Tag Archives: intimate apparel industry

Bra Breaking News: Bra La Mode Consulting Officially Launches

31 Jul

I am pleased to announce the official launch of Bra La Mode Consulting.  I initally launched Bra La Mode in September 2011 with the notion that I could be of service to individuals and/or businesses that are looking to break into the intimate apparel industry.  Over the course of the past two years, it became apparent that there was a definitive need for the services I could provide.  The business has evolved over time, and the result is Bra La Mode Consulting. 

I established the full-service consulting company to assist independent lingerie designers, start-up companies and other small, wholesale Intimate Apparel businesses in executing their vision. 

From concept to consumer, I collaborate with my clients, evaluate their individual needs and formulate a strategic plan to execute their initiatives.

Some clients approach me in the concept stage. We work together to establish a solid business plan and budget; we focus on brand identity, define the target consumer, determine key differentiators, create a marketing strategy, and then move forward with a clear plan of action.  I walk my clients through product development, pre-production and production, including the sourcing of materials and locating the appropriate production facility (domestic or overseas)….all the way through the launch of their brand or business.

Others reach out to me after they’ve launched. We evaluate their current business to determine weaknesses and missing links. Is their marketing strategy in sync with their brand identity? Do they have a clearly defined target consumer or are they still trying to target a base of consumers that is too broad? How can we tighten up their strategy to achieve success?

I take great pleasure in watching my clients’ businesses evolve and grow. Each client is different. With a one-on-one approach, I devise a strategic plan tailored specifically to each brand’s individual needs and implement key initiatives to execute their objectives.

Bra La Mode Consulting Announcement_FINALFor additional information on Bra La Mode’s Intimate Apparel Consulting Services or to arrange a personal assessment of your current Intimates business, please contact me

Follow @MoiraNelson & @BraLaMode

www.facebook.com/BraLaMode

Intimate Affair: The Lingerie Alliance Celebrated a Successful Festive Affair Holiday Networking Social

31 Dec

The Lingerie Alliance celebrated a successful “Festive Affair” Holiday Networking Social on Tuesday, December 18, 2012.  The invitation-only Intimate Affair took place at Legends Bar on 33rd Street in NYC with guests enjoying a night of festivities and networking.

Guests included boutique buyers, media, publicists, indie lingerie designers, account executives, executives from global intimate apparel brands, bloggers and other industry professionals. 

The Lingerie Alliance Festive Affair Holiday Party with sponsors Lelo & byChez Lingerie Boutique

“The mission of The Lingerie Alliance is to unite lingerie professionals from all aspects of the industry to elevate the industry as a whole….It’s great to see it happening!”

A Festive Affair Holiday Party Lelo Winner Amy Conway

“The mission of The Lingerie Alliance is to unite lingerie professionals from all aspects of the industry to elevate the industry as a whole….It’s great to see it happening!” said Moira Nelson, cofounder of The Lingerie Alliance.  “When Luis and I came up with the idea for The Lingerie Alliance, this is exactly what we envisioned!  It was very fulfilling to see it come to life!”

from left: Moira Nelson, Eliane Said of Lelo and Luis Paredes at the Lingerie Alliance's  Festive Affair

Event sponsor, LELO provided prize baskets for guests wearing the ugliest holiday sweaters.  The contestants were judged by industry legend, Roslyn Harte, and the winners walked away with LELO intimate lifestyle products valued in total over $1,000.  “Congrats to the Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest Winners- Jené Luciani & Amy Conway, Nikky Waters & Nancy Healey!  Enjoy your luxury pleasure objects provided courtesy of our key event sponsor LELO – the world’s leading designer brand for intimate lifestyle products,” added Nelson.  “And thanks to Chez Johnson of byChez Designer Lingerie Boutique for sponsoring the Intimate Affair.”


A Festive Affair L_A 12_165

The Festive Affair Holiday Networking Social marked the last in a string of successful 2012 events hosted by The Lingerie Alliance.  More events, shows, seminars and networking opportunities are scheduled for 2013 noted Moira.

Please follow The Lingerie Alliance on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheLAlliance to stay up to date on the progress of our web development and upcoming initiatives and events.

