Lingerie is the poetry in a woman’s wardrobe.

lingerie main imageI have decided to write down my thoughts here about the lingerie industry because frankly, after 25 years of immersion in this venue, I feel certain that I have a perspective and an insight that is unique. After all, I am constantly exposed to the market, both retail and wholesale under the umbrella of my consulting business, Intimate Product Concepts.

When I interviewed for my first buying job with Mickey Drexler, who was then MVP for Ready to Wear at Abraham and Straus (now part of Federated Dept Stores), we had a very interesting merchandising conversation that has been implanted in my brain ever since. Mickey asked me why I was wearing the outfit I had chosen for that day, a Kenzo tunic and Frye boots. He liked the unexpected combination. And then he told me how that morning, while he waited with his son at the bus stop, he was struck by the image of a child wearing a bright yellow slicker, hat and rubber boots. He loved how the color stood out on that grey, rainy day. Mickey hired me for my first retail buying job and gave me the liberty to use my instincts to put together items I found in the market that would motivate the customer to want to buy. Thus began my primary lesson in the impact of color and item merchandising.

Mickey moved on; we all know how far he went changing the merchandising landscape at Ann Taylor, The Gap, and J Crew. I, too, went on to Macy’s (not Federated at the time) and eventually began my Lingerie journey. I have had many opportunities to venture back into the Ready to Wear field, but have stayed here in the world of Intimate Apparel because, as a woman, I can find no other venue more appealing to my feminine instincts than the fabric and drape of lingerie. Like a box of luxury chocolates or a gift of perfumed flowers, lingerie is a gift for a woman to receive or to give to herself.

Lingerie is the poetry in a woman’s wardrobe.


3 Discussion to this post

  1. ken says:

    So let’s be honest. While Ellen thinks she is writing about intimate wear, she is really talking about the syncronicity we are all seeking in life. How a woman feels when she puts on just the right bra, or shoes is not just a sensual experience of comfort and beauty, but an overall sense of well being. As a man, it is easy to appreciate a woman that looks good, but a more visceral experience occurs when a woman feels good at the same time. One can imagine that this is exactly what Mickey Drexler thought the day he saw the yellow slicker, hat and rubber boots set in the graynish of a NYC rainy day.

  2. Elaine Hughes says:

    This blog is beautifully crafted and I wish you the best more importantly I hope it generates income. In reading it I recall when we met that you shared the same Mickey story with me and I think it stuck because I still have my Frye boots from the 70’s and they are in perfect shape.

  3. lj! says:

    As a poet and merchant…I am thrilled to find your words and familiar face among the many I choose to write and wear in my own lingerie chest. From antique lace to little boy shorts and everythingin between that has served me well through the many wonders my body has known from “skinny mini crew girl” to “mama who bore me” days and the reality of “less is more” in a life worth living every day. All the while it is as intimate as the apparel we chose to place closest to our skin…where there really is no “only” to beautry skin deep – brava to you for your blog, Ellen, you know this space intimately – brava!

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