(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Ann Nahari, an intimate apparel producer based in the U.S., has won a strong following with both specialty stores and brands. A recent success has been large cup bras. BODY associate publisher Ted Vayos asked owner Sumiyyah Rasheed to explain her process.
VAYOS: What can you tell us about the Ann Nahari brand?
RASHEED: Ann Nahari is an American brand manufactured in Atlanta, GA. In addition to producing Ann Nahari the company also produces a moderate priced brand V. Louise as well as providing private label manufacturing for the intimate apparel industry. We are the technical back end for emerging designers and stores that wish to augment their product mix with special items with their label in it. The company’s products include large cup bras with matching panties, teddies, baby dolls, gowns, and robes. Ann Nahari has a unique niche in the lingerie and intimate apparel industry because it is one of a very few U.S. based apparel manufacturers. All work from design inception to finished sewn product is performed in Atlanta. With our technical apparel design expertise, the company can respond faster to consumer fashion shifts. We hand craft the large cup bras in Atlanta and work with established Eastern European companies to augment our production.
VAYOS: What is your top selling product?
RASHEED: Currently the top selling product is the neutral colored basic large cup bra. We spent two and a half years in the design and product development phase crafting cups that shape the contour of the breast to give a natural look to the bust line. We developed two styles of the basic bra, one with the underwire and the second without the underwire. The most challenging part of the process was the testing on fit models and volunteers. To overcome the challenge, we separated the fit models by band size in order to tweak the width and band fit, then we moved to the cup size and divided the women into groups by breast size. The cup development focused on the contour and shape of the breast especially pendulous breast. The team and I are happy with the results and excited to launch and start shipping product in late April, early May. Given the challenges retailers face with product selection and quality, we wanted to place ourselves in a position to service those stores who carry larger band and cup sizes. Our main focus is full coverage bras ranging from 38 - 44 and cups DD –K. The bras are three-part sewn bras with a second lining sewn in to aid in support along with wide straps. In addition to the three-part sewn bra, we offer two styles of sports bras in larger cups. The over-arching reason for the basic bra’s popularity is due to our ability to listen and translate customer desires into tangible product that fit the curvy body, accentuating the positive and boosting the confidence level.
VAYOS: How many different styles and colors are available in this product category?
RASHEED: Ann Nahari basic bra collection has three styles with a focus on full coverage bras. The bra collection includes bare basics, basic/lace and a vintage three cut bra. The bare basics bra is just what the caption implies, it is the full coverage no-frills basic bra with four hook back closure, wide straps and band. The basic/lace bra is the bare basic bra with a small amount of lace. The vintage three cut bra is a full coverage bra that draws inspiration from an earlier decades before underwires. The advantage of this style of bra is the shape and support of the breasts. The three styles of bras are available in beige or black.
VAYOS: What is the wholesale price point for this product? Do you charge a different price for different sizing?
RASHEED: The wholesale price point for the Ann Nahari bra collection range between $34.00 and $60 across all cup sizes and the newly added V. Louise collection is a moderate priced brand with price points of $22.00 to $30.00. For both collections, the price is the same across the board, as we specifically don’t mark up the pricing for curvy sizes. Some companies do have MAP, but Ann Nahari Brand does not dictate pricing to the retailer. The retailer is free to mark the product up to whatever the market will bear in their particular area.
VAYOS: Do you sell the Ann Nahari brand direct to consumers?
RASHEED: Because our business model is manufacture/wholesale, we do not sell direct to consumers. We keep this model in order to foster a strong relationship with the retail community and to inform the retailer that we have their best interest in mind by not trying to blur the money lines by promoting the product to consumers and thus cutting into their profit margins.
VAYOS: Do you sell to online retailers?
RASHEED: To maintain a high level of customer loyalty and integrity on our part, the Ann Nahari and V. Louise brands are not sold on Amazon, Ebay, Etsy or other off-priced internet based companies in order to protect the specialty store’s and boutique’s profits. By not competing with on-line sources, the retailer is safe in maintaining product exclusivity and profit margins. Ann Nahari does have items listed on the brand’s website but it is an informational wholesale portal for retailers versus being a competitive retail site. In the near future the Ann Nahari wholesale portal will be configured to accept orders 24 x 7 for those retailer’s who shop after our business hours and wish to place an order.
VAYOS: What can you tell us about your product fit?
RASHEED: In order to ensure a good fit especially for the curvy woman, we developed a rigorous in-house testing and fit process. After a style finishes the sample making process, fit models of various shapes and sizes, which include the pear shape, the triangle shape, box shape, mediums, and smalls are brought into the studio for fitting. A staff member from the technical team is on hand to document the fit model’s feedback about the fit and comfort of the garments including the feel of the fabric against their skin. To gain further insight into the consumer’s psyche, focus groups are conducted to ascertain product preferences including color and style. If there are modifications suggested, they are carefully recorded and given to the technical team for corrections.
Quality assurance in the Ann Nahari organization is quite strict. For example, there is a check list to be adhered to in the examination process. If a garment doesn’t meet the QA criteria, then it is pulled from the production run for further analysis to determine if the garment can be adjusted. For example, if the seam’s threads are too loose the garment is given back to the identified sewing operator for correction. After the correction is made the garment is again compared against the QA check sheet. If it passes, it is sent on for pressing, folding and packaging. If the garment still doesn’t make the mark then it is placed in the defect section. However, it is rare that a garment is placed in the defect section because the quality of stitching and joining are closely watched while the garments are being sewn, thus minimizing defects and wasted fabric.
VAYOS: Do you have a minimum order?
RASHEED: There is a minimum order for retailers and it is $300.00. This dollar amount allows the customer to choose garments across product categories so they aren’t stuck with one style, color or size. The goal is to give the customer an opportunity to sample items in various product categories to determine what works well in their particular store.
VAYOS: What is the normal turn-a-round time for orders?
RASHEED: Orders are processed and shipped within 24 to 48 hours of ordering.
VAYOS: Who should retailers contact to place orders at Ann Nahari? What is their email and contact phone number?
RASHEED: Retailers who are interested in the Ann Nahari brand and want to discuss making purchases can email, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 678 200-5809 and ask for either Sharon Jenkins or Sumiyyah.
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