INTERVIEW: MAGIC BodyFashion celebrates 25 years in the business

The Va-Va-Voom bra is launching in velvet for AW18.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of MAGIC BodyFashion and its owners are aptly marking the occasion with all-things silver, plus a touch of velvet. Here, joint owner Linda Leestemaker explains her excitement for this special milestone and reveals how she and her business partner, Marc de Graaff, have turned the company into a total solutions brand since taking over the business in 2012.

How do you plan to mark your 25th anniversary?
We are celebrating our 25th anniversary all throughout the year and marking it with silver! We are kicking things off by launching our famous Va-Va-Voom Bra in two beautiful velvet colours: Rose Velvet and Snow White Velvet. Velvet stands for luxury and royalty and is perfect for our anniversary. Besides this, all of our product launches for 2018 will come in silver boxes with silver hang tags. All of our hanging garments will be delivered on silver branded hangers, and we have silver bags, silver giveaways, and all documentation will be in silver. July 2, 2018 will be the day we globally inform everyone that it is our birthday.

MAGIC co-owner Linda Leestemaker.

MAGIC co-owner Linda Leestemaker.

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How has your company evolved since you and Marc de Graaff bought the company in 2012?
We completely turned it around from being a reactive company into a proactive company. MAGIC was always attractive with its colourful packaging, but customers were asking for excellent service, and we delivered on this.
We also hired a new team of people that are highly motivated and very driven to take MAGIC to the next level. We have the best customer service team there is.

It’s also worth mentioning our deliveries. We have improved these over the years and now manage to deliver a 96% to 98% completion rate across our Never Out of Stock range. Our key customers compliment us on this as it makes us the easiest supplier for them to work with, with the highest completions.

MAGIC is adding a touch of velvet to its Dream collection this season.

MAGIC is adding a touch of velvet to its Dream collection this season.

Then of course, we can’t forget our product assortment; we have grown into a total body solutions concept. Not only do we have shapewear, bras and accessories, but we are leading in backless bras. We have also launched a great collection of hosiery called Lovely Legs, have a complete product offering in activewear and own a line of shoe accessories called MAGIC Happy Feet. Last year, we launched two additional categories; MAGIC Beauty and Maxi Sexy Shapers – luxury firm control shapewear, which is seamless and comfortable.

Besides this, we are offering modern products and are extremely innovative. Four times a year we have new introductions, proving how innovative we are. We continuously look at improvement. Marc and myself are very practical, work 24/7 and work hard with our fantastic MAGIC team. Being Dutch and being down to earth makes us think about every step we take. We have vastly improved our organisation with good systems, a very functional warehouse and great people. We are proud of what MAGIC has become in the last six years and we really took it to the next phase.

How have you improved your working environment to make way for more products?
After a few months in the business, we moved our company from the West of the Netherlands to the East of our country. There, we have vastly improved capacity and processes in our warehouse to enable us to carry double the amount of stock. We work with a test panel of about 20 to 30 women all over the world, who continuously test our products. They are women all ages with different body shapes, from size S through to 4XL and A to F cup. We want women to feel great in our products and not have to worry about dresses rising up, backless bras falling down, or any other discomfort. This way we can continuously improve our quality and function. Marc and I travel all around the world to visit our key customers. We think it is important to go with our agents and distributors to meet with them and to always be on the ball. We hear something, discuss it and implement it. It is as quick as that.

MAGIC launched the Maxi SexyShapers range last year.

MAGIC launched the Maxi SexyShapers range last year.

When we last spoke in July, you said you have experienced double-digit growth over the last 12 months. Can you provide specific figures?
We are proud to say that we grew 37.5% over the last 12 months. We are convinced that there is no one else in our industry that can say that. We have grown with our existing customer base but have also entered new markets, such as the USA and Canada.

How did has your business performed in AW17?
AW17 was very good for us. We launched a great new line of products in the summer called Dream, featuring bralettes, panties and shapewear, all in several colours. Dream really took off and we extended with new colours in AW17 as a result. Maxi Sexy Shapers were a volume driver, as well as other innovative shapewear additions.

What new innovations will you be launching in AW18?
We are launching great new products within Dream– beautiful new bralettes and panties with a scallop fusion touch. We are also going large in velvet. We are already shipping Dream in velvet and Va-Va-Voom, but we will have new colours and products in velvet for AW18. In addition, we are expanding in Va-Va-Voom with new bras, such as a push-up and a gorgeous lace version. Maxi Sexy Shapers will have three great new innovations, plus we are launching our Sheer Shapers in a luxury material that once you wear it you will never want to take it off.

The Dream collection in blueberry.

The Dream collection in blueberry.

What projects will you be working on in 2018 and beyond?
We are looking at new categories, new customers and new markets. The UK is high on our focus list as there are huge opportunities there for MAGIC. We are with a lot of great customers, but there are still some missing on our list. We will be working closely with our agents in the UK and we will be supported by our PR agency to obtain the right press.

Where do you see your business heading in the future?
Everything is showing us that we will keep growing according to the same pattern. Growing double digits is the least we want and the sky is the limit.

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