Tag Archives: lingerie brand

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

14 Nov

As I think back on the past few weeks, I am inspired by mankind.  I have seen people from all walks of life coming together to support those who have literally lost everything as a result of Hurricane Sandy.  It brought people together who would not normally mix.  Barriers of race, creed, sexual orientation and socio-economic differences have been broken.  Here in Jersey City, we have witnessed great loss.  Many of my neighbors are still without power after two long, cold, dark weeks.  Life as we know it has been changed forever.  Insurance pay-outs and FEMA funds cannot restore one’s wellbeing.  Luckily, I was one of the first to have power restored here in Jersey City. I opened my doors to everyone & anyone that needed some warmth, a hot shower, a phone charge, or a hot meal.  But it was only a temporary “fix.” 

Sea Bright, NJ. Photo by Mark Vetrini

Most of my family is “down the shore” where entire towns have been literally wiped out.  My sister, Eileen Rafferty, hopped in her car and ventured into some of the hardest hit neighborhoods in Jersey such as Belford and Keyport.  She knocked on doors to pitch in with clean-up efforts and to find out what they really need.  After a day on the “front line,” Eileen called me and said “We need undies!”  I jumped on the horn and within a matter of hours, I was able to collect cases of Clean/Unworn Underwear from manufacturers and designers around the Country.  Out of this need, the #SpareAPair Campaign has been born.  Organizations such as Bra Recyclers and Support1000 have been accepting donations of gently worn bras for years.  These organizations get the bras directly into the hands of the women in need (around the world.)  But what about skivvies?  My mom always told me, “Never leave the house without clean underwear!”  But after a disaster, that’s not so easy, is it?  Can You #SpareAPair of Underwear?  Contact me directly to find out how you can support the #SpareAPair Campaign.

Christian Siriano and Jene Luciani

The Intimate Apparel Square Club’s 57th Annual H.U.G. Awards Gala was held on Wednesday, November 7, 2012.  This year’s Intimate Affair (called “An Enchanted Evening”) honored LuAnn Via, former President and CEO of Payless ShoeSource, Inc. as well as Steven Chernoff, chairman of Rago Foundations, LLC.  Intimate apparel industry veteran Janet Peters was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to the Club.  The annual event raises funds to support NYU Langone Medical Center’s RUSK Institute and Tisch Hospital.  Despite the wintry weather, members and supporters of the Club gathered together at 230 Fifth Penthouse to celebrate the humanitarian achievements of our honorees and to support the “RUSK Kids.”  The event’s emcee was celebrity stylist and author of The Bra Book, Jené Luciani.  Luciani wore a gown designed by Project Runway star, designer Christian Siriano.  Siriano attended the event and presented his friend LuAnn Via with her H.U.G. Award.  Via was also dressed in Christian Siriano from head to toe.  Siriano arrived at the event with his guest, movie star Isabelle Fuhrman who also donned his designs!  The event raised thousands of dollars which will be donated directly to NYU Langone Medical Center’s RUSK Institute and Tisch Hospital.  The IASC is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization and none of its members are paid.

Dear Kate, the young fashion-meets-function lingerie line, is set to launch online this month followed by availability in specialty boutiques across the U.S.  The debut collection—an assortment ranging from elegant high-rises and cream bodysuits to pastel bikinis and basic hipsters—pays homage to what every woman loves about her favorite intimates.  While the designs alone catch the eye, it’s what’s underneath that has Dear Kate poised to make its mark with not only fashionistas, but also new and expecting mothers.  Julie Sygiel, founder and CEO of Dear Kate says, “The risk of an oops moment shouldn’t mean we have to give up what we feel good in.”  Below the beauty of every Dear Kate panty is a light-as-a-feather lining that protects women against stains and spills with the utmost discretion.  Delicate to the touch and known for their easy wear-and-wash quality, the panties have already garnered a cult following through an earlier line in 2011.  Originally named Sexy Period, the patent-pending high-tech underwear was geared towards women who wanted extra backup during their period without having to compromise on style.  But when Sexy Period saw preteens, new moms experiencing incontinence, and even athletes embrace their panties, they knew a rebranding was in order.  Known briefly as Underbrella before a trademark issue delayed a re-launch this summer, the team behind Dear Kate is pleased with the early praise they’ve already received.  “Kate is that best friend in a crisis, the one who rushes to your side with chocolate,” says Sygiel, on the line’s new name.  “The women who wear our panties appreciate not only the innovation behind it, but also the community we’ve become, and Dear Kate embraces that fully.”

This Wednesday, November 14th, luxury brand Fleur du Mal is celebrating its launch by hosting an Intimate Affair featuring Parisian DJ Inez Melia and renowned Mixologist Xavier Herit.  Fleur du Mal is a signature collection of ready-to-wear and lingerie by Jennifer Zuccarini.  The designs will be sold exclusively through a uniquely interactive e-commerce site- www.fleurdumal.com.

The Lingerie Alliance is proud to be participating in another fundraiser on November 18th at Teak Restaurant, in Red Bank, New Jersey.  The Intimate Affair, GO NAKED AND CHECK YOURSELF, is an evening dedicated to bringing awareness / prevention to detectible cancers where you can go naked and check yourself – skin, breast and testicular cancers.  The event is presented by Sugarush (a specialty bakery in Red Bank, NJ) and the award-winning lingerie boutique, Sweetest Sin.  The mission of Go Naked and Check Yourself is to take the stigma of embarrassment out of checking yourself, because early detection can prevent long term issues.  All proceeds from the event benefit charities such as The American Cancer Society.  And since the areas surrounding Red Bank, NJ were so badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy, 25% of all proceeds will now benefit MOVE FOR HUNGER.  Contact me for tickets or to make a donation.

Mark your calendars for these upcoming Intimate Affairs:

December 4, 2012 – The Underfashion Club’s Holiday Party at The National Arts Club on Gramercy Park South.

December 13, 2012- The Intimate Apparel Square Club’s Holiday Party at the RUSK Institute followed by a Dinner at Trattoria Alba.

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, 6:30-8:30pm.  Two hours open bar, giveaways & gift bags, an Ugly Sweater Contest and more.  $35/ per person.

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

As seen on LingerieBriefs.com

Intimate Insider: “Sheer Perfection” Designer Asi Efros of Ann Vogue

15 Feb

I was first introduced to Intimate Insider Asi Efros last Fall when she was showing her line, Ann Vogue, at a private sale hosted by The Lingerie Goddess Margaret Shrum.  At that time, I wrote “The attention to detail is impeccable.  Each stitch is sheer perfection.  Ann Vogue is an exquisite lingerie collection which should be reserved for your most special occasions.  The quality of the fabrics, the attention to detail, and the construction of these pieces insure you will cherish them for a lifetime.  The unparalleled fabrics include silk, silk chiffon and crinkle silk chiffon and most styles are trimmed with a delicate French leavers lace trim in a medallion motif.  Even the straps and ties are handmade of self-fabrics such as chiffon and are fully functional.  Ann Vogue epitomizes absolutely luxurious lingerie!”  My point of view has not changed since then.  I discover emerging lingerie designers on a fairly regular basis.  But it is only one in a million that really captures my attention.  Ann Vogue is unequivocally my favorite independent lingerie brand.  At Bra La Mode’s Debut Intimate Affair, Asi provided my guests with a sneak preview of her latest collection which will be premiering next week at The Lingerie Designer Showcase, Tuesday, February 21st through Thursday, February 23rd at the AKA Hotel on 44th Street, NYC.  Make it a point to visit her at the show…. You will not be disappointed!

Late last year, Asi and I met for a cup of tea to discuss her brand and more importantly…. So I could discover the “women in black” behind the brand.  I am always fascinated by the designer.  I want to better understand their thought processes, what inspires them, how they got their start and where they are hoping to take their brand.  Each designer is as unique as the garments they create.  Their designs are usually a reflection of their soul.  Asi Efros’ line, Ann Vogue, is no exception.  Here’s some Intimate Insight into the birth of her brand….

Asi is an immigrant from Russia.  She fled to the United States with her family in 1989.  As they were leaving, her husband said to her “as long as we have your sewing machine, we will be fine.”  Initially, she was sewing dresses here in the States.  But eventually she learned fitting, draping and other techniques they simply don’t teach in Russia.  She landed in the intimate apparel industry where she worked for others for many years….always dreaming of creating her own brand.  In the Spring of 2010, Asi decided to take a break to rediscover herself.  She booked a trip to Europe and left everything behind.  Asi says, “I have a lot of respect for the European culture; they put life before work.” 

Asi spent the next few months observing and absorbing the culture of London, Brussels and Paris.  It is in Paris that the Ann Vogue brand began to take form.  She says, “France is so different from the United States….. The entire city of Paris is enormously sexy!  It’s inherent in the people.  They exude sex.  It’s in their mannerisms, how they move and talk, the language, their attention to detail.”  By the end of the sabbatical, Asi’s concept came to life.

The Ann Vogue brand is organically sexy and forever elegant.  The styles are not overly complicated; they are timeless, classic styles which can be treasured forever.  Asi says, “Like Paris, the collection doesn’t need to try to be sexy… It just is.”  Asi believes that every night can be your “wedding night.”  There’s no need to “wait for sexy.”  She continued, “Life consists of little memories and moments evoking certain emotions.  This is how art is created.”  Each piece is handmade in NYC in the heart of the garment district by amazingly talented people whose craftsmanship and attention to detail is legendary.  Only a few pieces of each style are being produced to maintain the exclusivity of the collection. 

Asi hopes to reintroduce the long forgotten lifestyle when nice clothes were purchased, cherished and cared for as a tribute to its value and craftsmanship.  She remembers her grandfather saying, “We are not rich enough to buy cheap things.”  She says, “It sounds even truer now than it did about a quarter century ago. Our young generation spends thousands of dollars at stores just to throw away shrunken, pilled or deformed garments a month later.”  Asi aspires to continue creating individual works of art in the form of one-of-a-kind, super special sleepwear pieces…..Ann Vogue.

Ann Vogue is available at AnnVogue.com and The Lingerie Goddess Boutique online.

Here are a few pictures Asi took while in Europe in 2010.  Each image inspired her in some way to create the unique Ann Vogue Collection.

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