Tag Archives: Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti

Intimate Affair: Bra La Mode Makes Her Debut

14 Feb

Bra La Mode’s Debut Intimate Affair­ — an in-store Bra Fit Event — was held on January 29, 2012 at the unique, appointment-only, intimate apparel store, Bra*Tenders located in New York’s Theater district.  The event was a tremendous success as it provided women of all ages, shapes, and sizes the opportunity to receive a free bra fitting in an exclusive environment as well as education on the importance of a proper fit courtesy of Bra*Tenders.  The in-store Bra Fit Event was sponsored by renowned French lingerie brand, Chantelle Paris and leading lingerie publication, The Lingerie Journal.

The Intimate Affair brought together consumers, intimate apparel professionals, independent lingerie designers, influential lingerie bloggers, public relations reps, press and media as well as “Bra-lebrities” including celebrity stylist and author of The Bra Book, Jene’ Luciani, designer Layla L’Obatti and her partner Josh Verleun of lingerie brand Between the Sheets, designers Courtney Newman and Erica Paul of Dirty Dolls Lingerie, designer Ellen Jacobson of full-figure lingerie brand Elila, designer Asi Efros of the high-end independent lingerie line Ann Vogue, Ellen Lewis of LingerieBriefs.com, the “Lingerie Goddess” Margaret Shrum, lingerie designer Camille Block, publicist Lauren Rich of fashion PR agency RichPR which specializes in intimate apparel, legendary intimate apparel designer and lifetime member of the Intimate Apparel Square Club Roslyn Harte of Lances Harte, Intimate Apparel Square Club president Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti and IASC board members Michael De Prisco and Nina Levine among others.

My mission is to bridge the gap between independent lingerie professionals and larger scale intimate apparel brands, businesses and organizations.  Bra La Mode’s debut Intimate Affair accomplished that.  It’s really great to be part of a community of people who share the same passion.  And this is just the first of many events to come.

The event included a trunk show by Darlene Campbell of the full-busted clothing company Campbell and Kate.  Darlene showcased her innovative“CEO Shirt for the D.E.F. Woman” which ensures that all women can own a classic white shirt that fits them beautifully all over.  Campbell commented of the event, “I loved seeing the faces of women who wear D cups and up as they discovered that a Campbell & Kate button front shirt fits them perfectly.”

Author and bra-fit expert Ali Cudby signed copies of her recently released book “Busted: The Fab Foundations Guide to Bras that Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic.”  Cudby said, “Wearing a properly fitting bra is important to a woman’s health, so it was fabulous – and important – to have an event dedicated to helping women figure out their fit.”

Professional photographer Michael Steele who is known for “capturing the female form” snapped candid shots of guests enjoying the soiree.  Guests enjoyed Izze sparkling juice and champagne, as well as cupcakes courtesy of M Squared Sweet and Chic Treats. 

The highlight of the Intimate Affair was the raffle for a Grand Prize basket which had a value of over $600.  Contributors to the raffle prize include Bra La Mode, Chantelle Paris, Campbell and Kate, author Ali Cudby, Ann Deal of Fashion Forms, and “Bra-lebrity” Jene’ Luciani.  Additional sponsors of the event include the wholesale buying platform Monkey N Middle and guitarist Alan Brace.  The Raffle basket was won by student Patricia Persaud from Brooklyn.

I also used the event to garner attention for the non-profit Intimate Apparel Square Club (IASC.)   I am a proud member of the Club and work hard to promote the organization’s work.  The IASC raises funds to support a variety of charitable organizations, with pediatric rehabilitation and treatment being the primary beneficiary of its fundraising activities. The IASC’s H.U.G. (Help Us Give) Award is presented to well-respected, high-profile companies, organizations and individuals at the IASC’s annual gala fundraiser in support of pediatric rehabilitation.  Ann Deal of Fashion Forms was the 2011 H.U.G. Award recipient.  Ann made a very generous contribution to this bra fit event.  At Bra La Mode’s debut Intimate Affair, guests were invited to make a monetary donation to support the “Kids.” 

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

Resources:

www.BraTenders.com

www.Chantelle.com

www.TheLingerieJournal.com

Intimate Affair: The Intimate Apparel Square Club’s Annual Holiday Party for the “Rusk Kids”

19 Dec

IASC Holiday Party- Santa with the Rusk Kids

On Wednesday, December 14, 2011, the Intimate Apparel Square Club (IASC) held their annual Holiday Party at Horizon House at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine.  The Holiday Party is an annual event and has become one of the highlights of the year.  Members of IASC celebrate by visiting with the children that are hospitalized at the Rusk Institute, “Santa Claus” pays a visit and distributes gifts to the children, food is provided and a DJ plays favorite tunes to the delight of the guests and the Kids at Rusk. 

Prior to the party at Horizon House, a small group of club members are invited to join “Santa Claus” upstairs to visit with those children that are unable to come down to the facilities’ gathering space.  Visiting with the Kids at Rusk is one of the most important missions of IASC.  Unlike most non-profit organizations, the members of IASC are actively involved in the lives of those they support.  This is one of the reasons I joined the organization and champion its mission.  I was truly touched by the outpouring of love and generosity I witnessed at Wednesday’s Intimate Affair.  The IASC only has a few dozen members, but each one is dedicated to the club’s work.  As club member Roslyn Harte always says, “We’re small, but mighty!”  The members of the club give tirelessly to promote the club’s work and, most importantly, they lift the spirits of the children they help by participating in the activities at Rusk Institute.  Since 1983, the IASC has donated $5 Million to Rusk. 

Moira Nelson with Bra-lebrity Jene Luciani

The Intimate Affair at Rusk Institute was followed by a dinner at Trattoria Alba on 34th Street in NYC.  Club members gathered together to celebrate the season, awards were presented, and funds raised at the H.U.G. Award Gala on November 2, 2011 were presented to Dr. Steven R. Flanagan, chair of the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and Marianne Hardart, head of recreational therapy at Rusk.  The program began with a welcome from club president Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti.  She turned the podium over to longtime club member, Barry Ross, who presented the Al Jaffin Award to board member Gary Hughes.  The Al Jaffin Award was created over twenty years ago to honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to the IASC.  When presenting the award, Barry Ross said of Gary Hughes, “If you can count Gary Hughes as your friend, you are very fortunate.”  Gary graciously accepted the award and thanked club president Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti, Dr. Flanagan of the Rusk Institute, IASC members and family and friends.  Gary said that next month will mark fifty years that he’s been in the lace business.  Over the years he has been honored with several awards.  But he said that none have been as rewarding as receiving the Al Jaffin Award.  Gary Hughes has been a member of the IASC for twenty-eight years.  And he has performed the role of “Santa Claus” at the Holiday Party at Rusk Institute for as far back as I can remember.  His devotion to the club is admirable.  This award is truly well-deserved. 

Barry Ross presenting the Al Jaffin Award to Gary Hughes

For the first time, the club presented a special award at the annual Holiday Dinner.  This award was presented to Wacoal America president and CEO, Richard C. Murray.  After twenty-four years at Wacoal, Mr. Murray is retiring from his post and is being appointed as vice chairman of Wacoal’s U.S. unit effective March 31, 2012.  Club member Victor Vega, also of Wacoal America, presented the award to Richard C. Murray for his support of the IASC and the H.U.G. Award over the years.  This first time special award read “Thank You for Helping Us Give.”  Victor Vega commented that although Richard is retiring as Wacoal America’s president and CEO, he is not leaving us.  He will still be with us in the industry and in the club.  Upon receiving his award, Richard C. Murray commented that he has been fortunate to have worked at Wacoal and in such a great industry that has an organization like this (IASC.)  He said that he (and Wacoal) will continue to support and participate in this great organization. 

Victor Vega presenting the first time special award to Richard C. Murray

The program ended with the presentation of funds to the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine.  Club president Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti presented the check to Dr. Flanagan and Marianne Hardart, head of recreational therapy.  Funds will be used for programs at Rusk including pediatric research, children’s equipment, special instruments, art therapy and music therapy.  Dr. Flanagan said that he’s honored to have the IASC as part of the Rusk family.

Also, the new officers of the Intimate Apparel Square Club were appointed for the year 2012.  The new slate of officers includes Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti, Michael De Prisco, Clelia Parisi, Gary Hughes and Adam Masry.

Club President Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti and Jene Luciani

The Intimate Apparel Square Club is continually looking for new members to help “contribute to the triumph of the human spirit.”  Membership is not limited to persons working in the intimate apparel industry.  Interested individuals are welcome to contact me for more information about joining the club.

And, I’m sad to report that we recently lost our longest living club member, Joe Ferrara.  Joe joined IASC in 1955 just shortly after the club was founded and has been an active member ever since.  He will be missed by all those who knew him and the many lives he touched over the years through his contributions to the Intimate Apparel Square Club.

About The Intimate Apparel Square Club and the H.U.G. Award

The Intimate Apparel Square Club’s annual fundraiser was renamed the H.U.G. (Help Us Give) Award in 1998 and is presented to well-respected, high-profile companies, organizations and individuals at the IASC’s annual gala fundraiser in support of pediatric rehabilitation.  The IASC was founded in1955 with the mission of uniting professionals in intimate apparel and related industries as a charitable organization and to participate in activities that will reflect positively on the membership and the industry at large.  The membership includes management executives, designers and salespeople, among other professionals.  Initially focused on charities for the blind and the elderly, the IASC broadened its scope over the years and today supports a variety of charitable organizations, with pediatric rehabilitation and treatment at Rusk and other programs at NYU Langone Medical Center being the primary beneficiary of its fundraising activities.

Resources:

Intimate Apparel Square Club and the H.U.G. Award

www.TheHugAward.org

NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine

www.Rusk.Med.NYU.edu

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

7 Nov

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ann Deal of Fashion Forms

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

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

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

La Bella Ce Soir Brassiere Necklace

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

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

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

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

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

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

About The H.U.G. Award

The Intimate Apparel Square Club’s annual fundraiser was renamed the H.U.G. (Help Us Give) Award in 1998 and is presented to well-respected, high-profile companies, organizations and individuals at the IASC’s annual gala fundraiser in support of pediatric rehabilitation.  The IASC was founded in1955 with the mission of uniting professionals in intimate apparel and related industries as a charitable organization and to participate in activities that will reflect positively on the membership and the industry at large.  The membership includes management executives, designers and salespeople, among other professionals.  Initially focused on charities for the blind and the elderly, the IASC broadened its scope over the years and today supports a variety of charitable organizations, with pediatric rehabilitation and treatment at Rusk and other programs at NYU Langone Medical Center being the primary beneficiary of its fundraising activities.

Resources:

Intimate Apparel Square Club and the H.U.G. Award

www.TheHugAward.org

NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine

www.Rusk.Med.NYU.edu

Ann Deal and Fashion Forms

www.FashionForms.com

Follow @FashionForms

Sonja Morgan

www.SonjaMorganOnline.com

Follow @SonjaTMorgan

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