Ann Deal's Niche Carved In Intimates
Posted Thursday September 8, 2011 3:33 PM GMT
Ann Deal, chief executive officer of Ce Soir Lingerie LLC and founder of Fashion Forms bra accessories and shapewear, is shaping up for a big year.
The former retailer-turned-intimate apparel entrepreneur expanded her company in 1993 with one hot product — the Adhesive Body Bra. A multitude of introductions soon followed, such as water push-up bra pads and shoulder cushions. Fashion Forms became the exclusive U.S. distributor for patented products such as StrapMate, Staykups, Peel-n-Stick Cups, NuBra and NuBra Ultralite. Deal expanded her company’s accessory business and transformed the bra market with the U.S. introduction of The Original Water Push-Up Bra in 1997, and later developed the Original Water Bra, a nonsurgical concept in bust enhancement.
“I’m not a bra company, I’m a fix-it company,” said Deal. “Strapless and backless are exciting trends right now. We’re going after cleavage with items like pads that have a super boost effect because everybody wants more cleavage these days,” said Deal, who opened her first European unit in France in 2010. Annual wholesale sales were not available, but estimated sales are in excess of $100 million, according to industry sources.
The newest item from Deal is The Body Sculpting Bra, an adhesive strapless, backless bra of transparent silicone with detachable side wings in cup sizes A to DDD. Suggested retails is $45.
“It took me two-and-a-half years to develop this bra. It’s really great for dresses and tops with very low-cut backs and even the deep-plunge side treatments because the wings are detachable.…Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s have ordered this item and Victoria’s Secret picked it up for October,” said Deal. Also new are Cool Secrets, adhesive crescent-shaped liners that have a cooling effect on the skin when placed underneath the breasts. The liners retail for $10.
She further noted that over 6,000 adhesive bras are sold on a weekly basis. “These adhesive bras are so popular because they are solutions to wear underneath little summer dresses or sheer looks,” she explained.
Regarding production, Deal has had numerous products, including adhesive bras, manufactured in China for the past decade. But as costs for labor, freight and fuel continue to rise, she is examining options in the U.S.
“I’m looking around like crazy because adhesive bras are much cheaper to make in the U.S.,” said Deal.
Meanwhile, Deal will be honored by the innerwear industry on Nov. 2 when she will receive the 2011 H.U.G. Award for her community service.
The annual H.U.G. [Help Us Give] award, cocktail party and dinner dance is a fund-raiser for pediatric services at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine. The event, hosted by the Intimate Apparel Square Club, will take place at The Penthouse at 230 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. To date, the industry organization has raised over $3 million for the Rusk Institute.
“Ann Deal is a highly respected, leading figure in the intimate apparel industry with countless innovations to her credit. Fashion Forms is a loyal supporter of our work for pediatric programs at Rusk Institute,” said IASC president Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti.