Share

Color Me Huit

April 18, 2014

huitIt’s that time of year again, the bridge between winter and spring in the Northeast, suspended between two major holidays, Passover and Easter.  One might question the validity of this presumption as it is only 45° today in NY and it snowed 2 inches yesterday night in NH. But I can see the crocuses pushing through the grass and in the city the daffodils and hyacinths are planted in force.  Maybe this year the season of renewal is a bit tardy, but these festivities, both of which my family always celebrated in force, are a wash of color seeping through grey winter memories: gorgeous flowers, bright new clothes, pretty painted eggs, delicious candy and fresh attitudes  Color changes everything: mood, matter and merchandising.

That is why while reviewing the Huit lingerie collection last week; I came to a full stop after I assessed their current color palette. As I tend to focus on the virtues of a specific product when I shop the market, I found myself somewhat stymied by which bra and panty was the best example of the Huit intimates DNA.  Quite taken by the innovative design strength of the entire line, there is no doubt that the brand has blossomed since its revival under the Eveden umbrella and sales are proving it.  But what really sets Huit apart is not only its quintessentially French signature but also the rich hues that inform each style.  No less than 12 colors carry the current collection through this season creating a sassy and sophisticated statement for a woman confident enough to wear it with “savoir faire”

 “The Cut Of A Garment Speaks Of Intellect And Talent
And The Color Of Temperament And Heart” ~ Thomas Carlyle

 

COMMENTS
0



Share

Keepsakes ~ La Perla

April 15, 2014

2014-04-03-11.56

My first encounter with the essence of the La Perla brand happened during my Macy days when, on a business trip to Italy, my market rep, Gianna, took me to visit this company’s then family owned factory located in Bologna.  It is here where I witnessed firsthand the intricate and time consuming handwork required to perfectly position and delicately sew the exquisitely designed Leavers laces and embroidered tulle pieces that are the DNA of this luxury brand.  To watch these artisans at work is to appreciate an art form not present in mass production.  Later that evening, Gianna and I stopped at her studio apartment in Fiesole before dinner.  While waiting in this tiny, sparsely furnished flat, she opened her dresser where the top drawer was filled with La Perla panties and bras.  “I don’t mean to pry”, I asked her; but how do you afford such expensive intimates on your salary? “Ellen”, she said, “you don’t understand the European female psyche.  These are collectibles, like the earrings you purchased today.  Maybe they are underpinnings, but they reveal who I am and how I want to feel.”  This is a true story and it changed my perspective on Lingerie forever.

Untitled-1

Last week while visiting the La Perla showroom in NYC, I had the privilege of re-living that memory. La Perla has been re-positioned several times since the family sold the business.  But now, in the hands of an Italian entrepreneur who relishes the brand’s roots, La Perla seems to be back, unabashedly, in its premiere space.  The coterie of collections: La Perla, La Perla Silver, Studio Basics, Swimwear and Mens, pretty much covers the gamut of the better Lingerie market.  Not everyone can afford to hang original art in their home, but to appreciate it is a different story.   There is something to be said about investing in quality especially when it is so beautiful and promises such a sense of self value.

Untitled-1b

“Quality Is Remembered Long After The Price Is Forgotten” ~ Ed Sabol
 
COMMENTS
0



Share

Wirefree ~ Montelle Intimates

April 11, 2014

9017-Nude-FNT-a

Here’s a bit of trivia that appears to be more and more relevant lately in the bra market: Canadians have been proffering wire free bras for years now. Why? Rumor has it that they believe there is a direct correlation between breast health and the wire worn so close to the source. I, for one, do not buy it. But it might be why it took a Montreal based company, Montelle Intimates to develop one of the best-selling non wire bras on the market. I say this, after hearing lots of retail feedback on this item, launched in 2013. Example: “Finally, a wire-free bra that fits! This bra is a breeze to sell” (A La Mode in Annapolis, MD)

Untitled-1

Engineered for maximum underarm coverage combined with a sexy plunge décolleté, this bra is a stylish solution to many fit problems. Adding to the appeal is the 3 way multi-position straps with 10 separate points per wing that is available in sizes 32-40, A-F cups. It’s no secret that the trend towards wireless bras, commencing with the surge in the bralette business, has been escalating over the past few seasons.  The Montelle design is a natural segue.  Delivering maximum comfort with minimum confinement this is an innovative interpretation that really works.

“Design Is Not Just What It Looks Like and Feels Like. Design Is How It Works” ~ Steve Jobs

 

.


COMMENTS
2



Share

All In ~ Dollhouse Bettie

April 8, 2014

The minute I met Michelle Metens, owner and designer of Dollhouse Bettie, at Curve NY, I knew I was speaking to a merchandising soul mate.  Even ensconced in a wheelchair and in some serious pain; she broke her leg while setting up the show, Michelle was determined to make sure I understood her mission.  Deferring to reality, I convinced her that we would wait until after surgery to chat.  The booth was packed anyway, so I saw some highlights of her premiere collection, was impressed and moved on.

