(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Strawberry Secrets, a new Belgian intimates and swim brand focused on girls and young women 10-19, is coming to Curve in New York.
“Every item, of every Strawberry Secrets collection, has the same purpose: to boost the confidence of young women,” explained Vicky Buelens, who created and owns the brand with her two teenage daughters Alex and Renée.
“The technical part of our designs (i) corrects the posture of young women (they stand up more straight and prouder when wearing it) and (ii) adjusts their proportions (a young body can be a bit compact/compressed or sometimes lanky, because it is still in full growth).”
“I designed our first bra at our kitchen table for my oldest daughter, because we couldn’t find what we wanted: a flattering but age-appropriate first bra (not childish and not sexy).”
After 93 different tries, Buelens told BODY she finally achieved an acceptable prototype, and “we then launched a small collection (only six colors) online and it was an instant hit. In only two years, grew to be the number one brand for teenage underwear in Belgium. The funny thing is: I never intended to launch a lingerie brand at all. (I’m actually the founder of a law firm specialized in labor and business law, so something really very different).”
The “basic bra model for girls between 10 and 19 (called Alex)” has “crossed straps at the back (to prevent them from fiddling at the straps in class), removable pads and no itchy labels anywhere. We combine cotton with top quality lingerie materials” including velvet and silk. The bra is matched with a brief (Renée) or a shorty (Charlotte). Colors include “basic, timeless” combinations as well as “a few novelties every season.”
The lingerie comes in a range of sizes, but instead of “classical sizing,” Strawberry Secrets marks the products with a different number of strawberries: for example “one strawberry, age 10/11; two strawberries, age 12/13; three strawberries, age 14/15,” and so on.
“This was a very strategic decision,” emphasized Buelens. “We want to promote a healthy body image. So we want to avoid that a young girl of, for example 12, who needs a size XL, would think that something is wrong with her body. Giving her a bra in size 4 strawberries (which would correspond with an XL) has a very different impact.”
The collection is “designed in Antwerp and produced in Europe,” and currently sells on the company’s website as well as in “60 Belgian lingerie stores, 18 in Germany, three in Spain,” as well as a company flagship store in Antwerp, Belgium. While U.S. retail prices have not yet been finalized, Buelens estimated “a bra will be around $75 and a brief/shorty around $35.”
At Curve New York the firm will present two new “a bit more feminine” bras, Jacky and Lea, “for girls between 16 and 19, as well as “a more feminine brief (Louise) and shorty (Robin).”
Also on exhibit will be the swimwear collection, which “has the exact same purpose (boosting confidence) but is already a tiny bit more feminine because a girl in a bikini is something very different then a girl in underwear. Our three bikini models (Lé, Marie and Lee) and one one piece bathing suit (Cato) are a classy alternative for the mostly sportive models on the market. All while remaining perfectly age-appropriate.”
The pajama collection includes styles that “have funny quotes embroidered at the back.” For example, “Mornings are hard, grumpy is the new cute,” and “If you think my hair is messy, check out my room.” Buelens explained, “this makes the typical irritations between parents and teenagers, discussable and therefore creates a bit of ‘space’ to be themselves.”
Buelens asserted “there are two main reasons for retailers to want Strawberry Secrets. We are the only real lingerie brand for this age group, worldwide. Some brands present a few items for this age group, but a full and dedicated brand does not exist. This is understandable because lingerie for young women is a delicate matter. Our focus - and the fact that the brand is owned and run by young women themselves - guarantees that the thin line between cute and empowering, on one side, and too sexy and offensive, on the other side, will never be crossed.”
Second, “we prepare the future lingerie customers at an early age. Teenagers who wear Strawberry Secrets, are getting used to quality of materials, quality of fit and to the feeling of good lingerie. By selling our brand to young women, lingerie stores and department stores with a lingerie section can keep them away from the big chains of low price/low quality products. From a business point of view, Strawberry Secrets is therefore smart business development!” Retail contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. — NM
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