how you can get involved in the IASC, feel free to reach out to me.  We are always looking for enthusiastic people to join our “small but mighty” Club.

The next edition of the Lingerie Journal Designer Showcase is just a month away.  They had an incredibly successful show this past 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.  This season’s show runs from Sunday, August 5th through August 8th at the AKA Hotel on West 44th Street, NYC and includes With Love Lingerie, Nevaeh Intimates, Dirty Dolls Lingerie and Clare Bare Eco-Friendly Intimate Apparel.  Buyers are welcome to pre-register here:  www.LingerieDesignerShowcase.com/attendee-registration/

With Love Lingerie

SAVE THE DATE!  Luis Paredes, publisher of The Lingerie Journal, and I have partnered together to create something truly unique….  We will be officially announcing our latest endeavor on Monday July 9th and will be celebrating our partnership with a Launch Party and Lingerie Fashion Exhibition on Saturday, August 4th.  Space will be limited.  But we will do our best to accommodate everyone that wants to be a part of this special Intimate Affair.  If you would like to be added to our Invite List, please email me at BraLaMode@gmail.com and put “AUG 4th” in the subject line.  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.  Stay tuned for the official announcement!

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.

The Best of Intima’s Best Shop Awards Event will be held in NYC on Sunday, August 5th.  Last year, my friend Angie Courtney from the Sweetest Sin Boutique in my hometown of Red Bank, New Jersey won the Best of Intima’s Editor’s Choice Award for Best Shop in the United States and Canada.  Let’s see who receives the honors this year!

Who’s excited that Nordstrom is coming to the Big Apple?  Nordstrom has excellent customer service (and actual bra fitters) in their Intimates Dept, so I’m excited about the news.  I’m grateful to Nordstrom for introducing me to one of my all-time favorite bras- the Freya Deco Plunge!  Of course, they’re projecting the store won’t open until year 2018.  Hmmmm…. I wonder what bras will look like in 2018?  Interesting thought, huh?

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

As seen on LingerieBriefs.com.

You’re Invited: “A Celebration of Women” in honour of Mother’s Day

30 Apr

I am pleased to present “A Celebration of Women” in honour of Mother’s Day, an in-store bra fit and shopping event from Noon to 4:00pm on Saturday, May 12, 2012, at the upscale, intimate apparel boutique, Bra Smyth, 2177 Broadway (at 77th Street,) NYC.  Bra Smyth’s dedicated, professional bra fitters offer over 100 years of combined experience and each boutique has seamstresses on staff to make custom alterations which provides legendary personal service to their loyal clients.  The event, “A Celebration of Women,” will provide 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 Smyth.  Additionally, Bra Smyth is offering a 10% discount off the purchase of all sleepwear throughout the event.

The Intimate Affair is sponsored by luxury French lingerie brand Simone Pérèle, in collaboration with the leading lingerie publication, The Lingerie Journal.  The event will feature special guest “The Lingerie Goddess,” Margaret Shrum – fine lingerie stylist and personal shopper.  Margaret’s mission is to empower women to love their unique beauty from the inside out!  In addition, Chambre de Sucre is hosting an Afternoon Tea Party at the in-store event featuring artisanal sugars and custom blended tea, as well as champagne and scones.  Chambre de Sucre is a 270-year old business based in Nagoya, Japan, specializing in handcrafted sugars for coffee and tea- no flavors and no additives, only pure sugar, served up most luxuriously! 

Gift bags in honour of Mother’s Day will be distributed to the first fifty guests, and all guests can expect a free gift with purchase courtesy of the event’s sponsor, French brand, Simone Pérèle. 

The highlight of the Intimate Affair will be the raffle for a Grand Prize basket that is estimated as having a value of over $400.  Contributors to the raffle prize include Bra La Mode, Bra Smyth, Simone Pérèle, Chambre de Sucre, Affinitas Intimates, the no-rinse, biodegradable & eco-friendly SOAK WASH, luxury lifestyle brand Naked Princess, Ann Deal of Fashion Forms, and “Bra-lebrity” Jené Luciani.  Additional sponsors of the event include The Full Figured Chest and I Fell into A Whale.  All guests 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.

Moira Nelson, founder of Bra La Mode, 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 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.  A portion of proceeds from this event will be donated to IASC to help support the “Kids.” 