Untitled-1

The Dollhouse Bettie brand has been on my radar for some time now. I first noticed it on Pinterest and was fairly intrigued at the plethora of vintage underpinnings and pin up lingerie sold on her site.  It brought back fond memories of my 20’s when I used to scour the recycled clothing shops in downtown NYC for retro fashion statements.  These stores were always full of vintage intimates; interesting pieces that could be integrated into a wardrobe.

Untitled-

But the reason Michelle’s story intrigues me is my respect for her pursuit of her passion and her steadfast work ethic even through some discouraging moments as she built her brand. On vacation from a boring pursuit of her music masters in 2003, she decided to empty closets and discard many vintage costumes accumulated from a previous performance career. Michelle put them on Ebay. Shocked at the prices for which they sold, she began to ferret out additional product via Craig’s list.  Befriending a niche group of sellers involved in this category, she learned of a mega source of 1950′s girdle stock from the original Rago stable and, cash in hand, journeyed cross country to scavenge through boxes of inventory in a Brooklyn warehouse basement.  With a healthy stock level, she set up an Ebay store and launched her own website.  The voyage continued as she opened her Dollhouse Bettie boutique in Haight Ashbury in 2007.  Determined to carry a mix of symbiotic brands as well as her own concept of vintage inspired looks, she ventured into design and manufacturing even making an unsuccessful foray to Vietnam to produce her ideas.  Based on the success of her store and her website, Michelle has taken on the mantle of manufacturing her own designs in SF. Fearless in her vision and not afraid of risk, her progression from lingerie aficionado to successful merchant leaves me little doubt that this next chapter in her brand development  will work. Hers is a classic story of entrepreneurial guts.

Untitled-1r

“Leap And A Net Will Appear”  John Burroughs

.

COMMENTS
0



Share

Lingerie Bridal Solutions

April 4, 2014

Untitled-1

My colleague Jessica, Sale’s aficionado extraordinaire at Le Mystѐre, told me a very interesting wedding lingerie tale last week.  Full disclosure, I am not sure she wants me to repeat it, but it’s such a testimonial to the brand’s bridal solution bras, that I just have to share.  When Jessica got married, she wore a gorgeous strapless low back trumpet style dress.  As some might know, wedding gowns can weigh as much as 20 lbs. and hers was no exception.  Being a lady of a certain shape, she wanted a smooth contour undergarment with the substance required to accommodate both her body and the gravity of her sumptuous dress.  She could not find one.  As a last resort, the Le Mystѐre design team created a garment just for her which not only did the trick, but also became the best-selling Soiree bustier. Hailed by many retailers I know as an essential element in their bridal inventory, Le Mystѐre has now extended the concept by incorporating lace overlay into their new Sensuelle bustier.  CLICK HERE to see more

“Whatever Creativity Is, It Is In Part A Solution To A Problem” ~ Brian Aldiss

 

COMMENTS
1



Share

Expanding Horizons ~ Yummie by Heather Thomson®

April 1, 2014

Untitled-1

I’ve been waiting several months to discuss the new bralette collection from Yummie that I saw in Paris in January.  Asked to keep it undercover until the launch this week, of course, I complied.   Now as the first two styles, Audrey and Mallory deliver to retailers with great expectations; I can tell this brand story.  Once again this contemporary company takes a step forward as it expands beyond its shapewear roots.  Bralettes, a rising tide in lingerie collections, have already made waves in store foundation assortments, but these seamless designs touched my merchandising nerve.  Knit with Outlast® yarns that regulate your body temperature  by storing  heat when you’re hot, and releasing it when you’re cold, these are innovative styles that amplify the Yummie credo of comfortable fit above all else.  Adding to their appeal is the visual impact of a garment that appears and actually feels buttery soft.  Supportive enough to insure security without feeling confined these are very modern interpretations of an emerging trend, fitting sizes 32-40, A-D cups.  A perfect lounge, layer or sleep piece, “This is the bra you want to wear, not the bra you have to wear.”

Untitled-12

“Doing The Same Thing Over And Over And Expecting The Same Results Is The Definition Of Crazy” ~ Unknown
COMMENTS
0



Share

Spotlight on Simone Pérѐle

March 30, 2014

We are very pleased to welcome our newestSpotlight Partner, Simone Pérѐle .  This multi-faceted lingerie brand defines the essence of modern French Lingerie and the woman who wears it: bold, confident, seductive and exquisitely feminine.  In my opinion, Simone Pérѐle is an important part of any better specialty store repertoire and we are proud to have them on our Lingerie Brief’s team.  Click here to see more

COMMENTS
0



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