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By ELLEN LEWIS

The Bow Collection by Viktor + Rolf for Aubade Lingerie on Lingerie Briefs

Years ago when I first became acquainted with French Lingerie, I was most impressed by the unique design artistry of each brand. In an instant, design details clarify the brand’s ethos providing a distinct fashion and fit profile. Aubade Lingerie is, in my opinion, the quintessential embodiment of elegant bravado: simultaneously seductive, playful, romantic and always on trend.

It’s no surprise then, that the “Bow” capsule collaboration between haute couture designers Viktor & Rolf and Aubade is such a dynamic and sensual statement. I was immediately drawn to it when I first visited the Aubade booth at the Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris. I was not alone. The group drew major press releases but, I wanted to make its case now, as it will deliver  any day at retail. This is an audacious declaration of the brand’s femininity and the creator’s bold vision. A range of 5 bras and 4 panties capitalize on the iconic Viktor & Rolf bow motif but it is the show stopping peek-a-boo t-top that had my attention. Outspoken, edgy and absolutely chic, it speaks Aubade all the way.

The Bow Collection by Viktor + Rolf for Aubade Lingerie on Lingerie Briefs

Despite the wholesale press earlier this year on this launch, I find it particularly pertinent to address its retail debut now as it begins to deliver in the USA. We are always touting the necessity of changing up the merchandising acuity in specialty stores in order to up the game. Here, in NYC, Sugar Cookies boutique, will debut the Aubade + Viktor & Rolf collaboration in their new Aubade shop within a shop concept. Zeroing in on a lingerie brand, much like the Pop Up partner initiative I mentioned in previous stories, is a smart way to own a niche consumer. Because social media reaches beyond the store’s physical parameters, the neighborhood expands.  Aubade, Sugar Cookies and Viktor & Rolf all benefit.

The Bow Collection by Viktor + Rolf for Aubade Lingerie on Lingerie Briefs

“It Takes Two Flints To Make A Fire” Louisa May Alcott

 


Parlez Vous Aubade?

By ELLEN LEWIS

Aubade Troublant Desir on Lingerie BriefsI studied French diligently in school with big plans. I wanted to work at the United Nations and French is one of the 6 official UN languages. So when my merchandising career began (another story for another time) I questioned the viability of my education. You don’t hear that much French in New York’s garment district. But as my retail path veered into Intimate Apparel, I realized that I was wrong. French is more than a language; it is an entire lifestyle. The cadence, accent, pronunciation and expressions are indicative of the entire culture: provocative, elegant, and proud.  The proclivity of lingerie boutiques weaving through any commercial locale in France clarifies that for a French woman, intimates are more than a necessity. They are a critical foundation to their self-esteem; an absolute priority in their everyday wardrobes.  French lingerie is not a commodity. It is a personal luxury, not because of price; but because it’s beautiful.

 

From my early days shopping in Paris the Aubade brand has been ubiquitous.  A major “influencer” in Lingerie design vernacular, they embody my definition of French lingerie: risqué class. This fall, Aubade is breaking through American t-shirt bra barriers with these seductive signature pieces; a mix of leavers laces, decorative bands and Swarovski crystals.  Troublant Desir, available from 30-40, B-G cups, is one of their top selling collections in the United States. But it is not just the sensuality of the Aubade brand that is elevating their presence in North American stores; it’s their focus on the US retailer’s needs. Now with a strong sales force in place at Easton International, it is certainly clear that they are learning our retail language.

“One Language Sets You In a Corridor for Life.
Two Languages Open Every Door Along the Way.” ~Frank Smith


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Several years ago I had the privilege of working for a while with the eponymous NYC lingerie shop, La Petite Coquette.  This merchandising gem is a brand within itself, an enticing enclave of exquisite underpinnings and essential underwear that epitomizes the French intimates DNA.  It does not matter that the store carries many other labels from around the globe; the “je ne sais quoi” mystique is clarified in every nook and cranny of this sensual and soft environment.  This boutique is a passionate love affair between lingerie and the women who appreciate its true purpose; feminine empowerment.