Learn more about the event sponsors:

LELO, the world’s leading designer brand for intimate lifestyle products: en.lelo.com

and the upscale, online designer lingerie boutique, byChez Lingerie Boutique:
byChezBoutique.com

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

28 Aug

Last Friday was a traumatic day here in New York City.  The shooting near the Empire State Building occurred in the unofficial Intimate Apparel district.  Most lingerie brands and manufacturers have showrooms and offices within a block of New York’s most iconic skyscraper.  I had stepped out of the Starbucks on the corner of 33rd & 5th only minutes before the first shots were fired.  And several minutes after the shooting took place, we received word that our receptionist had been caught in the crossfire.  Luckily, she only suffered a shot to the leg and is expected to make a full recovery.  Inevitably, those closest to unexpected tragedies find themselves humbled and grateful while acutely aware of their own humanity and mortality….Ever reminded of those things that matter most.  I implore each of you to take a moment of silence today….Simply say “thank you” with sincere humility.  The reality is….we work with bras and panties….  We’re not saving lives.  We may be saving sex lives…. But we’re not saving lives! 

Here are your Intimate Insights for the last official week of Summer….. Happy Labor Day to all!

Last week, the world’s leading internet retailer for men’s underwear and women’s lingerie needs, Freshpair, celebrated the 10th Anniversary of National Underwear Day.  Freshpair unveiled a one-of-a-kind “It’s Time for a Change” pop-up store in New York City.  The pop-up store provided guests with an “experience” including free underwear from the event’s title sponsors—Calvin Klein, Wacoal, Leonisa, Emporio Armani, 2xist, C-IN2, Rated M, and others—as well as demonstrations of Freshpair’s signature At Home Bra Fitting and Men’s Underwear Club services, advice from style gurus, exclusive specials and giveaways, and a walk through “model alley” where models showed off the latest underwear looks.  Check out Freshpair’s new look and unique services which were developed to provide a personalized customer experience at: www.freshpair.com.  I had a personal bra fitting from Freshpair’s very own At Home Bra Fit Specialist, Bobbie.  And, I walked away with a “fresh pair” of undies courtesy of the event’s title sponsor, Wacoal.

Fashion’s Night Out is scheduled for Thursday, September 6th.  I will be spending the evening with Bethenny Frankel at Macy’s Herald Square.  The Intimate Affair at Macy’s will feature the Skinnygirl Smoothers n’ Shapers Fashion Show. 

Bethenny says, “When I created Skinnygirl Smoothers n’ Shapers, I wanted a sensible solution without compromising fashion.  I made sure that Skinnygirl Shapewear was made for real women.  It’s the shapewear that you want people to see.  That’s why, for Fashion’s Night Out, we’re celebrating with a fashion show that showcases women of all different shapes and sizes feeling confident and sexy in their Skinnygirl Shapewear.”  After an online contest which ended last week, three lucky ladies have been chosen to walk in the Skinnygirl Solutions “Real Woman” Fashion Show.  For a complete listing of Fashion’s Night Out events in cities around the world, go to www.fashionsnightout.com

The International Lingerie Show (ILS) runs September 10th through the 12th at the RIO in Las Vegas.  The ILS trade show leans towards the sexy/adult side of our industry.  For more information, go to:  www.lvlingerieshow.com.

SAVE THE DATE:  Luis and I are pleased to announce that The Lingerie Alliance will be hosting the official Nolcha Fashion Week Closing Party in collaboration with Label 55 on Thursday, September 13, 2012.  Nolcha Fashion Week is an award-winning event for independent fashion designers to showcase their collections to a global audience of press, retailers, stylists and industry influencers.  This edition of the event will run from September 10th – 13th, 2012 and will include runway presentations, an exclusive bloggers brunch, fashion lounge, after-parties, networking events, and an official fashion week closing party.  Nolcha Fashion Week is officially listed with Mercedes-Benz as one of two recognized Fashion Weeks by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.  Nolcha offers a range of cost effective options to increase designers’ recognition and develop their businesses.  We are very pleased to be partnered with Nolcha Fashion Week as they share our passion for supporting independent brands.  We hope you will join us for this Intimate Affair which will provide great networking for industry pros!  If you are interested in attending, please email me directly at: moira@thelingeriealliance.com.

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

As seen on LingerieBriefs.com

Intimate Insider: Victor Vega of Wacoal America

19 Mar

Victor Vega of Wacoal America

In a world where the average worker changes jobs three to five times over the course of their lifetime, Intimate Insider Victor Vega is a statistical anomaly.  He began his career as a warehouse worker with Wacoal America, and by 2005 found himself in the position of Sr. Vice President of Inventory Production and Sales Management through hard work and dedication. 

I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Mr. Vega personally through various organizations like The Underfashion Club and the Intimate Apparel Square Club.  I have found him to be a “true gentleman,”  he is kind, honest, and humble.  I caught up with him just before the Femmy Gala this past January, where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to the intimate apparel industry and for his loyalty to helping others.

