EXCLUSIVE: Lingerie FW – the full story

LI reported in December that this season will see the launch of the first ever catwalk-based fashion week dedicated to lingerie, New York’s Lingerie FW, showing AW13 collections from February 22-23 2013.

The founder, Lauren Rich, has worked in intimates PR for several years, and says that Lingerie FW, which will take place at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan, is a complement to the existing trade shows rather than a rival event, aiming to offer the same level of consumer exposure as the main fashion weeks such as New York Fashion Week.

“It will give exhibitors a platform to reach consumers that a trade show can’t do,” she told Lingerie Insight. “I one hundred per cent think trade shows are necessary, but trade shows only reach buyers and the trade press and maybe a few market editors from magazines – I really think the industry deserves a platform that can give the consumer press something really exciting to report on in a way that a trade show can’t offer.”

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Although, as with the traditional fashion weeks, the participants will be responsible for inviting guests, Rich is clear that the aim for the fashion week is to not only reach buyers but also consumer journalists and bloggers who would not otherwise see the intimates collections on the catwalk and who are able to build excitement among consumers about the brands.

“I want bloggers and reporters and journalists and editors all sitting in the front row taking pictures and posting on blogs, Tweeting and Instagramming,” she said. “I think what this kind of stage can offer is a direct avenue to reach consumers much more directly than a trade show can offer. With fashion weeks there’s instant coverage that allows the consumer to get excited immediately, a season in advance, and that’s what I want to offer intimates.”

Rich said that the potential for participants to reach the consumer is greater than it has ever been, thanks to the popularity of events such as the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and an increase in the presence of lingerie in popular culture, on stage and on the red carpet.

“Victoria’s Secret has done amazing things to give the industry a voice, but I would like consumers across the States and globally to know more brands than just the big ones,” she said. “There are so many beautiful lingerie and intimates brands, and I think they should all be reaching consumers on a larger platform.”

Between 10 and 20 brands are expected to participate, and interested labels must go through an approval process based
on various factors, including distribution channels and aesthetics. Rich said her team has already started to approach certain brands and have interest from major players, but she declined to name them until confirmation is received, and added that all high-quality intimates brands are welcome to apply.

“We are targeting everyone from emerging contemporary designers to mass-market brands to luxury people,” said Rich.However she said that this was not an event for adult brands. “We want quality brands. If the brand’s main distribution channels are sex stores, that’s probably not going to fit.”

The show has a range of price structures for interested participants. It will take place in two parts of the 3,000sq ft venue (pictured below) offering a catwalk space and a presentation space. The presentation space can take up to four designers, allowing emerging brands a more affordable option.

Brands interested in showing as part of LingerieFW should contact Rich’s team on info@lingeriefw.com

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