Guests are encouraged to RSVP for the in-store event at: www.bralamodemothers.eventbrite.com

 Resources:

www.brasmyth.com

www.simoneperele.com

www.thelingeriejournal.com

www.thelingeriegoddess.com

www.chambredesucre.com

#IntimateAffair

Intimate Affair: Bra La Mode Makes Her Debut

14 Feb

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.” 

Ali Cudby, Margaret Shrum, Moira Nelson
Contributing Writer “Everywoman” Liz and Moira
Jene Luciani and Moira Nelson
Darlene Campbell and Moira Nelson
Camille Block, Nina Levine, Moira Nelson
Moira Nelson and designer Asi Efros of Ann Vogue
Moira Nelson, Erica Paul, Courtney Newman
Moira Nelson and Ellen Lewis

Resources:

www.BraTenders.com

www.Chantelle.com

www.TheLingerieJournal.com

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: Intimate Apparel Square Club’s 56th Annual H.U.G. Award Gala Honoring Ann Deal

7 Nov

The Intimate Apparel Square Club (IASC), the New York-based non-profit organization which is dedicated to raising funds for charities, held its annual H.U.G. Award Gala on November 2, 2011 at the trendy NYC event space, 230 Fifth Penthouse. 

Sonja Morgan and Ann Deal at the H.U.G. Award Gala

Ann Deal, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the leading intimate apparel and accessories company, Fashion Forms, was honored at this year’s gala for helping the IASC to “contribute to the triumph of the human spirit.”  Sonja Morgan, star of BRAVO TV’s hit reality series “Real Housewives of NYC” was the celebrity emcee for the Intimate Affair.  The IASC’s H.U.G. Award Gala is the organization’s annual fundraiser for pediatric services at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine.

The H.U.G. Award Gala is always a highlight during Intimate Apparel Market Week and this year’s Intimate Affair was no exception.  The lively event was well attended by professionals in the intimate apparel industry and related fields and included the club’s officers, committee chairpersons and members who were all there to support “The Kids” at Rusk.  IASC members maintain a personal connection to “The Kids” by holding special events at the Rusk Institute throughout the year including an Easter/Passover party, a Christmas/Hanukkah party in July and a Holiday party in December.  At this year’s event, Dr. Steven Flanagan, Professor and Chair of Rehabilitation Medicine of NYU School of Medicine and Medical Director of Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine said, “The IASC has been exceptionally generous to Rusk over the years having donated millions of dollars to date.  But it goes well beyond the financial support.  The members of the club weave themselves into the fabric of the lives of the Rusk Kids.  To the see the light in the eyes of the children is priceless.  The children inspire us, but the club members do too!”

This year’s honoree, Ann Deal, is an extraordinary woman, yet she is extremely gracious and humble. She founded her own business, Freedom Forms, in Florida in 1987.  In 1993, she moved the company to Ventura, California and renamed it Fashion Forms, relying on her dynamic personality, a good network of retailer friends, and one hot product – the Adhesive Body Bra – to make intimate apparel history.  In less than 10 years, Fashion Forms became the nation’s leader in bra accessories, constantly introducing new and useful intimate apparel accessories like water push-up pads, shoulder cushions, adhesive bras and more.  Fashion Forms became the exclusive U.S. distributor for patented products such as StrapMate® and Staykups, Peel N’ Stick Cups, NuBra®, and NuBra® Ultralite.  Ann expanded the company’s accessories business and revolutionized the bra market with the U.S. introduction of The Original Water Push Up Bra in 1997.  Recognizing that women needed a “smarter” bra, Ann developed the Original Water Bra, introducing the world to one of the greatest non-surgical concepts in bust enhancement.  Ann now owns more patented items than any other single entrepreneur in the intimate apparel industry.  The company’s slogan is “Imagination is our Foundation.”  The slogan underscores the Fashion Forms mission – to use creativity and innovation to deliver the newest and the best non-surgical, breast enhancing bras and bra accessories for special occasion fashions and everyday wear.  Ann prides herself on empowering her employees to follow their intuition, rather than dictating their every move.  She paves a path for success and inspires them to act on it.  Ann is a real inspiration to entrepreneurs and to all women in the intimate apparel industry and beyond.

“Ann Deal is a highly respected, leading figure in the intimate apparel industry with countless innovations to her credit,” said IASC President Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti. “Fashion Forms is a loyal supporter of our work for pediatric programs at Rusk Institute and we are thrilled to have Ann as our H.U.G. honoree this year.”

Ann Deal of Fashion Forms

At the event, Ann was introduced by three women who have known her intimately for quite some time including Valerie Koehler, Fashion Forms’ Vice President of Sales, Ann’s niece Allison Adams and Becky Harmon, Fashion Forms’ Director of Merchandising and Production.  They had wonderful things to say about Ann as a woman, as an entrepreneur and businesswoman, and as a philanthropist.  Of Ann, the three women made comments including “Ann is Fabulous,” “….relentless pursuit of perfection….,” “dedicated and driven,” “Ann has the gift of giving….she gives so much,” “she has touched so many of our lives,” and “Ann’s favorite song is ‘It’s a Wonderful World’ and that is how she lives life.”

Celebrity emcee Sonja Morgan stated, “Ann Deal invited me to emcee the event.  How could I say no?  She’s a dynamic woman, a real powerhouse.  After all, she invented The Original Water Bra!  We should all be grateful for that…. I know I am.”  Sonja concluded, “We’re here to support Ann because she supports the children.  I was touched because the event centers on children.”

In response to receiving this year’s H.U.G. Award, Ann said, “I felt incredibly overwhelmed and honored, humbled and speechless.”  Fashion Forms has always been a big supporter of the IASC events and since Fashion Forms is a relatively small, privately-held company, Ann was able to get personally involved in gathering sponsors and raising money for the annual fundraiser.  In the weeks leading up to the event, Ann personally raised close to $164,000.00 for the fundraiser via sponsorships, journal ads, ticket sales and other donations.  In addition, Ann worked with Belly Bella of Beverly Hills to have a beautiful “La Bella Ce Soir Brassiere” 18K Rose Gold and Diamond necklace designed which was donated to the H.U.G. Award Gala event as a raffle prize. 

La Bella Ce Soir Brassiere Necklace

Belly Bella, which is known for designing belly rings and other fine jewelry for their celebrity clientele, designed the necklace following the Fashion Forms brassiere logo.  The necklace raised additional funds for IASC charities on the night of the gala event.

Ann is not only involved in raising funds for the IASC’s charities, but she is also actively involved in her community of Ventura, California and supports women’s causes and education among other things.  On November 11th and 12th, Fashion Forms is sponsoring Women Today in Ventura, California.  This event focuses on celebrating all aspects of a woman’s life.  With exhibits, trendy fashion shows, special speakers and celebrity guests, there’s something for every woman at this event.  Fashion Forms will be selling product during the event and a portion of the proceeds will go towards IASC’s charities.  So, even after the gala event is over, Ann is still continuing to support IASC causes. 

The “jet-setting” Ann Deal has no intention of slowing down her pace anytime soon.  Fashion Forms is re-launching The Original Water Bra due to customer demand, the company’s new line of Annie Sports Bras will be in stores next month and the company is currently promoting their latest innovation, the Body Sculpting Backless Strapless Adhesive Bra which was featured in the November issue of InStyle magazine.  This patented design is the only underwire strapless backless adhesive bra available in cup sizes A-DD.

Fashion Form's Body Sculpting Backless Strapless Adhesive Bra InStyle Magazine November 2011

Moira Nelson of Bra La Mode (right) with Luis Paredes of The Lingerie Journal at the H.U.G. Award Gala

As it turns out, the IASC’s H.U.G. Award is in my family!  I made an unexpected discovery while researching this article.  I came across the list of past H.U.G. honorees and realized that Joseph M. Rafferty was honored with the award in 1990.  My sister Eileen married Joe’s son Rod Rafferty in 1986.  The Rafferty’s have been an important part of my extended family since I was a little girl of about eight or nine years old.  We’ve spent numerous holidays and other family celebrations together over the years and they have literally watched me grow up.  Joe made his career as a buyer for JC Penney and retired in 1995 after serving the company for thirty-five years.  Although Joe retired before I began my career in the intimate apparel industry, we talk about business and retail at most family functions.  Of course, it never came up that he had been a H.U.G. award honoree!  I now feel an even stronger personal obligation to commit myself to support the Intimate Apparel Square Club and its important work in raising funds for “The Kids” at Rusk.

About 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

Ann Deal and Fashion Forms

www.FashionForms.com

Follow @FashionForms

Sonja Morgan

www.SonjaMorganOnline.com

Follow @SonjaTMorgan

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