Tag Archives: underwear

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

10 Jan

Happy New Year!  For me, the New Year is a great time for reflection.  Many years ago I started a habit of keeping a journal.  I am not one to write in it daily; but I make it a point to pull it out in the first part of January to write out my accomplishments from the previous year and to list out my goals, hopes, dreams and initiatives for the coming year (both personal and professional.)  It’s fascinating to look at what was written the previous January.  Most of the time, I forget what I wrote!  Usually, the goals that were set have been accomplished (in some shape or form.)  And more often than not, the outcome is far better than I could have imagined!  So before I get you up to speed on the upcoming “Intimate Affairs,” I’d like to reflect back on 2012.

Dear Kate Ms MoxieIn 2012, we saw the launch of several new independent brands including Angela Friedman, Nevaeh Intimates, Fleur du Mal, Cheeki brand and Rouge Séduire among others.  Julie Sygiel re-launched the revolutionary, absorbent, leak-proof and stain-resistant underthings now known as Dear Kate.  And the Empowered By You panty was launched which enables underprivileged women to spearhead their own businesses. 

The lingerie blogosphere expanded to include new bloggers and other independent intimate apparel professionals including my personal new fave, Caro the Lingerie Lesbian!

In ecommerce retailing, we saw new methods of marketing and selling intimates from sites including True & Co., IntiMint, AdoreMe.com and Ampere.  Ecom retailers are offering lingerie subscription services and other innovative methods of retailing. 

I witnessed an increased awareness of the importance of a proper fit. There were numerous online “debates” regarding the best way to fit, vanity sizing and so on.  More and more brands, manufacturers and retailers are paying closer attention to the needs specific to the full-figure and full-busted consumer.  Early last year, Bare Necessities launched their sister site, Bare Plus, which is an online shopping environment dedicated to this consumer.

Freshpair Pic 1Several e-tailers made an attempt to answer the question of how to get a proper fit when purchasing online.  HerRoom.com launched the proprietary “Know your Breasts Bra Finder” questionnaire which purports to help you discover your best bra styles.  And Freshpair.com re-launched their website which now includes more personalized services such as an At-Home Bra Fit Service and a Men’s Underwear Club.  Freshpair also celebrated the 10th Anniversary of National Underwear Day by hosting a one-of-a-kind “It’s Time for a Change” pop-up store experience in New York City in August.

LingerieAlliance_horizontal logoIn August of 2012, my partner Luis Paredes, publisher of The Lingerie Journal (and The Business of Pleasure,) and I launched the online collaborative community of intimate apparel professionals known as The Lingerie Alliance.  The Lingerie Alliance was inspired by the Brand Affair Marketing and PR Panel Discussion we hosted during February Market 2012.  The Brand Affair proved to us that there is a need for a collaborative community of lingerie professionals as well as education, information and resources.  Throughout the year, we sponsored several events including NOLCHA Fashion Week’s Closing Party and the non-profit fundraisers PinkChoseMe’s BRA Day USA 2012 and Go Naked and Check Yourself.  We ended the year with a fun “Festive Affair” Holiday Networking Social which represented our vision for The Lingerie Alliance.  The coming year will bring more events, workshops and seminars tailored specifically for today’s intimate apparel professional and we hope to have the membership functionality for the site itself completed before Summer.

LingerieFW_imageLauren Rich of RICHPR announced that she will be launching LingerieFW in New York City in February 2013.  LingerieFW will be the first fashion week dedicated to intimate apparel brands.

In late October, the northeast suffered the wrath of Hurricane Sandy which delayed the quarterly wholesale market week and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses including my friend Marla Wink’s lingerie store, Indian Summer, in Beach Haven, Long Beach Island, New Jersey.  (I’m happy to report that Marla is as determined as ever to rebuild her store and is hopeful that she will re-open her doors in time for the busy Summer selling season down the shore.)

The Lingerie Collective is coming to New York City in February 2013!  The boutique trade show is well-known in London for featuring British and international emerging brands with a focus on innovation and luxury.

Jene Luciani and Moira Nelson_2012 HUG Awards GalaThe non-profit Underfashion Club and the Intimate Apparel Square Club continued their programs in 2012 including the FEMMY Gala last February, the H.U.G. Awards Gala in November, various other programs throughout the year and their annual Holiday parties in December.  Both organizations make significant contributions to our industry and raise funds to support their respective causes.

Angie Courtney, owner of Sweetest Sin

 

Other charity events included Go Naked and Check Yourself which was hosted in part by Sweetest Sin Boutique in Red Bank, New Jersey and included sponsors LELO and The Lingerie Alliance.

