Charity Begins At Home ~ Wacoal Raises Awareness

October 6, 2015


I grew up in a home where charity was a mandate. Even at a very young age, when my allowance was $.25, my parents insisted that I put a nickel a week in an envelope to donate to charity. My Dad, busy with his law practice, was President of our Temple, President of the Red Cross Brooklyn chapter, and involved in countless other organizations. My mom, a full time housewife, was out every day involved in extensive community service. I was schooled in the concept that those lucky enough to have are required to give back. It was not an option.

This is Breast Cancer Awareness month, a marketing powerhouse for the Lingerie business. Susan G Komen has become a ubiquitous presence on this landscape. The pink ribbon born with this organization’s inception is omnipresent. There has been a great deal of controversy around the Komen group and I commiserate with some of it. There is a responsibility to one’s birthright that must be attended.  However, no one can deny that in the 25 years since its inception, Komen has put Breast Cancer Awareness front and center. And from awareness comes action. Women are better off for this and credit needs to be given where credit is due.

I still believe in the viability of the Komen Awareness effort, even though I would like to see changes in their infrastructure. Unfortunately, when organizations grow large, it is not always easy to maintain focus on the original mission.


This is why, I feel compelled to highlight The Wacoal Breast Cancer initiative available to consumers through November 1. Wacoal is not only a large company who has managed to maintain its humane objectives in every facet of which I am aware, they are also one of the most charitable in the market. Big supporters of Breast Cancer Awareness, they have been partnered with this objective in mind with the Komen organization for 15 years. Hosting countless events to raise awareness, they are continuing now with their “I Got Fit” campaign.


Yes, there is marketing involved. This is a business, after all. For every Awareness bra purchased they will donate $2 to Komen. This should be an easy mark. The Awareness bra has been cited as one of the top selling bras in America. But it is the increase in Wacoal’s charitable donation when a woman has a fitting in a Wacoal bra with NO PURCHASE REQUIRED that ups the ante. Adding some social media moxie, the offer is increased more with the brand’s “Selfie” initiative (Learn more on line). Wacoal’s bra fitters will use this Retro-Chic vintage inspired style, my personal favorite, in all their fittings. Highlighted in an earlier blog, this design has passed the test of time, becoming a brand icon, stunning, supportive, feminine and fitting 32-44, D-I cups.

I speak for others, I am sure, when I say that I truly wish there were Awareness campaigns of this magnitude for other forms of cancer that afflict both men and women. My sister-in-law died 5 years ago this week from anal cancer. Throughout her journey, she complained to me that there was so little support for her disease. Without awareness, it is hard to apply pressure to fund research

Whatever one believes about the efforts different organizations make to bring knowledge to the forefront, it is important to remember that publicity helps to highlight a cause. I would hope it is done with good intentions, but we all must remember that no complicated subject can be simplified by one perspective.

“The Ultimate Value of Life Depends Upon Awareness
and the Power of Contemplation Rather than Upon Mere Survival” ~Aristotle





Hasselfree Sass ~ HoneyDew Intimates

October 2, 2015


I stopped by the Honeydew showroom in NYC this week to get an update on this LA vibe brand known for  their kicky, pretty, sexy  intimates. Think of the rumba panty,  a signature mainstay since the company debuted in 2002. Honeydew Intimates has become part of retailer’s underwear infrastructure and continue to stand firm as a consumer favorite. But as they continue to forge new frontiers, it is the everyday lounge pieces that are making their presence known and creating a new Honeydew Buzz. My personal favorite is this  sheer knitted sleep-t from the Undressed Collection, a fan favorite this fall. Fitting sizes S-XL, this it is constructed in a gauzy knit poly-viscose blend that renders it feather light and perfectly right for day or night. Simple, yet versatile fabrics that promise softness and flexibility are designed to capture the brand ethos of sensual but wholesome intimates. Just a modicum of “come hither” and a whole lot of hassle-free comfort.


