Archives for : CLOTHING & APPAREL

Why Are Pockets So Rare in Women’s Clothes?

There’s a serious lack of pockets in the fashion industry. Somehow, as useful and ubiquitous as they’ve been in men’s jackets, pants, and even shirts, they never seemed to catch on in women’s fashion. Which is strange, since women’s obsession with functional pockets is well-documented — and has been for years. How can it be so hard just to put pockets in women’s clothing? Well, because there’s a couple of centuries of history to resist that simple little convenience.

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, Le Poche

In the middle ages, men and women alike carried their essentials in pouches separate from their clothes, which might be tied to a belt or slung from a rope. For security, you’d make sure to fasten the tiny bag beneath your outer layers of clothing, which might have slits for easy access. Around the late 17th century, someone got the brilliant idea to sew tiny pouches right into clothing — men’s clothing, that is. After all, the big hoop skirts of women’s fashion at the time were the perfect place to conceal an exterior bag. They might not have been surprise jumpsuits, but they worked for carrying keys, combs, and other essentials. As fashions changed, however, women’s dresses slimmed down to the point that there wasn’t even room for those.

Votes for Better Coats

In fact, it wasn’t long before the cause of pockets was explicitly being tied up in political movements of the time. One group, the Rational Dress Society, campaigned in the 1800s to transform women’s fashion for better mobility and functionality. The society predated most of the Suffragette Movement, but it’s easy to imagine that there was a lot of crossover in the interests and goals of both groups. In fact, in 1910, a New York Times writer covering a fashion show marveled at the “Suffragette suit,” which featured no fewer than six pockets “all in sight and all easy to find, even by the wearer.” Gosh — we can’t even imagine the scandal.

Pockets on women’s clothing are more commonplace these days, but their relative scarcity compared to men’s pockets still points toward a fashion industry uninterested in scratching a largely un-scratched itch. How many pieces of women’s clothing have only a pocket barely large enough to hold a driver’s license? Clearly, part of the issue is that the same people determining who gets pockets are usually also selling fashionable handbags — but the people have spoken (and have been speaking for centuries): The dressmaker that puts big pockets in every gown will always find a fanbase.

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At the turn of the 20th century, fashionable socialites with names like Astor, Rockefeller, and Vanderbilt leveraged their influence and media-darling status to bring about social change.


Henry Sapiecha

Nice becomes latest French city to impose ‘BURKINI’ ban

burkini-on-beach image

A woman wears a burkini on a beach in Tunisia.

Nice has become the latest French resort to ban the burkini, the full-body Islamic swimsuit that has sparked heated debate in secular France.

Using language similar to the bans imposed in a string of other resorts on the French Riviera, the city barred clothing that “overtly manifests adherence to a religion at a time when France and places of worship are the target of terrorist attacks”.

The Nice ban refers specifically to last month’s Bastille Day truck attack in the city that claimed 86 lives, and the murder 12 days later of a Catholic priest near the northern city of Rouen.

Fifteen resorts in the south-east and others elsewhere in France have already banned the burkini, including the nearby city of Cannes, where three women were each fined €38 (£33) under the ban at the weekend.

Nice’s deputy mayor, Christian Estrosi, from the centre-right Républicains party, wrote in a letter to the prime minister, Manuel Valls, on Tuesday that “hiding the face or wearing a full-body costume to go to the beach is not in keeping with our ideal of social relations”.

Valls came under fire after saying on Wednesday that the burkini was “not compatible with the values of France”.

He cited the tensions in France after the jihadi attacks to justify his support for the mayors who had banned a garment he said was “founded on the subjugation of women”.

France’s Human Rights League accused Valls of “participating in the stigmatisation of a category of French people who have become suspect by virtue of their faith”.

Burkinis are a rare sight on French beaches, where a small minority of Muslim women can be seen bathing in ordinary clothes and wearing headscarves.

Islamic dress has long been a subject of debate in France, which was the first European country to ban the niqab, or full-face veil, in public in 2010, six years after outlawing the headscarf and other conspicuous religious symbols in state schools.


Henry Sapiecha

The lady in the ‘BURKINI’. Laugh, Cry, Run or look for the 2 bombs strapped to her chest.

Volunteer surf life saver trainee Mecca Laalaa runs along North Cronulla Beach in Sydney wearing a burkini, January 13, 2007. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

Volunteer surf life saver trainee Mecca Laalaa runs along North Cronulla Beach in Sydney wearing a burkini, January 13, 2007. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

In Europe, however beset by the continued weakness of the euro, Britain’s vote to defect from the European Union and the rise of the far right, a vacation is a right for oneself, a duty to one’s family. In Italy, especially, the beach doesn’t just beckon — it commands attendance.

On the beach, Italians and tourists doze, chat, leaf through magazines, minister to the old folks, play with, or shoo away, the kids, and at times take a dip in an almost-warm sea.

But, as Corriere della Sera‘s commentator Beppe Severgnini observed, it’s a summer composed of sun and insecurity, fun and fear. Italy’s peninsula isn’t just seductive for natives and visitors; it is also for the migrants who continue to risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean to get to a country that has, till now, remained relatively calm about the influx. It even welcomed them — perhaps heeding Pope Francis’ passionate plea for tolerance toward immigrants.

That toleration is breaking down now, however, out of a growing fear that agents of Islamic State lurk among the migrants, ready to unleash more terror on a European state that has suffered relatively little. That last fact allowed Interior Minister Angelino Alfano to declare that he would not go down a road that, were it not so serious, would have otherwise seemed a product of the August silly season: a ban on Muslim women wearing an article of clothing called a “burkini.”

A burkini is a linguistic cross between a burka and a bikini. But it is most of the former with none of the latter. Likely invented in 2004 in Australia — another beach-worshipping nation — it is a one-piece swimsuit that covers the body, with only the face, hands and feet exposed.

It seemed to cause no great fuss in Australia. But it did in Paris in 2009, when a woman wearing one was banned from swimming in a public pool. Now some French resorts, starting with the classiest, Cannes, have ruled the burkini against the law and levied fines on those defying the ban.

It hasn’t stopped at the beach resorts. Looking a little embarrassed (as well he might), French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Wednesday that he supported mayors who had banned the garment because it is “not compatible with the values of France.” He did not announce a national ban, though.

Valls and the various mayors are appealing to France’s strict secularism, which bans all wearing of religious symbols in public institutions, though not, until now, on beaches. Secularism has been a national choice for a century. But applying it to Muslim women who wish to remain modest, as seems to be the case, tips into legal extremism and makes the state look ridiculous.

Critics say the ban could provoke a violent reaction from Islamist terrorists, in a country that has had more than its share of attacks. Indeed, that was the main reason Alfano, the Italian minister, gave for rejecting a burkini ban. He received a justified rebuke from center-right Senator Lucio Malan, who said that laws should not be adopted, or not adopted, based on presumed threats.

Both the far right and center right are beating hard on the drum of fear. The French mayors who have banned the burkini are largely center right. In Italy, the most right wing of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s TV channels, Canale 4, broadcast on Tuesday a program that featured the town of Mirandola, which was the epicenter of a serious earthquake in 2012 and where a beloved church remains unusable.

Yet a new mosque has opened in the town, built with public funds, as well as money from Qatar. Citizens, massed in the square, screamed “Shame! Shame!” at the lonely spokesman from the governing center-left Democratic Party, whose plea for understanding seemed to enrage them more.

The miasma of fear spreads across the West, prompted by massacres in France and the United States, by the continuing official police warnings of the “not if but when” variety, by the evident enthusiastic ruthlessness of Islamic State and other terrorist groups, as well as freelance murderers who act in their names after brief exposure to their methods on the Internet.

There seems no point in saying that more victims die in highway accidents in a month than terrorism in a year, nor that Islamic State is losing territory in Syria, Libya and Iraq.

The fear of evil hidden in the community is too great for that kind of reckoning. It has become a political fact on the ground, which causes leaders who probably know better to back futile and perhaps illegal bans.

Donald Trump has long known the power of the fear of terrorism, and his speech this past week on immigration was one of his most carefully constructed. That isn’t saying much because many of his remarks seemed streams of reactionary consciousness. But one proposal was actually doable — if still extreme. Trump pulled back from his blanket temporary ban on all Muslim visitors to the United States and called instead for a ban confined to nations where terrorism was out of control and for an “ideological test” on those who did seek to come to the United States.

Peter Feaver, a former George W. Bush official who signed a letter along with 50 top Republican former national-security officials saying they would not vote for Trump, said it was a “surprisingly serious” speech. He added, though, that “the good parts are not new and the new parts are not good.”

It was serious, though, because Trump knows he has to be credible on the issue. This is what people beyond the roughly 30 percent of the population who strongly believe in him are fearful about — and fearful for their children.

This is big politics, which can make a center leftist like Valls endorse nonsense because, if he doesn’t, his already unpopular government may slide into toxicity. This is the largest element that created the majority in Britain for Brexit. This is a defining period in the West’s relations with the Muslim world.

One that fear, even on sunny beaches, makes it very hard to manage.

About the Author

John Lloyd co-founded the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, where he is Senior Research Fellow. Lloyd has written several books, including What the Media Are Doing to Our Politics.
Henry Sapiecha



Why pole-dancing shoes should be a staple in every woman’s wardrobe

pole dancer image

I WOULD consider myself an average kind of girl; not particularly feminine, but definitely not a tomboy.

I suppose I do like to dress nicely, but when it comes to high heels I have absolutely no time for them at all. Okay, that’s a lie — I have a standard pair of chunky black high heels that I will reluctantly wear to formal events, but I usually end up in bare feet after the 4th or 5th champagne. Other than my sturdy and faithful black heels which I wear on the very rare occasion, I’m all about the ballet flats for work and Birkenstocks on weekends.

However, a few years ago I tried on a pair of heels that would change my life forever. They were the most comfortable pair of heels — maybe even shoes — that had ever adorned my feet. The cushioning on the sole provided a level of comfort that I had never experienced before. The straps over my toes and around my ankles moulded perfectly to my foot, as if I was Cinderella trying on the glass slipper. The grip on the bottom of the heels made me feel balanced and confident, and my legs had never looked better. Since then, I have worn them about two or three times a week with absolutely no pain, no blisters and no complaints.

I have all the time in the world for these babies — I’m talking about my hot pink, 6 inch platform heels. They’re perfect for spinning around a pole.

pole dancing shoes image

Grip on the bottom and cushioning on the inner sole … So easy to wear.

Now before you jump to conclusions I do pole dancing for fitness, not as a profession — although I have absolutely no problem with those who do. Anyone who has tried the increasingly popular sport will tell you how exhilarating and empowering pole dancing is. Nothing beats the feeling of when you’ve nailed that super scary move that you never thought you would be able to do. Pole dancing has been amazing for my confidence and self-esteem, I feel like I’m continuously surprising myself in every class. If you told me years ago that one day I would feel comfortable enough to wear booty shorts with massive high heels, I would never have believed you.

What many people don’t realise about those “crazy stripper” heels is that they do actually serve a purpose and many dancer (myself included) struggle without them. Firstly the straps are usually latex or patent leather, which helps you grip when you’re climbing a pole and protects the delicate bones on top of your feet. Secondly, the grip on the bottom of the shoes help you pivot and do pretty turns. And thirdly, the height of the platform helps you grab the pole higher than you usually would be able to.

The platform under the ball of the foot and the ankle strap also makes them incredibly comfortable image

The platform under the ball of the foot and the ankle strap also makes them incredibly comfortable.

All of these factors make for a seriously deceivingly comfortable pair of heels, that even male dancers manage to perform their tricks in. I’ve seen guys wear massive platforms so big that they put my measly 6 inches to shame.

Michelle Shimmy in her pole heels pole dancer image

I’ve discussed the comfort level of these shoes with my fellow dancers. The general consensus is that the combination of a non-slip sole, a heavily cushioned inner sole and ankle support from the strap that makes these the most deceptively comfortable shoes on the market.

Michelle Shimmy, professional pole dancer and co-owner of the Pole Dance Academy adds that the platform base that balances the stiletto heel is the icing on the cake.

“I think it’s because the platform is so high that it takes the pressure off ball of your foot” she says.

“I can wear them all night.”

Oh, and the best bit? You can buy them online for about $80. What’s not to like? (5)

Henry Sapiecha

Victoria’s Secret can keep the g-strings, young women want old fashioned knickers

nana nickers on woman image

While granny panties are popular, the Victoria’s Secret catwalk show is one of the most watched fashion shows…we wonder why?

A young generation of women is discovering a new brand of sexy in the most unlikely of places: their grandmothers’ underwear drawers.

“When I walk into a lingerie store, I’m always like, ‘OK, which drawer in here is for the grannies?'” Daphne Javitch, 35, said of her predilection for ample-bottomed undies. That preference led Javitch, back in 2010, to found Ten Undies, a line with a cult following that sells cotton full-bottom bikinis, boy shorts and high-waist briefs not unlike the kind immortalised in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Ten’s wares are comfortable and practical, to be sure, but that’s hardly the only draw.

“Within millennial and Generation Y consumer groups, it’s considered cool to be wearing full-bottom underwear,” said Bernadette Kissane, an apparel analyst at the market intelligence firm Euromonitor. “Thongs have had their moment.”

lineup of hot underwear women image

The 2014 Victoria’s Secret fashion show

Ed Sheeran, Arianna Grande and Taylor Swift provide the tunes as models strut their stuff for the annual lingerie parade

Data provided by the research company NPD Group back her up. Sales of thongs decreased 7 per cent over the last year, while sales of fuller styles – briefs, boy shorts and high-waist briefs – have grown a collective 17 per cent.

when you're hot you're hot women image www.goodgirlsgo (3)

Erica Rousseau, the fashion director for accessories, cosmetics and intimate apparel at US department store Bloomingdale’s, said that indeed there has been a “shift in the business.” She noted that the trend is in line with the higher-waist and roomier pants styles that have dominated fashion this season. Perhaps motivated by the same kind of contrarianism that helped elevate Birkenstocks and fanny packs, young women are embracing “granny panties” – and not just for laundry day.

when you're hot you're hot women image www.goodgirlsgo (8)

“I only wear granny panties,” Julia Baylis, a willowy 22-year-old, declared proudly. Baylis and her best friend, Mayan Toledano, 27, design the boutique clothing label Me and You. Their best-seller is a pair of white cotton underpants with the word “feminist” printed in pink bubble letters across the rear. Since the line’s introduction on April 7, the knickers have sold out.

Besides sales, the “feminist underwear” has inspired countless Instagram “belfies” (that’s a selfie for the behind) from Me and You customers eager to show off their feminist convictions as well as their pert posteriors.

Baylis and Toledano are part of an all-female creative collective founded by Petra Collins called the Ardorous that explores feminist topics from a millennial point of view through collaborative and solo art projects. For the generation that counts both Beyonce and Lena Dunham as feminist icons, female sexuality is wielded for one’s own pleasure.

“Most lingerie is designed to appeal to a man,” Baylis said. “For us, that’s not even a consideration. This is underwear you wear totally for you. Maybe no one will see it, or maybe you’ll put it up on Instagram to share with everyone you know.”

when you're hot you're hot women image www.goodgirlsgo (6)

That’s not to say Me and You’s customers don’t want to feel sexy; they absolutely do. “What’s sexy for us is being natural and comfortable,” Toledano said.

And if seducing a man isn’t the goal, it can be a welcome side effect.

“I think there’s a widespread misconception that men are into pearl thong, lace contraptions,” said Javitch of Ten Undies.

“To be honest, men are into girls in T-shirts and white underwear.”

It’s a notion mainstream lingerie companies have been slow to embrace. As the gender gap among owners of small businesses continues to narrow, female entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly empowered to fill the void in the market.

when you're hot you're hot women image www.goodgirlsgo (5)

When Greer Simpkins, 28, began doing research for her own lingerie line, she visited a Victoria’s Secret store in New York to observe how women shopped for underwear.

“I noticed that a lot of women would come in with a friend, and they’d be asking: ‘Do you like this? Do you think he will like it?'” said Simpkins. “They’d be thinking about everyone else but themselves,” an attitude she thought the store encouraged. She was also frustrated with how many trends, colors and frills the lingerie industry pushed each season.

“Most women just want something basic for every day that will make them look and feel good,” she said.

In the end, it is about options.

when you're hot you're hot women image www.goodgirlsgo (7)

“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be more traditionally sexy and wearing a thong; that doesn’t mean you’re not a feminist,” Toledano said. “This is a step toward embracing more variety in what’s offered.”

The New York Times

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Henry Sapiecha

Looking sharp: what to wear for work

What’s your approach to work wear? Do you go all out to impress your boss – or do you throw on any old thing that comes to hand?

What we wear affects how we are perceived by those who hold the keys to our career success. But that doesn’t mean you need to dress like a corporate lawyer – unless that’s where you work. It’s about tuning in to your company’s dress code and values. Now add a little personal flair to show that you’ve got confidence, and you’re sharp and ready for work.

1. What to avoid

First thing you should figure out is what not to wear. This will vary, depending on where you work. But there are some common elements that pop up in dress codes nearly everywhere. These include flip flops, thongs, or jandals – whatever you might call them, they don’t belong at work. Avoid anything sheer or body-con. And you know the rule about wearing leggings as pants – that applies in all areas of life!

Some workplaces go with the rule that if you would wear it to the beach, the gym, or to bed, it doesn’t belong at work. Maybe you could add the club to that list, and you’ve got it covered. Pretty simple!

2. Find your personal style

If the way you dress at work shows a strong sense of personal style, you will be perceived as more confident, competent and in control. That’s a good thing. But don’t confuse your out-of-work style choices with work wear. Choose an outfit that aligns with your company’s vision and values, then add your twist with a pop of colour or tiny details like excellent shoes. This applies as much for men as for women.

3. Be a chameleon

As our workplaces become more flexible, and more of us choose to telecommute at least some of the time, what we wear must become more flexible too. You can spend most of your day hard at work behind a bank of screens, wearing something comfortable. But when you meet with a client or pitch for a new piece of work, you still need to look sharp. Design a wardrobe that can be easily dressed up while still retaining an element of cool. This can be as simple as keeping a blazer and a knockout pair of shoes at the office. That way you can look put-together, in control, and sharp as a knife at a moment’s notice.


Henry Sapiecha

The result of when you let a toddler choose your clothes is this..

Summer Bellessa in some of the outfits chosen for her by her son Rockwell, 3.

Summer Bellessa in some of the outfits chosen for her by her son Rockwell, 3. Photo: Instagram/SummerBellessa

It’s just one of the long list of tasks parents of toddlers undertake every single day – deciding what their child will wear.

But when one mum turned the tables and let her young son choose her clothes for a week, not only did she end up wearing unusual wardrobe combinations and mismatching shoes, she also inspired other mothers to do the same.

“How crazy could it be? I like everything in my closet, and I mix and match items all the time,” Summer Bellessa wrote of the seven days she let three-year-old Rockwell dictate what she wore. “Well, let’s just say it was interesting.”

Some of the outfits on show under with the #toddlerstylist tag on Instagram.

Some of the outfits on show under with the #toddlerstylist tag on Instagram. Photo: Instagram

Bellessa, an American actress and fashion blogger, documented her experience on Babble and posted pictures on Instagram.

The popularity of the posts lead to the creation of the #todderStylist hashtag, which is seeing mums from around the world post social media pics of their own child-directed outfits.

Day one of Bellessa’s experiment started well, with her son creating a rock-chick look consisting of a Bob Dylan shirt, grey skirt and matching tights. The mum-of-two became a little worried when Rockwell teamed the outfit with nude coloured shoes and a blue hooded jacket, but nevertheless she accepted the toddler’s decisions and began her day.

Some of the outfits on show under with the #toddlerstylist tag on Instagram.

Some of the outfits on show under with the #toddlerstylist tag on Instagram. Photo: Instagram

“I walked down the stairs to show off my outfit to my husband. I waited for a laugh, but he didn’t notice anything different. I decided his lack of reaction was either (because of) the fact that I’m constantly wearing things that are a little out of the ordinary, or that I’d trained him too well,” Bellessa wrote on Babble.

From there things got more interesting, with Bellessa spending two days of the week in mismatching shoes.

And when the little boy only chose three tops for Bellessa to wear one morning, she had to gently point out that “Mummy can’t go outside without pants on”.

“He nodded his head in understanding and pointed to the closest pair of pants,” Bellessa wrote.

Bellessa admits she felt a little self-conscious some days, such as when she had to run errands dressed in a flower print dress which Rockwell had matched with flower print knee-high socks and stripey shoes. However, by the end of the week Bellessa had realised that people don’t really care what others wear.

“The pressure we put on ourselves to look a certain way is just that: pressure we put on ourselves,” she wrote. “I wore two different shoes for two days, and no one noticed until I pointed it out. You can be playful with your clothes, or casual or stylish, but it’s really up to you.”

From a parenting perspective, Bellessa believes it was good for her son to have a turn at being the decision maker.

“A lot of being a mum is telling people what to do, and it was therapeutic for both of us to change roles, if even in this small way. He enjoyed having his opinions heard, but he was also done after a certain point,” she wrote.

“I would recommend letting your little one pick your outfit one day this week and seeing how it goes. Not only will it be something that they remember, it was also be liberating.

“The last thing I learned from this experiment is to find moments to be silly. Silliness is good for your kids and for your heart. Don’t take yourself too seriously: they’re just clothes.”

The lingerie market & adore me secrets to it’s success

Adore Me’s secret for disrupting the lingerie market<br /><br />

Models wear latest-season Adore Me lingerie: the start-up’s customers are able vote on new styles or lines it is considering

In the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, the headquarters of Adore Me, a lingerie startup, are frantic with activity, for good reason: Its daily sales in this period are more than 20 times the typical volume.

So significant is Valentine’s Day for this 3-year-old company, in fact, that a flat screen mounted on a wall in the company’s offices, in the heart of New York’s fashion district, counts down the days, hours and seconds until Feb. 14.

There is more to the lingerie business than meets the eye. These garments are complex to design and size – bras have up to 20 components – and manufacturing them requires long lead times and large minimum orders.

“If you want to start a brand with, say, 100 different styles, and you need to purchase 5,000 to 10,000 units of each, that’s a $10 million to $15 million [all figures $US] investment before you’ve made any sales,” said Adore Me’s chief executive and co-founder, Morgan Hermand-Waiche. “It’s a hard problem to crack,” and it is the reason, he said, that Victoria’s Secret has been the dominant player.

The market is top-heavy, to say the least, with L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret and Pink, accounting for about 42 percent of the $13 billion U.S. lingerie market, according to the research firm IBISWorld. The next largest competitors, Frederick’s of Hollywood and American Eagle Outfitters’ Aerie brand among them, have market shares in the low single digits.

“VS changed the game for the lingerie market,” said Britanny Carter, industry analyst for IBISWorld. “A lot of stores try to sell sex, whereas VS is more of a lifestyle brand.”

Rather than tiptoe into the market, Hermand-Waiche has raised close to $12 million in funding, hired a former design director from Victoria’s Secret and charted an ambitious plan to make Adore Me a household name. In 2014, it tripled its revenue from a reported $5.6 million the previous year.

The company introduces a collection every month and offers a wide range of sizes, from petites to plus. Like many startups today, Adore Me has used online advertising, social media and referrals to build its brand, but it is also using old-school tactics. In January, it began a television campaign, with spots on networks like Bravo, Lifetime and MTV.

The lingerie business has unique advantages and challenges, said Shikhar Ghosh, a co-leader of Harvard Business School’s entrepreneurial manager program and an investor in the company.

“This is one area where the fashion doesn’t change quickly, and it is dominated by a single large competitor,” he said.

Unlike many startup businesses today, however, this one demands a high initial investment.

“You don’t want to aim low and miss,” Ghosh said.

The inspiration behind Adore Me resembles that of Victoria’s Secret, which was founded by Roy Raymond in 1977 after he went shopping for lingerie for his wife and decided there had to be a better alternative to the department store.

Hermand-Waiche started thinking about the lingerie business in 2010, when he was a second-year MBA student at Harvard and went shopping for a gift for his girlfriend. He couldn’t afford the lingerie he liked and was unimpressed with the lingerie he could afford.

Hermand-Waiche, who was born in France, used the remainder of his time in business school researching the industry, fine-tuning his plan and talking with investors. Soon after graduation, he teamed up with another Frenchman, Gary Bravard, who oversees supply chain management and operations.