Overall, 2012 was a year full of growth and advancements.  I am motivated by the forward movement in our industry and look forward to seeing further progress throughout 2013.  I wish all of you the best of health, happiness, a sense of well-being, success and prosperity in your professional lives and in your personal endeavors.

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

The Lingerie Collective in London- January 13th – 15th, 2013

Salon International de la Lingerie and Interfiliere in Paris- January 19th – 21st, 2013

Pure London in London- February 10th – 12th, 2013

Moda Lingerie and Swimwear in Birmingham- February 17th – 19th, 2013

Curve NV in Las Vegas- February 18th – 19th, 2013

Lingerie Fashion Week (LingerieFW) in New York- February 22nd – 23rd, 2013

The Lingerie Collective in New York- February 24th – 26th, 2013

Curve NY in New York- February 24th – 26th, 2013

INDX Intimate Apparel Show in the UK- March 19th – 21st, 2013

China Sourcing Fair in Hong Kong- April 27th – 30th, 2013

As seen on LingerieBriefs.com

Intimate Insight: Fashion-meets-Function Lingerie Line “Dear Kate” Launches

13 Nov

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.”

www.dearkates.com

Intimate Insight: Private Arts Blurs the Line Between Art and Lingerie

23 Apr

What do you get when you combine a contemporary apparel designer, a fine artist/graphic designer and her business-minded sister?  You get an art-based intimates line, Private Arts, the newest lingerie label that is about to take the world by storm.

Art is a public experience, while underwear is generally a private one.  Private Arts aims to blend the two, creating pieces that move beyond trendy and comfortable: they intend to be thought provoking as well; it is an interesting juxtaposition of “public & private.”  Each piece is printed with original hand drawn art, original photography, or original graphic designs from the effortlessly creative Private Arts team.  Private Arts lingerie reflects a variety of themes and influences, but all of the pieces are united by a dedication to comfort, quality, and unique design elements. 

As a brand, Private Arts has a very tight concept.  Each season they develop approximately ten themes (for example: Americana music fest, island surf, vintage travel.) Each collection has an undie, bandeau or bralette, and a short or t- shirt that match back to each theme.  The brand targets the contemporary woman; they have pieces that are themed for a western style rodeo called “Saddle Up,” as one example.  Founder (and the brand’s print artist) Michelle says, “But it is not cheesy like a cowgirl costume would be, it is fun and in trend, something every girl can feel sexy in and wear all day without garters and frills and embellishments.  Our undies are very flat and lay against the body almost seamlessly as if they are painted on.  They are the “anti-muffin-top” undie.  We like the idea of creating these different themes to match back to different types of women.  So maybe your style is surfer girl, but you want to change it up and do some role playing, you could choose our “Saddle Up” style and secretly be a cowgirl all day underneath your clothes!”

The concept of art-on-undies, Private Arts, is a collaboration between three women: Michelle, Meaghan, and Jeffeny.  Michelle and Meaghan are sisters, while Jeffeny is a longtime friend of the two.  Each took a different journey to land in the lingerie world, but their vision unites them and makes their company run smoothly.  Michelle has a fine arts background, while Megahan has a business background.  Jeffeny previously designed contemporary womens apparel for L.A. Made and Language.

Each woman embraced her natural talents and took on the role that fit her the best.  Meaghan is now the CFO, while Jeffeny designs the silhouettes, and Michelle is the artist behind the original artwork that becomes their prints.  The company began with a credit card and the use of Jeffney’s laundry room, but has quickly expanded to the point where they now have a warehouse and have quit their day jobs.  They’re currently being pitched to various fashion oriented TV shows including All on the Line with Joe Zee on the Sundance Channel.  In addition, Private Arts recently did a fashion show with RAW Artists at The Key Club in Hollywood which proved to be a real success. 

These three women want to emphasize that they are moms with families and they are also successful.  They want their children to grow up seeing that they can be anything the want to be if they put their minds to it!  The artistic intimates brand, Private Arts, is available at fine boutiques worldwide.