“Excellent!” I Cried. “Elementary,” Said He.” ~Arthur Conan Doyle


Swim Briefs ~ Miraclesuit

September 30, 2015


Lucky for me, I am willing to try new things. Too bad for me that I had made an assumption about the Miraclesuit swimwear brand. I thought this brand was for older women (not that I don’t fit into that category) who do water exercises in their club pools. . . READ MORE



Ripe With Life ~ Curvy Couture Lingerie

September 29, 2015

I met Vivica Fox the night she hosted the Femmy awards. Stunning in a sophisticated, sheer, gold beaded body hugging gown, she put her curves and her effusive smile front and forward, successfully seducing an audience that topped 600 people. And when I was introduced to her, she was as friendly and warm as the star persona I witnessed on stage. I am not much of a TV fan and so I was/am less familiar with Vivica’s celebrity profile, but there is one thing of which I am certain, she has charisma. Charisma is a very hard element to define, because it’s not about fame, or appearances. It’s a certain presence that inhales the space in a room and diffuses it with promise. My personal assessment of a woman capable of provoking this altered state is one who is “ripe with life”. Spend time with Vivica Fox and you will understand what I mean.


You may never personally meet Vivica, but you can be part of her intimate world. Vivica told me that evening about her intent to launch a lingerie collection in collaboration with the technically innovative Curvy Couture brand. Channeling Vivica’s sexy edge with Curvy Couture’s expertise in the development and production of bras for curvy women, they are just now delivering a range of bold and sensual bras in sizes 34-44, DDD-H cups as well as panties fitting 6-24. Making a daring fashion statement that has been built on a foundation of research and engineering prowess, these styles are constructed for me-time, face-time and a long time. When design and function merge, the product produced is worthy of recognition. This has informed Curvy Couture’s rising star. With this new collection,  the brand takes curvy intimates to anther merchandising sphere as they deliver Vivica’s  promise for “women to love their bodies” .

“Charisma Is Not So Much Getting People To Like You
As Getting People To Like Themselves When You’re Around.” ~Robert Brault


Bridal Briefs ~ Tatu Couture™ Lingerie

September 27, 2015


I’ve been doing some design prospecting lately, anxious to unearth new artists whose lingerie collections are worthy of note. The bounty has been good. One of the more interesting is Tatu Couture™ , exquisite luxury lingerie meant to cross multiple fashion boundaries. Today, in  Bridal Briefs, we focus on white wedding pieces perfect for the modern bride. READ MORE



New Dimensions ~ Interfiliѐre New York

September 25, 2015


Fabric dictates design in the Intimate Apparel world. and because of its proximity to a woman’s skin, it requires innovation uniquely targeted for function and form.  Several days ago I attended the 3rd Interfiliѐre presentation in NYC. A fabric exposition dedicated to presenting piece goods to lingerie designers, it is an extension of the renowned trade shows in Paris,Hong Kong and Shanghai that Eurovet hosts semi-annually. This one was sponsored by Invista™, the international proprietors of the Lycra® brand and key constituent in the development and advancement of Lingerie Design. Fabric distributors were there in force, double the participants from just one year ago. Obviously, this was the objective of the one day expo. However, in my opinion, it was the powerhouse presentations I attended introducing Lycra® Beauty’s Cooling technology as well as Concepts Paris’ comprehensive trend seminars that elevated the entire exposition.

The overlying message proffered by Jos Berry, Creative force behind international trend forecaster Concepts Paris, drove this entire show: the balance between technology and design will define a New Dimension for lingerie into 2017.


One only need study the remarkable impact that Lycra® Beauty’s Cooling technology will have on shapewear and swim fabrics to grasp the importance of function for both the Intimate Apparel and swimwear markets. Already shipping over 20 million garments annually with the Lycra® Beauty hangtag, the brand is now leveraging Coolmax® technology to create fabrics that address moisture management with a vengeance. Analyzing women’s expectations in a shaping garment, worldwide results prove that this requirement receives the lowest level of satisfaction. Now, Lycra® Beauty’s intense testing and development process has resulted in the launch of a product soft and comfortable enough for a woman’s body and powerful enough to shape without dealing with sweat. The styling potential is enormous.


