It’s been three months since Lingerie Insight announced the winners of the 2016 UK Lingerie Awards. So how have the recipients used the awards to publicise their businesses since then and how have they benefited from scooping such prestigious accolades? Here, they share their success stories.
Wacoal Europe was the biggest winner of the 2016 UK Lingerie Awards, picking up the Large Business of the Year accolade and the Innovation award for its premium lingerie brand Wacoal.
Reflecting on the win, Wacoal Europe head of Marketing Ann-Marie Manley said: “We were thrilled to be presented with our UK Lingerie Award trophies for Large Business of the Year and for Innovation. It’s fantastic that Wacoal Europe and Wacoal have been recognised.
“Since winning we’re shared the news globally and published this across our websites and social channels. We’d like to thank all who voted and our partners for their excellent continued support.”
LF Intimates, the lingerie and swimwear group behind Charnos, Lepel and Lepel London, scooped the Medium Business of the Year award in January.
Sales & Marketing director Peter Cronin said the award helped drive sales growth and boost team morale.
“We feel delighted to be nominated for any award, and certainly one which is voted for by our customers. There is an overriding feeling of happiness and pride amongst the team. They appreciate that customers took the time to vote and it makes them feel like they’re hard work is recognised,” he added.
“We have received more orders for AW17 than ever before and the award has definitely contributed to this, along with an increased confidence in our product design. The brand has benefitted greatly from the positivity and feedback from customers, confirming the positioning of LF Intimates as an aspirational brand.”
Independent retailer Bustles Boutique picked up the Fit & Styling award after gaining five star reviews on Facebook for its expert fitting advice, doubling its predicted turnover and developing working relationships with its local NHS hospital, MacMillan and Bosom Pals.
Co-founder of the store, based in Southend-on-Sea, Allison Hawkins said: “We are delighted with our award, considering it was given within our first year of trading. It really gave us a boost and proved to us that we are getting it right.
“Winning the award also proved to our customers that we are recognised within the industry as a trustworthy retailer. The trophy is now proudly displayed for all to see in the shop,” she added.
“We have had a great start to the year, with January sales up 62% and February sales up 53%.”
Odyssey Boutique was named Independent Retailer of the Year (North), after building a reputation for delivering a sophisticated and stylish service since launching in Edinburgh in 2010.
Commenting on the win, owner Sarah Connelly said: “Entering awards knowing the outcome is entirely out of my control is an exciting challenge in itself and is a great way to look back on what I have achieved.
“It’s already given me a new wave of inspiration and courage to dream bigger and make Odyssey even more exciting. If the win can help me attract new partners to collaborate with, new clients to work with, and new people to share my story with then the award is worth its weight in gold. I’m so proud.”
Fuller-bust brand Tutti Rouge was named Small Business of the Year in the UK Lingerie Awards after experiencing growth in Europe and the US in 2016.
Commenting on how the brand has benefited from the win, founder and creative director said: “It’s given us a lot more brand awareness, which is really good. That was evident when were in Paris, at Moda and away from the shows, when people have contacted us directly.
“So your readers at Lingerie Insight have picked up on this and thought ‘who are these people? Let’s get in touch’.”
The UK Lingerie Awards named Curvy Kate’s Charlotte Davies as the 2016 Designer of the Year in January.
Davies said the win has been “a massive confidence booster”.
“Winning the award was amazing. I was really flattered to even see my name alongside such respected designers in the industry in the shortlist, let alone to be listed as the winner!
“It has been lovely – lots of people have been in touch to say well done. It has obviously been a massive confidence booster, but also really lovely to be recognised by a group of my peers,” she continued.
“The award is a great conversation piece with customers worldwide and really validates what we are trying to achieve at both Curvy Kate and Scantilly with regards to our product and concept.”
Scantilly by Curvy Kate was crowned New Business of the Year after landing 60 accounts within two years of trading.
The brand has also built up a cult following by championing diversity and celebrating women of all shapes and sizes.
In June 2016 the brand launched what could be the world’s most inclusive campaign to date, using a diverse range of women to model the latest collection
“The whole team were over the moon and, as the brand grows, we’ll look to do more to include women of all shapes, skin colours, sizes, abilities and more in our campaign,” said Hannah Isichei, head of PR and marketing.
“The award meant that more retailers were able to see the products and the campaign. It opened up new opportunities and showed that Scantilly is here to stay, as the naughty sister to Curvy Kate.”
London-based Intimates Lingerie was named the 2016 Distributor/Agent of the Year in the 2016 UK Lingerie Awards.
The family-run company is the UK distributor of DKNY, Le Mystere, CuddlDudds & Ginia and agent for Hanro UK, Blush and Maryan Beachwear.
Co-founder Sarah Charlesworth said her team was proud to receive the award, which was voted for by lingerie retailers, as it strives to support its customers wherever possible.
“We couldn’t have achieved this without the loyal support of our customers,” she added. “We would also like to thank Lingerie insight for supporting our industry in the communication between us – as the distributor – and the retailers.”
The 2016 Rising Star of the Year award went to De Montfort University’s Contour Fashion graduate Elissa Grainger.
After becoming inundated with order requests from her 12k+ Instagram fans, Grainger launched Elissa Poppy as a brand. Products offer a luxurious alternative to classic latex garments, celebrating the fetish history of latex with a feminine aesthetic.
Since being crowned the winner, Grainger has noticed an increased interest in wholesale opportunities.
“For a small business, this is very exciting and beneficial to the growth of the brand,” she said.
“I also think the award brings an added extra of authenticity for a young business, which is important for nurturing brand image and increasing the scale of the brand.”
Little Big Bra Shop
The concept at the Little Big Bra Shop is to offer ‘good old fashioned’ one-to-one customer service to each and every customer that walks through the door.
It’s this philosophy that led brands to vote the Market Harborough-based retailer as Independent Retailer of the Year (South). Little Big Bra Shop was declared the joint winner alongside London-based Coco de Mer.
“We’re over the moon to have won an industry magazine award,” said owner Karen Forbes.
“The fact that it was voted for by industry big wigs makes it very flattering and means a lot,” she added.
“The win will benefit the shop in a numerous ways. It came after a fire/flood in the summer forced us to close the business for three weeks. Morale was low, so this was a huge pick-me-up for both myself and the staff. It got us excited about getting back to doing what we love.”
Panache scooped Marketing Campaign of the Year for its 2016 Modelled by Role Models campaign, which saw the brand search the globe for female role models to star in a photoshoot.
“Winning the Campaign of the Year Award for our Modelled By Role Models campaign was an honour and a real achievement for us. It’s great to know our campaign that champions women with incredible accomplishments has been recognised and resonates with not only women but the lingerie industry as whole,” said brand marketing coordinator Tara Jones.
Explaining how the brand has benefited from the win, Jones added: “The recognition has helped to bring Panache to the forefront of conversation within the lingerie industry. The Modelled By Role Models campaign sends a message that we as a company feel strongly about and we want to show that it isn’t just about a great product, but how that product can impact on a woman’s life and make her feel.
“The coverage in trade publications that we’ve received has given Panache kudos amongst big players in the industry, it was a great win for us and one we’re very proud of.”
Coco de Mer
Erotic boutique was crowned the joint winner of Independent Retailer of the Year (South) after experiencing double-digit growth in sales, attracting customers from all over the world.
Managing director Lucy Litwack said she was humbled by the win.
“This is the third year running that we have received this award and we couldn’t be more proud. It is an honour to be recognised by your peers and it is great to see that others appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into running our beautiful boutique,” she said.