Tag Archives: Freya

Intimate Affair: Bare Necessitie​s’ Live Bra Fit Webcast

15 Jan

BN_FitEventBare 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.

Via Twitter, go to: www.twitter.com/barenecessities – hashtag #BAREFIT
Via Facebook, go to: www.facebook.com/barenecessities – hashtag #BAREFIT
Via Live Chat, go to: http://www.ustream.tv/barefit

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”.

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

Intimate Affair: “Make A Splash” with Eveden Brands – Spring and Summer 2012 Swimwear Press Preview

15 Nov

On Thursday, November 10, 2011, Eveden brands held their Spring & Summer 2012 Swimwear Press Preview poolside at the trendy Dream Downtown Hotel which is situated on 16th Street between NYC’s Meatpacking District and Chelsea neighborhood.  The Intimate Affair showcased the latest swimwear designs from Eveden’s portfolio of brands including Fantasie, Freya, Elomi, and their latest acquisition, the French label, Huit.  In addition, they provided a look at the top selling intimate apparel styles in all of their brands for Spring & Summer 2012. 

Anyone that knows me well knows that I am a huge fan of the brands Fantasie and Freya.  I have worn Fantasie bras for years now.  As a full-busted woman, it is challenging to find bras that fit and function properly.  So when I first discovered Fantasie at The Wizard of Bras in Monrovia, California over fifteen years ago, I fell in love!  At that time, Fantasie styles were still very traditional.  They hadn’t introduced a molded foam cup yet.  But they worked!  So despite the classic (and mostly matronly) designs, I became a loyal customer.  As the years have gone by, it has been exciting to watch Fantasie evolve.  And it has been even more exciting to see the Eveden Group grow.  In addition to Fantasie, the portfolio of brands now includes Fantasie’s younger sister brand Freya which was launched in 1998, Fauve which launched in 2007 and is the company’s sophisticated and glamorous high-end label (and my new favorite), full-figure brand Goddess which was acquired by the Eveden Group in 2002, Elomi, which launched in 2008 and is a contemporary brand for full-figured women, and in 2010, Eveden acquired the French luxury brand Huit. 

Eveden is a leader in developing intimate apparel styles for the D+ cup woman.  And now that they offer an entire family of brands, they have something for everyone!  Each brand has its own individual brand identity and personality.  Eveden recognizes that women come in all shapes and sizes and have varying tastes in intimate apparel.  So, as a company, Eveden spends a lot of time designing and developing styles to fit into their individual brand identities.  And, when developing new product, they also consider each brand’s position in the market as they are offered at different price points and are sold in different tiers in the market.  The company has been around since 1920, but over the past ten to fifteen years, the Eveden Group has really emerged as a frontrunner in the design/development, merchandising, marketing and distribution of intimate apparel for full-busted and full-figure women.  And they have mastered “brand loyalty” by continuing to introduce innovative designs year after year.  As a consumer, I am never disappointed by the Eveden brands.  I can depend on their products to fit me properly, they never sacrifice quality, and the styling suits me whether I am looking for a basic, everyday bra or a sophisticated, sexy set for a special occasion. 

It’s hard enough for full-busted and full-figure women to find bras that are stylish and fit well; so you can only imagine how hard it is for us to find swimwear that makes us feel confident!  As a leader in intimate apparel, it was only natural for the Eveden Group to segue into swimwear.  And like their intimate apparel, the swimwear surpasses my expectations.  The fabrics are high quality, the colors and prints are sophisticated yet fun and flirty, the styling is on-trend, and most importantly, the fit and functionality is incomparable.  I wish I could highlight every style I saw at the poolside event on Thursday, but that would be impossible.  So I am going to focus on those collections which really stood out for me. 

Elomi Swimwear SS12

The most exciting news for Eveden brands this season is the introduction of a swimwear range for Elomi fans.  Until now, Elomi was only offered in intimate apparel.  Fans of the contemporary full-figure brand will now be treated to a collection of swimwear designed just for them.  I was very impressed with the direction that the brand took in developing this collection which will launch for Summer 2012.  They developed what I would call “a complete swimwear wardrobe.”  This innovative approach tells me that they truly understand the needs of the full-figure consumer.  The most essential piece in the wardrobe is the “swim bra.”  The swim bra is designed like a bra.  It has a 4-part cut-and-sew lined cup, an underwire, leotard back and adjustable straps.  This forms the “foundation” for your swimwear wardrobe.  They offer three coordinating bottoms including a classic brief, hi-waisted brief and skirted brief.  Then, there are unconstructed tankini tops which are intended to be worn over your swim bra as “layering pieces” for those women who are seeking more modesty or want to feel more confident.  In addition, they offer a kaftan which can be worn as a cover-up to complete your swim wardrobe.  All pieces mix-and-match.  The concept of developing a complete swimwear wardrobe which begins with your supportive swim bra is brilliant.  The swim bra is bra-sized up to an HH cup and the tankinis and bottoms are dress-sized up to a size 22 US.

Freya Fever One-Piece Suit SS12

My favorite Eveden brand is Freya.  Freya is a fun and flirty brand which appeals to the young contemporary consumer.  My personal “everyday” bra is the Freya Deco Plunge which was introduced in 2009.  The Deco range which is a basic, molded seamless bra collection was an instant hit and is still considered a wardrobe staple for full-busted women around the world.  The flirty sensibility of this brand is ever-present in their 2012 swimwear collection.  The colors and prints are bright and fun with an edgy vibe.  Although the styles, colors and prints are flirty and fun, they still maintain a sophistication which makes Freya relatable.  For 2012, they are introducing a new basics collection called Fever.  This collection includes two bikini tops, four bikini bottoms, a tankini top and a one-piece suit.  It is available in solid red and solid black.  Details include contrast color white top stitching, buttons, plackets, collars and belts.  I am at a stage in my life where I feel more comfortable in one-piece suits.  But I often struggle with finding a one-piece that is stylish and somewhat sexy.  I fell in love with the Fever one-piece suit which has a deep plunge neckline and a fabulous skinny belt trim to help define the waistline.  I love the cover-ups that are available in Freya Swim, too.  They are not your typical “mu mu” or wrap-style cover-ups.  Many of them resemble sundresses and could be worn with or without swimwear underneath.

Fantasie L.A. Kaftan SS12

The best part about Freya and Fantasie swimwear is that most styles are developed with bra construction.  Bikini tops include underwires and adjustable straps.  And tankini tops and one-piece styles include “hidden” bra construction.  They are fully constructed inside with underwires and “floating” wings and hook and eye closures.  These details ensure a proper fit for full-busted and full-figure women that require supportive swimwear.  The swimwear is offered in bra-sizing up to JJ cup.

Fantasie L.A. Tankini SS12

The Fantasie brand swimwear appeals to the modern missy consumer.  She is a slightly more sophisticated and mature customer but is still very fashionable.  Highlights include the animal print L.A. collection.  And, I must mention the beautiful kaftan cover-ups which come in mini and maxi lengths. 

The Huit swimwear runs up to DD cup.  This brand is sexy and sophisticated with a French aesthetic.  The styles are modern and sleek with clean lines.  I love the Lucky collection which is available in solid colors with a bold white piping.  This sophisticated and elegant collection offers four bikini tops, four bikini bottoms including an adorable retro “roller derby” style shorty, a tankini, a one-piece suit, a swim dress and a sarong.

Huit Lucky Bandeau and Shorty SS12

Overall, I am very impressed with the swimwear collections I previewed at this Intimate Affair and already have a Wish List in hand.  It’s a dream come true for a full-busted girl like me to have so many options which are stylish and sophisticated…..and appropriate!  No more swimwear malfunctions for me….I will no longer be embarrassing my family at The Beach Club every Summer!  And I am very excited about the launch of Elomi Swim.  I expect it to be hugely successful.  Finally….a sophisticated swimwear wardrobe for the full-figure consumer; designed with her needs in mind.

Although the event was intended to showcase the Eveden brands’ swimwear collections, I did get a look at the top selling 2012 intimate apparel styles for Fantasie, Freya, Fauve, Elomi, Goddess and Huit.  Here are a few items you must take a look at:

Fantasie Rebecca UW Molded Bra and High-Waisted Brief in Nude

Fantasie’s new basic collection, Rebecca, will launch in April 2012.  It is designed with microfiber main fabric and diamante pattern embroidery.  And, this collection includes the first “spacer” fabric bra for the brand.  This collection is offered in white and nude.  The Rebecca high-waisted smoothing brief will be in my knickers drawer asap!

Freya has introduced new fashion colors Ocean and Red in their Deco collection.  And they have re-colored the popular Lyla set in a Hazelnut colorway.  The Tabitha set is being offered in a Missoni-inspired zig zag print in a Sherbert colorway (perfect for Spring!)  The Patsy set is an adorable Lime polka dot set with a retro “girly” look with satin ribbon bows and ruffle trim. 

