(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Interview with Phillip Sporidis, President of Amoena USA Corporation.
At the end of last year, Amoena Global Corporation, a German maker of swimwear, intimates and post-mastectomy products and accessories, named Ronny Lemmens as its new Amoena Group CEO. Two years ago the company expanded in the full cup bra arena with its Amoena Mia collection, and has now further extended its size range to a J cup as well as “enhancing the fit and support to be truer and more comfortable than before” according to a spokesman.
BODY associate publisher Ted Vayos engaged Phillip Sporidis, President of Amoena USA Corporation in a question and answer session to discuss recent company developments, including the improvements to the Mia collection.
Ted Vayos: How long has Amoena been in the mastectomy bra business? Why did Amoena launch its full bust fashion bra line Mia?
Phillip Sporidis: For more than 35 years, Amoena has focused its efforts on supporting the mind, body and soul of women worldwide, establishing itself as an industry leader with a robust product line that combines technology with supreme comfort to offer bras, swimwear and breast symmetry products to fully address the needs of any woman.
The company’s breast forms and pocketed bras have been praised by breast cancer survivors and continue to set the industry standard. The inspiration behind the Amoena Mia line came from the years we’ve spent listening to our customers and retailers. Amoena knows how to fit full-cup women better than anyone because of its experience taking care of women’s wellness needs. The company decided to take the benefits of Amoena’s patented technology to mainstream women because our customers have told us how much Amoena products have impacted their recovery and their lives in an extraordinary way, especially Comfort+.
Amoena designed this collection so each woman who slips into it will find it so comfortable and stylish that they will completely embrace Amoena Mia as their own. Amoena also applied its decades-long experience constructing non-wired bras to offer women weightless support. Amoena Mia is uniquely made for the needs of full cup women with all the critical elements that make up a terrific bra.
Vayos: What mistakes did the company make in 2011? How did you address these problems?
Sporidis: There is a reason that there are only a handful of manufacturers that produce bras (several brands, but only a few manufacturers). There is an incredible learning curve. After the 2010 launch, we listened to our customer’s feedback. We are the industry leader in manufacturing soft cup bras, and we applied our expertise to the line for full-cup women, but we had some improvements to make to ensure the proper fit in the mainstream market. With Mia, 80% of the product was already perfect in terms of aesthetic and quality, but some styles required further refinement to get the fit up to the same standards of excellence.
We spent $1.2 million upgrading our facilities and our process for manufacturing Mia. Amoena is also committed to education, so through retail visits, trade shows and fit schools, we also are educating more retailers on how to properly fit their customers, along with raising awareness among the female population the importance of getting fit. Our commitment to our customer is unequivocal. It’s all encompassing. After the launch, we stood behind our product. We exchanged styles for our retailers as needed, and it was the right thing to do. They understood our challenges, but now we are more confident than ever in Amoena Mia and through our tweaks, we offer a collection that is truly cutting edge.
Vayos: You made some moves on the promotional side recently.
Sporidis: In 2011, we also partnered with American supermodel, TV personality, mom and author Emme to promote the Amoena Mia lingerie collection. Together, we are celebrating healthy living and feminine style that spans all sizes.
Emme caught our attention because of not only her iconic fashion status, but also the incredible work that she is doing to promote positive self image among women and girls. She encompasses everything we stand for as a brand. Emme is making appearances in key markets nationwide, will appear in advertisements and is consulting with Amoena on current and future Amoena Mia line extensions.
Vayos: Why do retailers need to consider Amoena and Mia in 2012? How is your fit different from the other product offerings?
Sporidis: Amoena Mia has the highest quality fabric, design and construction. Accents like delicate lace and finished embroidery create an elegantly feminine look. (Full cup women typically have difficulty finding a sexy look in their size that also fulfills the practical needs of support and function). Amoena also features wide but comfortable straps. And Amoena Mia’s main body construction is made from a high performance nylon/spandex blend to ensure comfort, strength and support.
Amoena Mia is the only luxury bra on the market that offers the temperature equalizing feature with Comfort+, which that absorbs excess body heat during a rise in temperature, reducing heat build-up where women tend to perspire most. Amoena infused its proprietary Comfort+ technology into the zones where women need it most – the center front, under her bust and in the side slings of each style. This line offers support and keeps women cool and comfortable throughout the day. Every woman expects her bra to fit well, to be built from materials she trusts and for the construction to be comfortable. Amoena added a fourth dimension of comfort by keeping her body cool with this technology.
Vayos: You have a strong commitment to education in this area.
Sporidis: Amoena is genuinely committed to developing new ideas in our industry and collaborating with our retailers, which is why, together with Juzo Inc., we created the POWER (Providing Opportunities for Wellness, Education and Renewal) Symposium in 2011. We recognized a need among durable medical equipment (DME) providers, women’s and hospital boutiques, orthotics and prosthetics practitioners (O&Ps) and medical centers to come together to exchange ideas about ways to re-energize business, better connect with customers and gain a new perspective on wellness.
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