When you choose your underwear in the mornings, the other people who have made that choice available is not normally something that crosses your mind. Now, I am not talking about someone rummaging through your smalls and handing you the matching bra and briefs, what I am talking about is what comes before you even buy them.
I will tell you about things from a shop point of view in more detail, but before we get there: there are lots of people who help choose your underwear.
The designer, and the rest of the brand who decide which styles/colourways are going to be available in any given season for example. Without these guys, nothing would be manufactured. From what I understand on this chilly day at the end of Winter 14/15, they are already looking at what you’ll be wanting in your drawers in Autumn/Winter 16. I can’t decide what I want to wear a day in advance, let alone work out what I’ll want to wear in 2 years!
Once the brands have selected the styles/colours/patterns for any coming season, they have to get them fit tested to check that, once it reaches you, it will fit perfectly. Then someone has to get it modeled, photographed and ready to show the shops.
Then comes the fun bit for me.
There are 3 main ways in which a brand can show it’s new ranges to the shops.
- A rep can take samples to the shops, normally existing stockists or ones who have shown an interest in stocking the brand
- Brochures are sent out to the stockists and potential stockists
- Trade-shows. Just like the Ideal Home Show, you’ll find lots of brands in one place and you can make appointments to see them, or pop along to the stand and have a chat.
Personally, I like all three. I love looking through a brochure, I enjoy seeing the reps and trade-shows are multi-purpose for me.
Let me explain why trade shows are great as a retailer. Not only can I see and interact with some of my existing brands (not all attend the shows), but I also get to meet new brands too. I might see a design I love, and might not have come across otherwise. I can look for something specific, without knowing who offers it, and meet up with other shops that are doing likewise for a good natter.
Also, sometimes if I place an order whilst at the show, I can get a discount or a free bra/set, and like Tesco says, every little helps.
I’ve just come back from the MODA 2015 trade show, having looked at all of the lovely new styles that will be coming in for Autumn/Winter this year, met some reps and perused some brochures, and I’m sure I’ve chosen some designs that my customers will just love. I’ve tried to make sure that I’ve covered all size ranges, that there is a variety of colour, as well as moulded and non moulded cups – giving my customers the ultimate choice when they come to the store.
Did you know how far in advance brands and shops plan their lingerie? See anything here that you’re looking forward to hitting the stores?
Kirsty, owner of Curvature Boutique.
Featured image: Lorna Drew lingerie