Fauve Evangeline UW Plunge Bra and Short in Frost

The new Fauve collection Evangeline is to die for….  This one is on the top of my list.  It is available in a minty blue color for Spring called Frost and an ongoing Black colorway.  I am also weak-in-the-knees over the Maya collection which is constructed of fine Austrian embroidery.  It comes in solid White or Black over Nude. 

Fauve Maya UW Padded Half Cup Bra and Brief in Black

And the most elegant collection being offered in the Fauve brand is Coco.  Coco is made from French lace and satin trim in a Powder Puff colorway which is a subtle pink and creamy champagne colorway.  The lace has a geometric “art deco” feel.  The styles are decorated with delicate pearl and diamante details.

Fauve Coco UW Balcony Bra and Brief in Powder Puff

New colors are being offered in Goddess as well as Elomi.  Elomi’s Caitlyn bra will be available in Peacock and Slate colors come Spring.  And Elomi is introducing a retro-inspired Betty set in a Red and White polka dot mesh fabric with rose embroidery.  The matching knickers are adorable with self-fabric ruffle trim at waist and leg openings.   

Elomi Betty UW Plunge Bra and Brief

Huit’s Lucky Doll collection has a sheer geometric pattern all-over lace and oversized satin ribbon bows.  And the Tea for Two collection is perfect for the bridal boudoir!

Eveden brands held their intimate apparel press preview in London last week.  Since the “Make a Splash” event here in NYC showcased the Eveden brands’ swimwear, I suggest you read the following reports for more detail on the Spring and Summer 2012 intimate apparel collections:

Becky reported on the UK event on Cheryl Warner’s site Invest in Your Chest

Kitty Lingerista reported on the UK event on her site Undercover Lingerista

Resources:

Eveden Group

www.Eveden.com

www.Fantasie.com

www.Fauve.co.uk

www.FreyaLingerie.com

www.GoddessBra.com

www.ElomiLingerie.com

http://www.eveden.com/our_brands/huit.aspx

Follow @Fantasie1, @FreyaLingerie, @Elomi_Lingerie

In the US, the Eveden Group is represented by:

Weber Shandwick- contact Ashley Nelson at ANelson@WeberShandwick.com

Intimate Affair: Care for the Cause at Linda’s in Murray Hill

31 Oct

Linda Becker hosted a Breast Cancer Awareness event at her Murray Hill NYC store on Thursday, October 27, 2011.  The Care for the Cause event was the first of its kind for Linda’s store.  However, Linda is no stranger to breast health.  In fact, Linda started her career in bra fitting over twenty years ago when the American Cancer Society invited her to a bra and prostheses fitting class.  Linda and her staff are all trained in mastectomy bra and prostheses fittings and she is proud that she has been able to assist many women over the years with post-surgical options.

Linda Becker at her Murray Hill Store

The intimate affair provided free fittings from 1pm-9pm for all of those who have battled breast cancer (or other breast diseases) and require post-surgical solutions.  But, the event was open to all women looking for a bra fitting and some education about breast health.  The event was a great way to support an important cause whether you have been directly affected by breast cancer or not. 

Linda's Care for the Cause Event- Cupcakes, Giveaways, Prizes, Rub-On Nipple Demos

Although breast cancer is a sensitive topic, Linda and her staff turned the Murray Hill store into a festive environment by offering pink lemonade, strawberry ginger ale, and mini cupcakes in vanilla and strawberry vanilla flavors from Buzzed Cupcakes.  Every customer who made a purchase was entered into a drawing to win one of several prizes including gift certificates, OnGossamer thongs, the Romina bra and panty set from Anita, among other fun goodies.  And any customer that made a cash donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure at Linda’s that day received an additional entry into the drawing.

On hand at the event were two special ladies— Elizabeth Vivenzio, founder of the educational sites www.EmbracingMastectomy.com and www.TattooedNipples.com,  and inventor of the U.S. patent pending Rub-On Nipples, and Joyce Rylander, a certified mastectomy fitter and care consultant from Anita, a well-known manufacturer of foundations, swimwear, and accessories including mastectomy bras. 