The fashion industry was not a huge reach for Hermand-Waiche. His family owns and operates clothing stores throughout France. Before business school, he worked as a junior associate with McKinsey & Co., spending much of his time working with manufacturers in Asia.

Rather than hire a designer and wait up to a year for the merchandise, he started a website in January 2012 with garments designed by suppliers. The logic is not unlike that of a winemaker who sources grapes from another grower until his own crop is ready. To work around the problem of high-volume minimum orders, Hermand-Waiche negotiated with suppliers to stagger deliveries over several months.

Meanwhile, he went to work recruiting his own designer to help shape the Adore Me brand. As luck would have it, Helen Mears, a former design director for Victoria’s Secret and, later, a division of Wacoal Corp., was looking to do something more entrepreneurial. A lace manufacturer introduced Mears and Hermand-Waiche.

“I hired her the same day I met her,” he said.

Today Mears and another designer have a hand in every garment sold by Adore Me. This is no small undertaking, given that the company unveils 30 to 40 new styles every month. There are more than 400 items on the Adore Me site.

Like many retail startups now, the company helps consumers select items by having them take a style quiz and by selling all of its bras and panties in sets.

The company offers a wide range of sizes, from 30A to 42G. Women who wear plus and petite sizes account for roughly a third of the U.S. market, Hermand-Waiche said, and that share is growing. Yet these groups are underserved by traditional lingerie brands. (An online petition is currently on asking Victoria’s Secret to offer larger sizes.)

Adore Me encourages users to sign up for a free VIP membership. Members are sent a new set of lingerie each month at a discounted price of $25 for the first order, then a $10 discount on sets, which typically sell for $50. Every sixth set is free. Members can opt out of monthly orders or cancel any time.

Shipping is free, as are returns – and everything can be returned; the policy, commonplace among online sellers, is a benefit to online shoppers who like the option of trying on styles and sizes at home. Still, the return rate is just 6 percent, according to Hermand-Waiche, versus 20 to 40 percent for other e-commerce companies.

Hermand-Waiche said he planned eventually to sell Adore Me products in department stores or through stand-alone locations. For now, however, the company is exclusively online and mobile – with the latter accounting for 60 to 70 percent of Adore Me’s traffic.

Customers who follow Adore Me on social media receive the usual promotions, such as free items and express shipping, but they also have the opportunity to give feedback or vote on new styles or lines the company is considering.

“We can develop styles and have prototypes made, put them on the site and see how the customer reacts even before we place the order,” Mears said.

When Adore Me began its television campaign – a bold move for any startup – it used some of the information it had gleaned from social media and its testing to determine what ads to show on what networks, and when.

Expensive television advertising may seem to be an anomaly for a lean online startup aimed primarily at younger customers, but Hermand-Waiche said it made a difference.

Adore Me founder Morgan Hermand-Waiche

“With online advertising, there comes a saturation point, where if people see an ad one more time, it’s not going to help,” he said. “It took almost a year of research, but so far the results have been very good.”

©2015 New York Times


Henry Sapiecha



A screen grab from the Pea in the Pod Maternity website.

skinny t shirt woman image

Celebrities showing off their ‘baby bumps’ on glossy covers and weekly ‘how I got my body back’ magazine features continue to peddle the message that regular, healthy pregnant bodies are simply not up to scratch. But why simply read about it when you could walk around selling the message yourself?

American retailer A Pea in the Pod Maternity (not to be confused with the Australian company of the same name) is selling a shirt for pregnant women with the words “Wake Me Up When I’m Skinny” emblazoned across its front, and it’s yours for just US$48.

Pregnant women need many things in the lead up to the birth of their child – support, rest, and positive vibes, for starters. What they don’t need is a demeaning slogan that reinforces the idea that there is something wrong with their bodies during pregnancy, a tacky shirt that makes light of the wondrous fact that they are growing a human inside their body.

As Jezebel points out, everyone knows “pregnant women who have the audacity to put on weight should just shutter themselves away and fall into long, deep slumbers like Sleeping Beauty so no one ever has to see them when they are not skinny.”

You would really think a company that exists for, and because of, pregnant women would be a little more supportive. Sigh.

Source: Jezebel

Henry Sapiecha


Is bikini wearing by women a sexual thing or…..did it just evolve based on what men liked?


Henry Sapiecha