(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Unique and amusing lingerie, with a particular fondness for using lacing and straps in ways customers have not seen before, can be found peppered throughout the 2013 collections from Oh La La Cheri (photos of several examples of which we include with this article).
While some might see danger in relying on so many risky styles, the Florida-based firm, created by French-born owner Nicolas Attard, has discovered it is just those styles that end up winning new customers.
“We have seen our more whimsical styles be our strongest sellers,” declared the company’s marketing manager, Niurka Diaz de Arce. “However, we have a healthy combination of sales between our new styles from each collection and our best-selling conventional styles.”
“Each season our design team searches for inspiration from fashion runways to keep our collection fresh and innovative. Many of our news styles are bondage inspired with lace up and strappy details. Since we have seen a shift in openness of the everyday woman, and sexier more daring styles due the mainstream popularity of books like 50 Shades of Grey, we have taken advantage of this rising trend to spice up our collection,” continued Diaz de Arce.
Examples? Well, there is 1088, which looks, from the front, a bit like a giant spider with its eight ruffled legs (and two antennae) extending across the body. Or 4089, which from the front could be a giant black bird about to take flight, its lace wings extended high (to cover the breasts). The back? Two thin straps drop from the wing tips at the shoulders, forming a V that ends with a tiny bow just over the buttocks. And 1103, a dress-like piece with the kind of back you see with a corset: laces all the way up. The difference here is that a 3 inch gap between the two sides of the garment has been left, on purpose, so that the only coverage, top to bottom, are the laces themselves. And so on.
With so many dramatic pieces in the collection, some stores might express trepidation, no? “ Retailers have been excited and impressed with our new styles,” the marketing manager insisted. “They find it refreshing to see something new in the market. Today’s consumer is more daring and expecting more options so that she may be surprised. For our more conservative retailers that show some hesitation toward our more daring pieces we often encourage them to try them out because today’s customer is open and more willing to be daring."
"Besides," she continued, "retailers that are taking more risks in terms of design, color and shapes are the ones that are having consistent sales increases. Consumers, nowadays, can find anything and need to be surprised by designs.”
The term “sexy lingerie” has long been used to classify those wholesalers who heretofore focused exclusively on retailers who always carry various adult products in addition to lingerie. But Diaz de Arce reported growing opportunities for some of these wholesalers going forward. “We are definitely seeing a growth in the sexy industry. This industry is evolving from previously catering to only the adult market to now crossing into a more mainstream market. Oh La La Cheri has been able to evolve seamlessly into this changing market by offering three distinct collections. Our Boutique Collection has moderate price points with a fashion forward mainstream appeal. Our Bridal Collection caters to not only lingerie specialty stores but sexy retailers as well. Our Tres Sexy Collection has both packaged and hanging lingerie with aggressive price points. Oh La La Cheri takes pride in being an industry leader and trend setter in design while staying true to our “French flair.”
While the company is finding it easier to sell to retailers, challenges remain when it comes to guiding overseas producers to manufacture their unusual styles. “This is definitely a challenge and it requires more work and direction when it comes to working with them. At the same time, Chinese factories are eager to work with brands like ours that they see having a design vision,” said Diaz de Arce.
We asked the marketing manager to predict those styles in the new Tres Sexy collection, where some of the most extreme styles exist, that will do best going forward. “We have many favorites in our new collection. We expect style 2213, 2216, and 1127 to be top sellers this season.” And amongst the existing collections? “The best sellers in our Tres Sexy Collection are 1541, 4100, and 5007. In our Boutique Collection, the strongest sellers are 2139, 3036 and 3000/3001/3002. In our newly expanded Bridal Collection our top sellers are 2100, 5045, and 4088.”
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