Elizabeth Vivenzio (left) and Joyce Rylander (right)

Elizabeth was a real inspiration to me.  She has undergone numerous breast surgeries and is now in the final stages of her reconstruction.  She has dedicated herself to providing positive and empowering information for mastectomy patients.  Her websites provide practical and essential recovery information that cannot be found elsewhere.  While researching areola pigmentation for her educational site, www.TattooedNipples.com, Elizabeth realized that temporary nipple tattoos would be a solution for her and the many others who had long periods of reconstruction which ultimately delayed permanent areola pigmentation (which is the final stage of reconstruction).  Oftentimes, the reconstruction surgeries take several years.  During this period of reconstruction, mastectomy patients live with bare mounds (or “Barbie Boobs” as they refer to them.)  Elizabeth offers a temporary solution to help patients feel “normal” again.  One of her customers commented, “After 2 ½ years of my Barbie Boobs—in my thirties—it’s nice to kind of look “normal.”  It has made a huge difference for me… and for my husband.”  Rub-On Nipples are temporary areola tattoos that can last one to two weeks and can be easily removed using rubbing alcohol.  They look amazingly similar to permanent 3-D areola pigmentation and are available in 12 shades to match your skin tone.  Elizabeth proudly pulled down her blouse to show off her very own Rub-On Nipples.  We had a good laugh… Since today is Halloween, we considered rubbing on a few extra nipples just for fun!

I spoke with Joyce Rylander from Anita regarding their innovative products.  The Anita brand and their contemporary sub-brand Rosa Faia are well-known around the world for their core foundations in regular and full-figure sizes (many styles are avail up to an I cup).  The company is celebrating 125 years in business and is still family run.  Anita provides high-quality foundations with exceptional fit and places emphasis on solutions products including mastectomy products, maternity/nursing bras, as well as innovative sports bras for active women.  I am familiar with Anita products, but I guess I didn’t realize just how long Anita has been in business.  I was impressed with their heritage and enjoyed talking to Joyce about the company philosophy.  She is passionate about the products and as a care consultant for Anita, she really enjoys working one-on-one with her wholesale customers and directly with consumers.  I was curious to learn about Anita’s Active line of Sports Bras.  Joyce proudly showed me the Anita Active Sports Bra style # 5529 which recently won Europe’s coveted RedDot Design Award for 2011.  The style is designed to support the bust (including the connective tissue).  The straps relieve pressure on the back and neck.  And the seamless, breathable high-tech “spacer” fabric cups provide moisture management and temperature regulation.  I would highly recommend this style to the active full figure or full busted women as it is a feat in bra engineering.  I was very impressed with the construction and quality of this style.

Moira Nelson (left) and Darlene Campbell (right)

The event wasn’t just about education for me (although that was very important and made a significant impact on me)….  I had a bit of fun too!  How can I go to Linda’s without trying on a few bras for myself???  I attended the event with my friend Darlene Campbell, founder of the clothing company Campbell & Kate which offers a traditional button-down, white, woven dress shirt for full-busted women—“The CEO shirt for DEF women.”  Darlene also writes a blog called Hourglassy for women with “curves on top.”  As we are both full-busted women, we can identify with one another’s struggles and we enjoy sharing our experiences….  She’s one of my favorite “bosom buddies” and shopping at Linda’s with her was a real hoot.  We tried on dozens of bras each and we both walked out with shopping bags overflowing with new, fun styles.  The quest for the perfect bra never ends for me and Darlene….  I walked out with the Freya Nieve longline bra and brief set, the exquisite Fauve Rosa molded underwire plunge bra, and a pair of Simone Perele Invisi’bulles control briefs.  Success!

Kimberly Arce, marketing manager for Linda's

It was at this event that I realized just how very little I know about breast cancer.  In my family, cancer is still considered a dirty word.  The word cancer is always muttered in a hushed tone.  My Aunt Rosemary had breast cancer.  But that’s all I know.  She had breast cancer.  Period.  It has never been talked about.  I have no idea what she went through or how it made her feel.  After attending Linda’s Care for the Cause Event, I feel ashamed that I don’t know more and haven’t educated myself….  Perhaps it is easier to live in denial…  But for someone that makes her living in the “boob business,” it’s unacceptable.  From this point forward, I am making a commitment to better understand breast care and breast related diseases.  I owe it to myself, to my friends, to my family, and to the numerous men and women in other areas of my life—including Bra La Mode readers. 

Later this week, I will be posting an article on metastatic breast cancer written by Bra La Mode contributor Liz.  Please be sure to read it as it is a poignant piece about the realities of living with breast cancer.

Resources:

Linda’s

www.LindasOnline.com

Follow @LindaTheBraLady

To read more about Linda’s, click here

Elizabeth Vivenzio- Rub-On Nipples

www.RubOnNipples.com

www.EmbracingMastectomy.com

www.TattooedNipples.com

Follow @TattooedNipples

Anita Unique Body Wear

www.Anita.com

%d bloggers like this: