Sunday, May 17, 2009

Launching Lady Jane Lingerie

Kim and I did a stall at the new outdoor location for Artists and Fleas yesterday. It was the unofficial "launch" of Lady Jane Lingerie, i.e. the first time it was officially for sale. Although I did fairly well at the market, I wasn't totally happy because I didn't sell any knickers. Its ok though, I didn't really see an outdoor market as being an ideal venue to sell underwear, it being rather high end and all. Everyone who passed it though stopped to pet it and say "aw, cute!" before passing by to the next booth. Despite cold weather and a looming threat of rain, a lot of people stopped by due to the proximity of the Greenpoint brunch nexis (i.e. Enid's, Park Luncheonette, Five Leaves and Lokal). In fact a good number of my sales seemed to be post-brunch drunk shopping. Drunk shoppers are the BEST! Oh but I got a lot of mosquito bites on my feet. Itchy.

artists and fleas

artists and fleas

What sort of struck me about the lack of lingerie sales was how many women were like "oh, I don't really wear 'lingerie,' I'm just kind of a cotton panties gal." This seems to be a pretty pervasive attitude in America, even among women who are really fashion-forward, which to be is kind of surprising. It's one of the reasons I decided to start the line, because I didn't really see a style like this one available in America and thought it should be. All we've got is Victoria's Secret and a bunch of high-end European imports.

I personally wear fancy lingerie for a number of reasons, one being a general interest in fashion, and of course the way proper lingerie can enhance your outfit, but mostly because it makes you feel a little special. A little secret that only you know about. And, if someone does see it, woohoo! So, ladies of America, I encourage you to throw out those faded cotton panties and invest in something pretty. For inspiration, here are some of my favorite import lingerie lines. Some are a little pricey but well worth it:

Central Saint Martins graduate Ayten Gasson has been specializing in luxury hand made pure silk lingerie since 2004. Each piece is hand made to ensure a perfect, comfortable, and elegant finish. Shapes and styles are sourced from vintage lingerie patterns to create individual yet exquisite pieces in 100% silk.

What Katie Did produce two collections a year which are stocked in boutiques worldwide. Their designs are not simply inspired by the 40s and 50s but actually made using vintage patterns adapted for women of today. As far as possible they stick to using fabrics and manufacturing methods which were available at that time.

What Katie Did also look to the past for inspiration in other areas of our business including customer service. Because they're a small company each and every order is processed with ultimate care and personalised service is offered throughout.

This is a line out of Australia. They specialise in high end lingerie and sleepwear, handcrafted from silk, organic cotton and the softest bamboo jersey, with exquisite detailing and vintage flair. Most garments are made to order, allowing clients to choose different colour-ways and ensuring a perfect fit. The line is designed and produced by Gabrielle Adamidis in Melbourne, Australia. Gabrielle has been sewing her own clothes since age 14, and has been formally trained in dress-making and pattern-making. She sells her stuff on Etsy and also through her own site.


Myla is almost as big as Agent Provacteur in the UK but personally I think it is a bit higher quality and better fitting. They started out with a store in Notting Hill around 1999 and have since expanded to 14 boutiques and concessions and also have a store in NYC on the Upper East Side. They are not as retro as some of the other lines I have mentioned but I like them for that, they do high-end without being cliche or trashy at all.

Mimi Holliday

Mimi Holliday is a diffusion line from higher-priced line Damaris. Hearts, bows, polka dots and lace are strong themes throughout the Mimi Holliday lingerie collections. They are also always made of silk which I love.

Fifi Chachnil

One of the French masters! The French know their underthings. Fifi Chachnil first started her lingerie collection in 1996 and immediately started selling to boutiques in Tokyo, New York and London. Fifi's famous lingerie label is well known for her glourious feminine designs, her sense of humour combined with style. Her passion for music, romance, fashion and theatre have all been influences.

Chantal Thomass

I LOVE how French designer Chantal Thomass's photoshoot are styled. To die for! She's also done a line for Victoria's Secret. I found some of her stockings at Century 21 a few months ago but didn't buy them because I was poor. Kicking myself now.

LouLou Loves You

This list would not be complete without a shout-out to my friend Lou over in London who makes the most gorgeous pin-up style lingerie, all by hand in her at-home studio. Lou totally inspired me to start my little line and I am totally indebted to her for that.

So ladies, go out and buy some new underwear. Even if you're single like me. You'll feel special, I promise.