References:

www.PrivateArtsLA.com

Follow @PrivateArts

Intimate Affair: Get Naked with Sweetest Sin Bras

16 Nov

This year’s winner of The Best of Intima’s “Best Shop” Award, Sweetest Sin Boutique in Red Bank, New Jersey is partnering with local “cupcake bar” Sugarush and popular Teak Restaurant to promote awareness of detectable cancers including skin, breast and testicular cancer.  The three local businesses are hosting the Intimate Affair “Go Naked and Check Yourself” on Sunday, November 20, 2011.  The event is being held at Teak Restaurant located at 64 Monmouth Street in Red Bank, NJ from 5-8pm.  Tickets to the charity event are $30 in advance or $40 at the door and all proceeds will benefit the Monmouth & Ocean County American Cancer Society.  Numerous local businesses have joined together to sponsor and/or support the Intimate Affair which promises to be a fun evening of free champagne, cupcakes, door prizes, auctions, raffle prizes and more.  Models wearing boxers and lingerie will be volunteering their time to promote the idea of “checking yourself.”  (Don’t worry… they won’t “get naked.”)

Owner of Sweetest Sin Boutique, Angie Courtney, is no stranger to promoting causes which are important to her and she is an active member in the local community.  Even before she opened the award winning intimate apparel boutique in October of 2009, she showed up at the Red Bank River Center and told them “I want to get involved!”  She walked up and down the town’s bustling streets and personally introduced herself to the local shop owners…. She made herself a part of the community and it has paid off.  Upscale boutique Coco Pari refers her clients on a regular basis and the bridal salon in town, Mustillo’s (which has been in business since 1942) sends their brides to Angie to complete their bridal ensemble.  Red Bank, which happens to be my hometown, has always been an active community and is host to community events at least once a month.  Angie says that she involves herself in everything that happens in town… whether it is the annual Sidewalk Sale or the annual Holiday Tree Lighting event, she and Sweetest Sin participate in any way they can.  Regarding the “Go Naked and Check Yourself” event, Angie said “We want to let people know that they shouldn’t be embarrassed… Go get checked!” 

Angie opened her bra boutique in 2009, however she did her “homework” for years before actually signing the lease.  She researched the industry and did market research, she shopped the stores, familiarized herself with the brands….  She felt that most of the lingerie stores in the market were too old fashioned or (on the opposite end of the spectrum) were too sexy or trashy.  She wanted to open a shop that was sexy yet sophisticated and she wanted to incorporate everyday basic bras.  She honed her skills at bra fitting in the years before opening her own store and discovered she was quite good at it.  Thus, Sweetest Sin was born.  Angie and her husband live in the neighboring town of Aberdeen, NJ.  But when she walked the streets of Red Bank, she knew this was the place to be.  Angie said, “I fell in love with the town.  It’s cute and quaint.  And there’s no lingerie or bra fitting boutique in town.” 

Angie’s boutique Sweetest Sin was open less than two years when she won the Best of Intima’s “Best Shop” Award.  She was nominated by Wacoal America which she considered an honor, but she never expected to actually win!  She attended the awards ceremony which was held at the posh NYC event space 230 Fifth and was literally shocked when they announced the winner!  From my own first-hand experience, I can honestly say that it is well deserved.  Angie is very hands-on and is meticulous.  She says that most women come into her shop saying that they hate bra shopping.  Angie’s approach is that she does the shopping for them.  She said it’s all about customer service.  She is personally in the store every day that the doors are open.  Emphasis is placed on proper bra fitting.  Sweetest Sin carries hard to find sizes in a variety of styles.  She carries traditional styles as well as contemporary, fashion pieces.  Most popular brands include Chantelle, Wacoal and Marie Jo in bras.  For underwear and loungewear, popular brands include Eberjey, Hanky Panky and Between the Sheets. 

Angie Courtney, owner of Sweetest Sin Boutique

For anyone considering opening their own lingerie boutique, Angie suggests that you really think about it because it is a lot of work and she puts in a lot of hours.  She also says “Do your research.”  Is there a market for your product in the location you are considering?  You don’t want to be one of a dozen lingerie shops in town!  But Angie concluded by saying, “If you love it, you will be successful.”

Sweetest Sin Boutique is located at 11 White Street in Red Bank, NJ.  Owner Angie Courtney provides personal bra fittings and isn’t satisfied until her customer finds the perfect bra for her!  Sweetest Sin also offers private “Bra Fitting Parties” for bachelorette parties, birthdays, lingerie bridal showers, mom’s night out, girl’s night out and for charities/ fundraisers.  To read Bra La Mode’s contributing writer Liz’s experience at Sweetest Sin, click here.

Resources:

Angie Courtney at Sweetest Sin

www.SweetestSinBras.com

Follow @SweetestSinBras

Go Naked and Check Yourself

http://www.redbank.com/2011/10/23/go-naked-and-check-yourself-teak

Sugarush

www.ExperienceSugarush.com

Follow @NeedASugarush

Teak Restaurant

www.TeakRestaurant.com

Follow @TeakRestaurant

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