I asked Mr. Vega about his lifelong devotion to charitable causes.  “I’ve always believed it is important to give back in our communities” he told me, “especially to those less fortunate.  Helping others motivates me.”  In addition to his participation in the non-profit organizations affiliated with the intimate apparel industry, Mr. Vega is involved with (and holds leadership positions in) numerous civic organizations in his own community.

When asked about the intimates industry as a whole, Mr. Vega said that he has seen many changes in the industry since the beginning of his career, and is looking forward to what the future will bring.  “I hope to see the industry evolve and grow; to have different people involved in it.  We all need to work together to take the industry to the next level, and the infusion of the next generation is wonderful.”

Victor Vega’s contributions to the industry are legendary, but when asked to name his greatest accomplishment, he says it is his good old-fashioned success story.  He’s proud of having worked at the same company for so many years, and for rising to his current position through hard work and dedication.  This year marks his 40th Anniversary with Wacoal America.

Victor Vega is honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 FEMMY Gala

And finally, how does Mr. Vega feel about his Lifetime Achievement Award?  His response is simple and as always, humble.  “It is an honor, especially because it is given by the Underfashion Club which is made up of fellow industry professionals.” he says. 

Mr. Vega is an inspiration to all of us working in the intimate apparel industry.  His dedication to his employer is truly impressive.  But it is his devotion to those less fortunate that really makes an impression on me.  Victor Vega is a rare breed.  I feel privileged to know him and am honored to consider him a friend.

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: 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

Welcome to Bra La Mode & Thank You for your Support

5 Sep

Moira Nelson

Welcome and thank you for supporting me and Bra La Mode.  This venture has been in development for a long time and I am thrilled that it is finally coming to fruition.  I am certainly not the first person to start my own business; but if you’ve ever done it, then you know how challenging it can be! 

I want to commend the Lingerie Weblog Pioneers that entered the Blogosphere before me and to all of the men and women who have made their careers in the Intimate Apparel industry (especially those who have been fueled by the entrepreneurial spirit to start their own businesses).  

I have had several key mentors over the years and have been motivated and inspired by countless others.  I am particularly indebted to Amir Moghadam, owner of Parisa Lingerie & Swim in Los Angeles.  He taught me just about everything I know about the business of Lingerie.  And he took a chance on me when no one else would. 

I would like to thank the founders and members of the Independent Lingerie Professionals group for encouraging me to pursue my dreams.  The founders of the group have fostered a spirit of love, support and acceptance for all Lingerie professionals regardless of one’s area of expertise.  As a member of this group, I have received tremendous support that I don’t think I could have found elsewhere.  Who says you can’t develop meaningful relationships over the internet!!??!!

My primary focus is on building the Bra La Mode Intimate Apparel Consulting business.  The company’s mission is to empower independent Lingerie designers, emerging brands, and small wholesale Intimate Apparel businesses to recognize their potential and to realize their primary business objectives.  For specific details on Bra La Mode’s mission, please refer to the Services page here on this site.

I will Blog weekly to share some of my personal experiences with you (and occasionally more often if the spirit moves me and I have something specific to share with you).  The Bra La Mode Blog is intended to be a forum for discussing “all things boobs and bras” and the business thereof.  I have no intention of undermining the high-end Lingerie industry, but please note that I do have a passion for addressing issues which appeal to the “masses.”  I consider myself an “average” American girl, and having managed multi-million dollar Intimate Apparel programs for mass market retailers, I know a thing or two about this particular demographic.    I feel very strongly that good quality, properly fitting Intimates are available to every woman that is armed with a little bit of knowledge.  I will continue to champion this cause.  I am also passionate about educating women about the importance of proper Bra Fittings so that they can find the Bra that fits them right (within their budget).  And lastly, I will forever campaign for more full-busted brands in this country and I won’t quit until they’re available to the masses and at an affordable price.

I welcome your Comments and feedback including differences of opinion.  “Dissension is the mother of invention.”  We all bring a unique perspective to this Industry.  And our differences of opinion help the Industry to grow and evolve.  We need to challenge one another to insure the future of this business.

All the Best,

Moira Nelson

Resources:

Independent Lingerie Professionals

www.facebook.com

The founders of ILP:

Treacle at www.thelingerieaddict.com

Krista at www.thelingeriepost.com

Amir Moghadam

Owner/CEO

Parisa Lingerie & Swim

www.ParisaUSA.com

%d bloggers like this: