Tag Archives: Femmy Gala

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

7 Feb

February is one of the busiest months of the year for the Intimate Apparel industry.  This week is “Market Week” in the mass wholesale side of the business.  Major retailers fly into New York from all over the country to shop for Fall ’13 and to preview product for Spring ’14. 

Boutiques and brands are making every possible last ditch effort to capitalize on Valentine’s Day. 

FEMMY Design ContestThe annual FEMMY Gala was held Tuesday night at Cipriani 42nd Street.  Again this year, the “Intimate Affair” was hosted by Carson Kressley.  This year’s Student Design Contest was sponsored by Penn Asia Co., Ltd., Regina Miracle International Ltd. and Stretchline Holdings Ltd.  And the theme of the Student Design Contest was “Midnight Garden” – Seduction of Flowers. 

We wrap up the month with Curve NY at Jacob Javits from February 24th – 26th.  The Lingerie Collective is making its debut in NYC and the world’s first fashion week dedicated to the intimate apparel industry, LingerieFW, is launching on February 22nd.  And of course, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is February 7th through the 14th

Here are a few highlights in other lingerie news and upcoming events:

FabFitAcademyI’m excited to announce that my friend and fellow Lingerie Briefs columnist, Ali Cudby, Bra Fit Coach and bestselling author of the lingerie book Busted! The Fab Foundations® Guide to Bras That Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic has launched the FabFit™ Academy, a comprehensive, online certification course in bra fitting.  The course begins with some complimentary videos designed expressly for the lingerie industry, and offers essential training for people working in all sectors of intimates, from retailers and manufacturers to bloggers and sales reps.  “The best assurance of a profitable return in any Lingerie business is to be consistently trained in the art of bra fitting,” says industry veteran and Lingerie Briefs Publisher Ellen Lewis.  The FabFit™ Academy offers complimentary online training videos in advance of course registration at FabFitAcademy.com.

Relique Image 1On Monday evening, the NYC-based handmade lingerie company RELIQUE hosted an “Intimate Affair” to preview their Fall/Winter 2013 Collection.  The brand uses graphic lingerie shapes accented with experimental fabric dyeing and trimming combinations.  The focus in each collection is lingerie that is meant to be seen as a piece of fashion rather than traditional lingerie, while still keeping its sex appeal.  Designers Chelsea Carson and Kait Vasquez believe that lingerie doesn’t need to be just for the bedroom or hidden under clothing; it should be an enhancement to an outfit.  By taking a more modern approach in design, they want to fill the gap between basics and special occasion and give lingerie an outerwear functionality.

New York-based independent brands Lola Haze Lingerie and Victoria Bekerman Jewelry invite you to their Valentine’s Quickie Pop-Up Shop located at the RS Pop Space – 501 Lexington Avenue between 47th & 48th Streets, NYC.  The “fling” is running February 1st through the 14th from 10am-8pm and includes discounts of up to 50% off on select items.  In addition to every day shopping, you can join them for a special Valentine’s shopping event on February 12th from 5-9pm.  Sip wine, receive personalized shopping consultations from the designers, and sneak a preview of the Lola Haze Fall/Winter 2013 collection.  For 24/7 indulgence, visit http://www.lolahaze.com and enter code LolaLove20 for 20% off sitewide.

Valentine's Quickie popup photo 1

Sweetest Sin in Red Bank, N.J. is hosting their annual Valentine’s Day Soiree this 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.

sweetest sin_soiree_flyer2013_facebook[1]

TheFittingRoomBoutiqueIllinoisThe Fitting Room, a chic bra fitting boutique in Grayslake, Illinois and Eminjayin Productions are co-hosting a Valentine’s Day themed Lingerie Fashion Show Benefit Event to raise funds for The Sandy Hook School Support Fund.  In addition to the Lingerie Fashion Show, the festive affair will include a burlesque show, raffle prizes, cocktails provided courtesy of The Vine, a DJ and a photo booth.  The event organizers will donate 100% of the proceeds to the Newtown/Sandy Hook families and schools.  The event is taking place on Saturday, February 9th from 7-10pm at The Studio.

Brochure 5.5x8.5 - Back - LandscapeChez Johnson of byChez Designer Lingerie Boutique is featuring her collections in a Trunk Show on Sunday, February 10th from 4-9pm.  The “Intimate Affair” called “Welcome to the Sweet Life” is being hosted by Posh Beauté in SoHo, NYC (and is also the location for the affair.)  The event will offer sweet treats, a candied cocktail concoction, a champagne hour from 6-7pm and a lot of fun!

LingerieFW_imageSAVE THE DATE – Lauren Rich, founder of RICHPR and LingerieFW, is planning a party to celebrate the close of Lingerie Fashion Week (LingerieFW) which is set to debut on February 22nd.  The “Intimate Affair” will be sponsored in part by The Lingerie Journal and The Lingerie Alliance and will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2013 following the last runway show of the day.  Details to follow….

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

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

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

 As seen on LingerieBriefs.com

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

30 Jan

The winter weather has arrived!  It has been incredibly brisk here in New York.  And I understand there was a bit of snow in Paris during the 50th Anniversary edition of Salon International de la Lingerie as well.  Despite the delayed flights and mucky city streets, I bet the flurries inspired a certain romanticism. 

Salon de la Paris_ICE imageI can only imagine the Paris city lights twinkling through a nighttime snow fall… It seems apropos that the theme of the renowned show’s trend forum was “Ice Land” which featured four “universes” — Romantic, Innovation, Savage and Neo Nude.  I first saw this emerging trend last year at a preview of the Marlies Dekkers Winter 2012 “Ice Queen” – Cool Scandinavia collection.  At first glance, I fell in love with the icy, frosted, muted hues which were presented in delicate snowflake-inspired laces and embroideries adorned with crystal embellishments.  The colors are quite a departure from the more traditional lingerie colors- black, nude, pink and red.

Speaking of pink and red…  Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away!  How do you celebrate the only day dedicated to romantic love?  Do you cherish this day to honor your lover or has it become just another “Hallmark Holiday” for you?  Do you shower your partner with intimate gifts, a handwritten love letter, red roses, confections, jewelry?  Is lingerie in your Valentine’s Day forecast?

Rouge Seduire_Pin It To Win It V Day Contest_Jan 2013If you are looking to seduce your partner with a little something special this Valentine’s Day…. Dare to enter Rouge Séduire’s “Pin It to Win It” Valentine’s Day Contest to win a Bra and Panty set that is sure to tease and tempt the senses, intrigue the soul, and entice the very essence of self.  The unparalleled, sexy and seductive, luxury lingerie line, Rouge Séduire has launched the “Pin It to Win It” Valentine’s Day Contest.  Fans of the brand have the opportunity to express their originality by creating a dedicated Pinterest board representing the theme #TheArtofSeduction.  On February 4th, the brand’s designer, Sharon Fan, will select one winner to receive a Rouge Séduire Bra and Panty set of their choice (valued up to $500 USD.)  The winner will receive her new lingerie set just in time for the hottest holiday of the year, Valentine’s Day!

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

sweetest sin_soiree_flyer2013_facebook[1]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.

Fleur du Mal monogrammed pantiesFleur du Mal has launched the Say My Name bespoke panty service exclusively on http://www.fleurdumal.com … just in time for Valentine’s Day.  Order beautiful silk chiffon panties with a custom embroidered name or monogram for $98 in sizes S/M or M/L in either Blush or Fever.

This year, technology enabled brands like Ampere are making it easier for men and women to give or receive lingerie.  Here are a few great Valentine’s Day gift options from Ampere: 

Romper Productthe Madison Romper constructed of the finest silk charmeuse and accented with silk chiffon and lace details, the Gramercy and/or Chelsea Thongs which are designed to make a woman look and feel sexy while being comfortable enough to take her from day to night, the Gramercy and/or Chelsea Bras which are crafted with a luxurious scalloped, gold bourdon yarn embellished lace and silk lining (each bra order comes with a FREE matching panty,) or an E-Gift Card for $25 – $145.

femmy2013The 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.

LingerieFW_imageSAVE THE DATE – Lauren Rich, founder of RICHPR and LingerieFW, is planning a party to celebrate the close of Lingerie Fashion Week (LingerieFW) which is set to debut on February 22nd.  The “Intimate Affair” will be sponsored in part by The Lingerie Journal and The Lingerie Alliance and will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2013 following the last runway show of the day.  Details to follow….

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

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

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

12 Dec

It’s a very busy time of the year full of holiday shopping, long work hours, year-end meetings, goal-setting for 2013, dinners, parties and other events.  And I’m full of anxiety… attempting to accomplish everything I set out to do before the year is over.  Am I the only one that’s feeling the pressure?  Any good tips for maintaining a sense of balance during this time of the year?  I’m getting enough sleep; I’m sticking with my usual meditation routine, allowing time for myself and making self-care a priority… Yet I still feel a bit overwhelmed.  Please share your advice for coping with life’s ups and downs…  I’d love to hear what you do to stay sane. 

UFC Party 2012_Gifts for Foundling Kids

On December 4, 2012, The Underfashion Club hosted its annual Holiday Party at The National Arts Club on Gramercy Park South.  The Intimate Affair featured dinner, dancing and a whimsical bra & bottoms design contest which was judged by Lingerie Briefs’ Ellen Lewis and Laurence Teinturier of Curvexpo

Victor Vega_Sophia and Gabrielle_Bob VitaleThe Grand Prize went to Joseph Lara from Delta Galil.  He won a ticket to the 2013 Femmy Gala which is scheduled for Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at Cipriani 42nd Street, NYC.  The 2nd Prize went to Sophia Gergatsoulis and Gabrielle Bizzoco from Wacoal America.  Sophia and Gabrielle each received a 1-year membership in the Underfashion Club for their creative entry in the contest.  In addition to the festivities, the UFC never forgets to take care of its own community…..gifts of clothing and toys were collected and donated to the New York Foundling Children.  Club president Walter Costello and other members of the Club and industry pros including Debby Long-Gedney, Roslyn Harte, Lance Whitaker, Gary Hughes, Victor Vega, Bob Vitale, Julia Burns, Steve Chernoff, Justin Chernoff, Suzanne Beck, Luis Paredes, Joel Fertel, Ellen Lewis, and many others came together to celebrate the season in style. 

Dear Kate Ms Moxie

Dear Kate Launch PartyThe official Dear Kate Launch Party was held on Friday, December 7th.  The Intimate Affair was hosted by Azaleas at 140 Second Avenue, NYC.  Family, friends and fans of the innovative brand came together to celebrate the launch of this unique lingerie line.  Azaleas was standing-room only.  Congrats Julie and thanks for the Dear Kate logo tote!

Bra La Mode hosted a Festive Affair Holiday Trunk Show on Saturday, December 8th.  The Intimate Affair featured Dirty Dolls Lingerie, Love & Dream Sleepwear and Loungewear and introduced – for the first time ever – the luxury lingerie line, Rouge Séduire.  The event was held at the neighborhood spa, Spa 34 on 34th Street in NYC.  Guests enjoyed Mani/Pedis and admired the three independent lines being showcased at the event. 

Buyer Kelly OBrien from Linger chats with Darcy Frye of Love and Dream Sleepwear at Bra La Mode Trunk Show Sat Dec 8th

TulipbackContinue supporting these brands by shopping online at: www.dirtydollslingerie.com and www.shoploveanddream.com.  And although Rouge Séduire is not yet available for retail sales direct to consumer, you must check out the steamy website which just launched late last week- www.rougeseduire.com.

Here are the Upcoming Intimate Affairs:

The Intimate Apparel Square Club’s Holiday Party is being held this Thursday, December 13, 2012.  This year, Santa will be visiting the “Rusk Kids” one-on-one in their rooms while the new RUSK facility is being built.  But members and guests are welcome to join us for dinner at Trattoria Alba on 34th Street, NYC at 6pm.  The Intimate Affair includes presentation of the prestigious Al Jaffin Award to Diane Paccione as well as presentation of the 2012 H.U.G. Award Gala proceeds to the administrators and doctors at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Rehabilitation Center and Tisch Hospital.  Members and their families: $70; Guests: $80 (Dinner and Open Bar.)

On December 18, 2012, The Lingerie Alliance presents A Festive Affair Holiday Networking Social at Legends Loft Lounge, 6 West 33rd Street between 5th Ave & 6th Ave from 6:30-8:30pm.  Two hours open bar, giveaways & gift bags, an Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest and more.  The primary sponsor of the Festive Affair is LELO, the world’s leading designer brand for intimate lifestyle products.  LELO is donating Prize Baskets for winners of the Ugly Sweater Contest with the Grand Prize Basket valued at $1000!  The legendary lingerie lady, Roslyn Harte, will be judging the Ugly Sweater Contest.  This event costs $35/ per person and is limited to 60 people.  RSVP and purchase your tickets before they sell out: www.festiveaffair1.eventbrite.com.  Tickets must be purchased no later than Wednesday, December 12th.  Please note that tickets will not be available at the door.

TLA_FestiveAffairInvite

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’s Annual Femmy Gala

6 Feb

On Tuesday, January 31st, 2012, the Underfashion Club hosted its annual Femmy Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street.  The Intimate Affair was hosted by the witty and charismatic celebrity spokesperson Carson Kressley.  When asked to host the annual awards ceremony, Carson Kressley thought to himself “I don’t know anyone as Femmy as me, so that sounds like it could work!” 

Femmy Host Carson Kressley

The annual Femmy Awards Gala is considered the premier event in the intimate apparel industry attracting hundreds of professionals from all aspects of the lingerie industry and related fields.  The awards honor individuals and companies that have significantly contributed to the industry and its growth.  This year’s Gala honored:

Retailer

Century 21 Department Stores

Manufacturer

Fruit of the Loom

Global Supplier

Top Form Brassiere Mfg. Co. Ltd.

Innovation Award

Penn Asia Company Limited

Lifetime Achievement Award

Victor Vega

Senior Vice President I.P.S. Management- Wacoal America, Inc.

Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree Victor Vega

Proceeds from the annual event support the non-profit Underfashion Club’s extensive Scholarship, Awards, Internship and Grants (SAIG) programs.  These efforts bring to life the Underfashion Club’s credo of “Education today for a better industry tomorrow.”

Femmy Gala- FIT Student Design Contest Displays

The highlight of the Intimate Affair was the 9th Annual Student Design Contest featuring the designs of Fashion Institute of Technology students who concentrate their studies on intimate apparel under the direction of FIT Professor Alexandra Armillas.  The students’ Art Deco-inspired designs were displayed at the event and attendees selected three student designers to receive cash awards.  This year’s featured student designers include Nina Trimble who was awarded the first place prize of $4000 for her creation “Deco Diamonds”, the 2nd place prize went to Yecca Zeng, 3rd place was awarded to Lauren Haron and the three other student designers included Claudia Mesiti, Amy Gianforcaro and  Nicole Ward.  The design contest is an integral part of the Underfashion Club’s mission to help educate, influence and attract new talent into the intimate apparel industry. 

Carson Kressley, Underfashion Club Board Members & Femmy Gala FIT Student Design Contest Winners

About the Underfashion Club

It is the mission of the Underfashion Club to raise funds and expend energy to safeguard the present and future health of the intimate apparel industry by supporting education of new talent, attracting this talent to careers in Intimate Apparel and to act as good citizens in the local community within which the industry exists. 

The club’s Femmy Award Gala is the most prestigious event of the Intimate Apparel Industry.  The annual Femmy Gala is held in recognition of outstanding executives for exceptional achievements.  Proceeds from this event provide the primary funding for the Club’s extensive scholarship, awards, internship and grants (SAIG) programs.  The SAIG Committee interacts with and monitors the progress of scholarship recipients, coordinates industry participation in educational seminars for students, supports intimate apparel education on the high school and college levels, and actively pursues an intimate apparel internship program in the New York area. 

The Program Committee develops informative seminars featuring guest speakers and panelists from the industry and related fields.  Held at frequent intervals, these meetings are designed to stimulate and entertain, as well as provide opportunities for career networking.  The committee also offers fun get-togethers such as the annual Holiday Party where, in the spirit of the season, clothes and toys are generously donated to the New York Foundling Home. 

Through the Charity Committee, meaningful cash donations are made in support of many worthy causes that are industry-related and/or humanitarian in nature.

Resources:

The Underfashion Club

www.UnderfashionClub.org

Follow @UnderfashionNY

Intimate Affair: The Underfashion Club’s Annual Holiday Party

12 Dec

The Underfashion Club held their annual Holiday Party at the National Arts Club on NYC’s Gramercy Park on Tuesday, December 6, 2011.  The annual Intimate Affair brings together professionals in the intimate apparel industry and related fields for a festive holiday event replete with cocktails, dinner and dancing.  The event included a “whimsical” holiday-themed design contest.  And guests were invited to bring gifts of clothing or toys for children (from infant to teen) which were then donated to the non-profit New York Foundling Home, an organization dedicated to supporting abandoned and neglected children. 

