(Filed Under wholesale Accessories News). In recent years, a handful of designers have launched demi camisoles offering cleavage coverage. Despite this competition, Maria Constantatos, who founded Essential Cami this winter, believes that her product is the best of its kind.
“This is the only backless cami out there, and it fastens to any bra, which is great because women are finicky about which bras they wear,” Constantatos said. “[The other demi camis] on the market are not designed as well; they either hang loose, or add another layer on the back or don’t stay put. Mine contours to woman’s chest and does not move for a seamless, light layer. It is more than a solution garment; it is a fashion accessory.”
The design, which has domestic and international patents, is currently available at Searle stores throughout New York City in approximately 30 colors and prints, including cherries, lace, tie-dye, polka dots and sequins, as well basic shades of black, white and nude. Made from a four-way stretch blend of 80 percent nylon and 20 percent spandex, it retails for $34 and launched in sizes XS through XL. This month, the company developed sizes 1X to 3X, which it expects to ship shortly.
Constantatos, who emphasized that, “I would never sell something I wouldn’t wear myself,” came up with the idea for Essential Cami out of her own need. After her father passed away and the family closed their 35-year-old bridal gown business, she took a job at a bank, and quickly realized that many of her plunging tops were too revealing for the conservative environment, but she was not interested in adding an extra layer of fabric.
“When I get dressed, it is important to me that everything lay flat and look right, whether I’m wearing a cotton T-shirt or a silk dress,” she said. “I didn’t want to wear a camisole or tank top that would move as I moved and ruin the silhouette of my outfit with seams. I came up with the idea [for Essential Cami] out of this desire, and the resulting design took about two years to perfect.”
Constantatos' long-term plan is to extend beyond the demi cami market with a full line of accessory and solution products. But for now, she is focused on selling her debut product to high-end specialty and better department stores. She expects to ship styles to new clients from this February’s CurveNY within the next six to eight weeks.
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