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Countdown to Curve: The Basics

Hanky Panky's booth at Curve NY. (Image via Hanky Panky)
Next week on Miss Underpinnings, my posts will revolve around the new collections debuting at Curve in New York City. If you're unfamiliar with the event or new to Miss Underpinnings, it's a semi-annual three day exposition which takes place in both New York City and Las Vegas. Brand sales representatives, C.E.O.s, lingerie store owners, professional buyers and darling members of the press (like moi) converge at once to sell, buy, or report on intimate apparel. It can be a bit difficult to understand what goes on so I'm going to break it down here because at the end of the day, we're all talking about what you want! :)


The schedule: The lingerie seasons may be the toughest thing to comprehend about Curve because it's counterintuitive to whatever season we're actually in. Even though it's late July and we're still enjoying the summer temperatures, we're now in the Autumn/Winter 2013 lingerie season. I previewed the A/W13 lingerie way back in February (at the last Curve) so those styles have begun to come out and will continue to arrive through the winter. During August's show, the A/W13 styles will be on display and/or available for sale, but the real concentration will go towards selling/buying collections from the next season, Spring/Summer 2014.

New Spring/Summer 2013 styles, like these from Curvy Kate, are going to receive most of the attention. (Image via Curvy Kate)
The setting: Each company buys a booth, which vary in size from a large closet to an outdoor wedding tent, where they hold meetings with their clients, the buyers. These booths are organized into rows and have to hold a lot -- a live model or models, two seasons worth of lingerie or swim, and space for a table and chairs.

The players: Generally speaking, brand representatives are assigned to specific accounts or retailers so, for example, John Smith might handle all the New England retailers for Panache. In the best case scenario, the rep. has an intimate relationship with the retailer -- knowing the buyer's taste, remembering what sold well at their shop, and predicting what will be successful for the business in the future. The buyers have someone to count on within the company and trust their advisor to help them make the best possible purchasing decisions.
Faire Frou Frou is a great example of a boutique that is fun, directional, and isn't afraid of a little color. (Image via Frou Frou Fashionista)
The mood: Except for directional boutiques (Aristelle Lingerie, Faire Frou Frou) and major retailers (Herroom, Nordstroms), the North American retail climate is pretty conservative. Reps. are quick to point out that a new style will be available in white, black, or beige and retailers warn that their customers vastly prefer seamless or contour t-shirt bras. There's an emphasis on items that "won't show through" and red is always a safe "fashion" choice.

My style inspiration for Curve? Zooey Deschanel's cute teacher outfits from "New Girl". (Image via What Would Zooey Deschanel Wear? )
So, what's my job? 

To represent you! Brands are enormously interested in what your favorite bras are, what your reaction to certain fashion was, and what you would like to see in the market which doesn't exist yet. I let them know what you've shared with me and I report back on what they're cookin' up. In the next week, I'll summarize where the brands have gone for their current collections and where you and I might like them to go next. I'll also introduce a few new-to-the-blog brands which I'll see for the first time at Curve. I'm getting so, so excited!

13 Comments

  1. Man, it is so easy to say where I want brands to go next...

    Cleo: Marcie in basic colours (if I'm being greedy, a mint green fashion colour too...)

    Superbra: Jasmine in 28s. They don't need to make everything in a 28, but why not one of their most successful bras?

    Fantasie or Freya: Either Rebecca in a 28, or a new spacer fabric choice from Freya in a 28 (And Freya, cupcake bra plox).

    Eveyone: Longlines with seamed, unlined cups. I could easily visualize an Andorra longline. Also, more off beat prints (ala Flamingo Deco),and more inclusive/interesting basic colours (Claudette hits this out of the park with their mauve and "american tan" shades).

    Obviously my requests would be very "28-centric" though, I want to hear where other women want the brands to go :)

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  2. I second this - I'd love the Marcie in beige. I cannot justify purchasing another crazy colourway. I've just got every shade of crazy (and animal print) in my lingerie drawer. But you know what I cannot find to save my life (since my go to bra stopped working): a freakin' seamless or flat seamed, non padded, unlined beige bra. I am at my wit's end - actually revisiting bra-making in the hopes that I can make one if I can't buy one.

    Mind you, mint green sounds good too.

    And I'd love an unpadded longline bra (or even midline) that actually adheres to the torso, unlike the Freya version.

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  3. Like you, I want more soft cup demi bras! I do prefer black, white, red and pink, so I have no problem with my favorite British brands (Masquerade/Cleo/Panache) focusing on those colors. I'm in the New York area--I wish I could meet you there! It sounds so fun!

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  4. Sorry, I had more to add. I'd love to see Panache bring back Confetti and I'd love, love, love to see Cleo's Bonnie come back in reds!

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  5. Anything suitable for the big-boobed petite gal. Seriously. And when I mean petite, I mean in all 3 dimensions. Because I've tried multiples of Panache, Curvy Kate, Wacoal, Kris Line, Fantasie, Elomi, Freya, etc.--not one of them truly has something for a woman who is petite in all areas except the boobs. And looking through Bratabase, I'm far from the only one who is under-served.

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  6. Oh yes, I forget to mention I'd like to see less itchy mesh/lace (especially on the band) and more interestingly printed fabrics. But, but I might be in the minority on that one. ;-) I personally think that while the mesh/lace thing is attractive, it's lack of comfort should have made it run its course by now.

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  7. I'd like to see more attention to petite women, and I don't mean just the bust area: such things as narrow straps are solely needed. I'd like to see 26"s, even if it's just acknowledging the demand exists. Moulded bras in different shapes would be nice too, not just the Deco in 288489394 colours. More attention to shallow shapes would be nice. Demi cups would be lovely too: moulded, unlined, padded, anything really!

    Love,
    http://petiteplentiful.blogspot.com/

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  8. Dark nudes! Please! I have yet to find one available in my skin tone and size, but I am constantly mocked by the hundreds of conventional 'nudes' that are available. Tired of scouring ebay.co.uk for a 'mocha' from three seasons ago. Full-bust brands, hear my plea.

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  9. Wow, I'm so excited Cecily! I totally would have loved to have gone to Curve, but just can't make it this year. So glad you're going and will be reporting back to us!

    I'm loving the longline bras from Freya, and would love to see them create more. The Just Flew In, and the Patsy longline got me hooked! Would love to see them possibly add boning to the longline bands though.

    Claudette, oh gosh, just tell them that I love them and that everything they are doing has me drooling. Just more of everything please!

    Curvy Kate, I am SO smitten with their upcoming SS 2014 collection. I want nearly every piece in that collection. I'd love to see them use more colors, just like they are doing for SS14 and I'd LOVE to see some longlines. They're coming out with a gorgeous longline for SS14, and it's so pretty I've been daydreaming of it. So I'd love to see more longlines in the future.

    Cleo/Panache: More bright colors please, more fun prints. I love nearly everything that they come out with, so I'd love to see some more brights and maybe some neon.

    XOXO,
    Amber
    scarlets-letter.net

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  10. Can't wait to read you report!

    Fantasie: more 28 backs, please.

    Fauve: same as above: more 28s.

    Curvy Kate: bring back the Showgirl range, please. I'd heard it would comme back for SS2014 but it's not in the future collection they present on their website.

    Freya: more Deco half-cups, please. The regular Deco plunge doesn't work for me and many other women while the half-cup is perfect and gives a great rounded shape.

    Cleo: perfect as is. Perhaps they could bring back the Lucy in yellow? Pretty please?

    Masquerade: I'd love to see the Rhea in a fresh, new color like lemon/cream, mint/cream etc... That bra is pure perfection.

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  11. Things that need to be done in large busted sizes:

    1) Grading of wires in every single size

    2) A model that has narrow wires but also shallow cups. It might seem like where you need to go down a size, but that's not it. When I get my wires narrow enough, they always end up being either too deep or too small.

    3) More centered straps. I feel like this provides better support.

    4) Sheer bras that are made out of really soft material. I feel like far too often they have rough edges because they embroider everything, including the edges of the cups and straps.

    5) Bigger armholes in bras with tall wires. I love tall wires, but they always make the armholes too small when they do that.

    6) More brands that make cups with stretchy lace like in the Andorra or the Jasmine. It's so comfortable and I'd just like to see a wider selection of that comfort.

    7) Interesting technology. I live in Minnesota during the school year and New Jersey in the summer. A bra that has some sort of warming technology for those days when it's -40. Conversely, a couple years ago, a Japanese company advertised a cooling bra. That could be very useful to people in warmer climates in the right size, or even for me, as New Jersey can get quite warm in the summer.

    Fashion things that should be done:

    1) More green, yellow, and orange.

    2) More androgynous bras that come in a wide range of sizes. Is this really as close as big bust brands can get to androgynous?: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Aw2wQKhJ_sI/UVzicZ-bxxI/AAAAAAAACdE/V90KVaZaqtA/s1600/IMG_0735.JPG

    3) More adventurous designs. The floral has been done so many times. I'd love to see a bra with a cloud pattern (just an example), a quilted non-repeating pattern, bras with interesting images, embroidery of anything other than flower or leaf designs, nerdy bras.

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  12. Yay! A couple more people in the "center those straps more (preferably on every cup style)!" camp!! This makes me have hope for the future! I figured I'd already whined about it enough on your blog, but definitely add my voice to that of becomingasexybeast and Marielle on that issue, maybe it'll help these brands get the point.

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  13. Hi !

    I would like very very much some bras especially designed for smallish shallow, light weight and/or conical breasts (like Ewa Michalak or Only Her have beginning to do), so maybe around 32 A-E and sister sizes (especially 26,28 and 30 bands).
    A lot of women have small breasts but don't fit well into the hight street bras, but don't fit well into full bust bras either. Even bras that have good reputation for a shallow small sized breast shape (like the Cleo Juna, or Freya Half cup), don't works for the more shallow of us, even if we fit theorically in the size range.

    I agree with others that making more bras adapted to a petite body is a really good thing to do, but it is also important to not forget average and tall women and not becomming to make every new bra for a petite body.

    I also would like to see more very narrow center gores (wires sewn on each other in the middle).

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