Walter Costello, president of The Underfashion Club

The Intimate Affair began with a lively cocktail hour which allowed guests the opportunity to mingle and network with fellow club members.  Club president Walter Costello then welcomed guests and made a few remarks including an announcement of the 2012 Femmy Gala Award honorees– Century 21 Department Stores, Fruit of the Loom and Top Form Brassiere Manufacturing Company, Ltd.  The Innovation Award will be presented to Penn Asia Company Limited and the Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to longtime Underfashion Club member Victor Vega of Wacoal America.  The 2012 Femmy Gala will be held at Cipriani on 42nd Street on Tuesday, January 31, 2012.

After Walter made his remarks, club board member and co-chairman of the charity committee, Michael Floru, announced that the club would be making donations to New York City’s Meals on Wheels, St. Francis Friends of the Poor and the New York Foundling Home.  It has become a tradition for the club to disperse funds to three designated charities at the annual holiday soiree. 

Andrea Greer from Maidenform with her Winners

At this year’s event, the design contest received an assortment of unusual entries!  The contest judges Ellen Lewis of Lingerie Briefs and Colette Wong, chair of fashion design at NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology, selected two entries as first and second prize winners.  The first prize was awarded to Andrea Greer of Maidenform for her Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer Bra which earned her a free ticket to the 2012 Femmy Gala.  And, the second prize was also awarded to Andrea Greer for her red and white Snowflake Bra.  This entry earned her a year’s membership in the Underfashion Club.  Congrats Andrea!  What a surprise to have the top two entries submitted by the same person!

The highlight of the Intimate Affair was the raffle prize.  All guests received a raffle ticket upon entrance to the event.  The guests gathered in anticipation of winning the grand prize- a trip to Paris in July including round-trip airfare, three nights hotel stay and entrance into the Mode City and Interfiliere trade shows.  This prize was generously donated to the club by Eurovet, the international organizer of trade shows for the intimate apparel and swimwear industries.  The lucky winner was intimate apparel industry professional Vanessa Martin.

Guests at last week’s Holiday Intimate Affair included club president Walter Costello and board members Roslyn Harte, Victor Vega, Deborah Long-Gedney, Karen Bromley, Steve Chernoff, Gary Hughes, Kenneth Natori, Lance Whitaker, Michael Floru among others.  Numerous other professionals attended the event such as Tim Regan, Don Allen, Richard Murray, Alice Paparatto, Stacey Siokas, Michael Drescher, Heidi Lehmann, Peter Coppola, Tyler Lee, Lisa Alvarez, Lysa Villeneuve, Susan Buchanan Malinowski, Mimi Patel, Colette Wong, Laurence Teinturier, Jean-Luc Teinturier, Lindsay Petersen, Ellen Lewis and dozens more.  Media professionals included Karyn Monget from WWD, Mozz Manzoor and Libby Dowd from The Lingerie Journal and Ted Vayos from Body Magazine.

About the Underfashion Club

It is the mission of the Underfashion Club to raise funds and expend energy to safeguard the present and future health of the intimate apparel industry by supporting education of new talent, attracting this talent to careers in Intimate Apparel and to act as good citizens in the local community within which the industry exists. 

The club’s Femmy Award Gala is the most prestigious event of the Intimate Apparel Industry.  The annual Femmy Gala is held in recognition of outstanding executives for exceptional achievements.  Proceeds from this event provide the primary funding for the Club’s extensive scholarship, awards, internship and grants (SAIG) programs.  The SAIG Committee interacts with and monitors the progress of scholarship recipients, coordinates industry participation in educational seminars for students, supports intimate apparel education on the high school and college levels, and actively pursues an intimate apparel internship program in the New York area. 

The Program Committee develops informative seminars featuring guest speakers and panelists from the industry and related fields.  Held at frequent intervals, these meetings are designed to stimulate and entertain, as well as provide opportunities for career networking.  The committee also offers fun get-togethers such as the annual Holiday Party where, in the spirit of the season, clothes and toys are generously donated to the New York Foundling Home. 

Through the Charity Committee, meaningful cash donations are made in support of many worthy causes that are industry-related and/or humanitarian in nature.

Resources:

The Underfashion Club

www.UnderfashionClub.org

Follow @UnderfashionNY

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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