It is the inspiration offered by the venerable Concepts Paris Trend Forecasting and Consulting Service that has influenced innovative thought since the early 1980’s. Exclusively dedicated to Lingerie, Loungewear and Beachwear, the directions mined by Concepts Paris impact intimate fabric evolution and ultimately lingerie design worldwide. Focusing on the versatility of lace, the rejuvenation of embroidery, sport as a new frontier and the integration of beachwear into the everyday wardrobe the process is brilliantly framed for 2017. It is not possible to showcase here the breadth of information delivered by Jos Berry in two separate hours long presentations chock full of visuals and vision. Many of the resources showcasing their products seemed to have gleaned these messages. It was apparent in the fabric samples displayed.

columbo-xColumbo Lace

bacra-lMacra Lace

encajes-wEncajes Lace

deschampsBroderies Des Champs


For me, with the 35 + years that I have been involved in this industry, it is always the forums that put clarity on a shows perspective. To have the combination of Invista™ and Concepts Paris’s formidable insight front and center, reinforces the importance of balancing form and function to initiate product innovation. Together they brought the New York Interfiliere to a whole other level of intelligence.

“Form and Function Should Be One, Joined In a Spiritual Union.” ~Frank Lloyd Wright


Shaping The Century ~ An Underfashion Event

September 21, 2015


It should be fairly obvious by now, that this site is about excellence in product. And for all intents and purposes, the focus is clearly on Lingerie. But once and awhile, a critical threshold emerges and the subject matter needs to change. I am not deserting the world of Lingerie, just re-channeling my merchandising perspective from emphasis on garment to emphasis on a different kind of industry product, the Underfashion Club; the premiere Intimate Apparel business organization of which I am a member.

It is their upcoming event on September 29th featuring industry icon, David Wolfe, Creative Director of the Doneger Group and LIM Professor of Fashion History, Amanda Hallay that has caught my attention. Entitled Shaping the Century, this father-daughter act promises to be a dynamic tête-à-tête on fashion trends and the impact that seismic social changes are having on the cultural landscape.


David, whose career began in the shifting 1960’s as a fashion illustrator covering couture before digital choices existed, was the founder of the first ever retail trend report.  After 20 years in Europe, a heartbeat ahead of the next new thing, he settled in at Doneger where he has never failed to captivate creative audiences for the past 25 years.

Amanda, David’s daughter grew up in the business, schooled in the History of Art and spent time as a trend-spotter.  She now teaches at LIM with accolades that I have heard first hand from her students.  With a full grasp of what makes a garment sell she has made it clear that she is not interested in fashion. She is interested in what people wear.

How does someone earn the status of industry icon? It is a constant delivery of their personal promise. I haven’t met Amanda yet, but I do know David. He never fails in his promise to bring clarity and vision to the fashion industry and he does it with extraordinary style. I have no doubt that Amanda, schooled in his studio, is cut from the very same cloth.

Some people have an uncanny talent to smell, taste and feel an emerging trend before it has spoken. As a result they have the power to influence. This is how David has earned his outstanding reputation. I have seen his presentations countless times.  I promise, if you attend, it will be a hell of a show!


“He’s An Excellent Predictor Of Trends . . I Think He’s One Of The Best”
June Weir, former editor of WWD, Vogue, Harper’s The NY Times Sunday Magazine in reference to David Wolfe



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Mission Statement

Lingerie Briefs is multi-faceted Lingerie and Fashion Blog for consumers and industry insiders written by Ellen Lewis and other experts from the Intimate Apparel world. Ellen created Lingerie Briefs as her virtual Lingerie boutique.”The merchandise that I feature are all products I have personally reviewed and which I would be proud to carry in my own shop. It’s an artistic and literary destination providing insight to both the Lingerie Industry and Lingerie Consumer.” …Ellen Lewis