wBut I digress.  I mention this cheeky downtown boutique because my first first-hand encounter with the Aubade brand happened here. Already aware of the label and its reputation for quality and legendary design, I was, none the less, not acquainted with the actual Aubade addiction until I spent some time inside this eclectic and artsy store.  But several customer encounters educated me quickly. The most memorable of which was servicing world renowned model Lauren Hutton (and by the way, I, as usual, had no idea who she was at the time.)  She wanted only Aubade bras for their fit and their chic allure. She asked me what we had in stock and what was new as they were an intimate part of her every day wardrobe.  Each collection is anticipated and savored by its collectors. Pictured here, the just delivered Tokyo In Love embroidered half cup bra fitting 32-38, B-F cups. If you want to take a crash course in the essence of French Lingerie, you might want to study Aubade. It has a charisma all its own, a perfect tribute to the art of seduction.

“I’d Like To Be Te First Model Who Becomes A Woman” ~ Lauren Hutton

 


Chic Allure ~ Aubade

As a teenager, my father promised me a trip to France if I proved the seriousness of my intent to learn the language.  Meeting his expectations, off I went with the Experiment in International Living to immerse myself in the French lifestyle and discovered a culture inexplicably entwined with feminine mystique.  I learned my lessons well.  My conservative parents’ values were a bit jarred, however, when I returned to the States decked out in a bright floral print tent dress constructed from paper fiber fabric and canvas espadrilles purchased in a flea market in the Pyrenees Mountains.  Never mind the baguettes and wine that US customs confiscated upon arrival.  They had sent over a scholar and received a bon vivante upon return.  Thank goodness they could not see what I had on underneath.  Eventually maturity triumphed, as did my taste level, but clearly I had been infected with that “je ne sais quoi” that defines the French character.

Is it any wonder that I have been fascinated with the Aubade persona for so long?  When it comes to defining the epitome of French Lingerie, this brand specks the language fluently.  Born in the early 1850’s Aubade has defined itself as expert interpreters in the art of seduction.  Merging modern vision with the exquisite detail of Calais lace and Swiss embroidery, they have created a sophisticated product worthy of a woman (and man’s) respect.  Many innovative designs populate the Aubade assortments, but if I were beginning this intimate journey, I would choose the Bahia styles, the company’s flagship collection, known for over 20 years for its signature uplifting and rounded shape.  Available from 30A to 38E these bestselling bras and coordinating panties have become fashion basics at better lingerie boutiques worldwide, proving the value of chic allure to a woman’s psyche. Inquiries: cdriggs@claudiadriggs.com

 

“Living In Paris Was A Crash Course In Chic”
~Rebecca Romijn

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Available At

About Face:  Anchorage, AK
Aricie:  San Francisco, CA
Charmelle 28:  Burlingame, CA
E L A Lingerie:  Menlo Park, CA
Intima:  Carmel, CA
Les Cent Culottes: San Francisco, CA
Footsie: Santa Monica, CA
Sol Lingerie:  Denver, CO
Fripperies:  Mystic, CT
Soleil Toile Fine Lingerie:  Westport; CT
Intimacy:  Atlanta, GA
Allure/Sunshine Lady:  Honolulu, HI
Clair De Lune:  Overland, Park, KS
Bedroom I’s Boutique:  Osterville, MA
Linger:  Spring Lake, NJ
Galatea Lingerie:  Hoboken, NJ
Bra Smyth:  NYC, NY
Inside the Armoire:  Locust Valley, NY
Kaori’s Closet:  NYC, NY
La Petite Coquette:  NYC, NY
Suelto Boutique:  Bozeman, MT
La Silhouette:  Madeira, OH
Muse Intimates LLC:  Tulsa, OK
Posh Lingerie:  Tigard, OR
Top Drawer:  Houston, TX
Bella Fine Lingerie:  Williamsburg, VA
Trousseau:  Vienna, VA
Aristelle:  S. Burlington, VT
Nancy Meyer:  Seattle, WA
La Lingerie:  Madison, WI

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READ INTIMATE PLEASURES:
“Sexy Date Nights” by Margaret Shrum

READ INTIMATE AFFAIRS:
“Intimate Insider News” by Moira Nelson

 


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