Curve Los Angeles Returns With Sequel to Its 2020 Debut
Following the success of its February 2020 premiere, the intimates show Curve Los Angeles was hosted Aug. 23–24 at the Manhattan Beach, Calif., Westdrift Hotel, where buyers welcomed an opportunity to conduct business in person.
Visiting Curve from the Bozeman, Mont., Suelto Boutique owner Sherri Smith looked for pretty, unique pieces from new brands. Smith was impressed with Avery Rose, Samantha Chang and Simone Pérèle as she searched for wholesale price points between $50 and $70 for her customers, who are willing to invest in their lingerie.
“It’s so hard to shop on Zoom. The color does not show through, so there is a lot of shopping recolorations,” Smith said. “I love this show because it’s a little more relaxed. You have an opportunity to chat with your vendors and to meet new vendors. I love the atmosphere.”
At the Avery Rose booth, founder and Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Coll, a former fit model, was showcasing her luxury lingerie, intimates and loungewear pieces that feature details such as Italian lace and Swarovski-crystal embellishments. Coll valued the experience as an opportunity to hear feedback on her designs.
“Doing this show and hearing the feedback [is important],” Coll, who saw buyers from Nebraska, Seattle and Texas, said. “I want the women who are wearing my things to feel exquisite.”
A longtime customer of Avery Rose, retailer Christopher St. James, who has owned the Beverly Hills, Calif., boutique Luxe Lingerie for 25 years, was keeping an open mind as he walked the show. Admiring trends in fuchsia and chartreuse, St. James was also impressed by the Dita Von Teese line and memème.
“Sometimes I don’t need to buy anything, but at least I keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening. If you don’t go, then you’re missing out,” St. James explained. “I am glad to have these smaller venues. Lingerie is an intimate industry, and the venue and presentation need to match that feeling of intimacy.”
At the booth representing Dita Von Teese, East Coast representative and Easton International Vice President Andrea Gaines and West Coast representatives of the Wells Apparel Group Wink and Ginny Wells were also selling Aubade, Berlei, Gossard, Playful Promises, Pretty Polly and Sainted Sisters, a wide range of brands that wholesale from $20 to $90.
“I did a lot of my holiday fashion—anything blingy, window worthy, something to bring the customers in,” said Ginny Wells. “We actually did quite well with our eco groups.”
According to Ginny Wells, the Pretty Polly line of pieces made from biodegradable polyamide was ticking among retailers as consumers become more aware of the environmental impacts of their purchasing decisions.
The gratitude for a West Coast intimates show was emphasized by Wink Wells, who saw buyers from California, particularly the Los Angeles area, Oregon, Virginia, Montana and North Carolina.
“We now have an important resource for intimate apparel on the West Coast,” Wink Wells said. “We’ve been needing one here.”
Visiting from Sonora, Calif., Fittin’ Pretty Bras & Boutique owner Shanna Huber has served an intimates customer that ranges from teenagers who are purchasing their first bras to 90-year-old women since she became the sole independent bricks-and-mortar bra seller in her town in 2019. Huber searched for bras that wholesale between $30 and $35 and was also looking into shapewear, which led her to Leonisa, but she was also attracted to items at Proof and Soak Wash.
“Really important with our lingerie is fitting the busts of our girls. We want our girls to rock their lingerie. We’re trying to help women feel good about themselves. I don’t care who it is. I can get the woman with the greatest figure in there and she is still picking and pulling at herself,” said Huber, who was preparing for a meaningful gesture during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “Year two is this October, and we’re bringing back mastectomy-prosthetic bra fitting.”
At the I.N. Showroom space, Ivana Nonnis was representing European brands Maison Lejaby, Calida, Verdiani and MilaKrasna. Nonnis felt that this was “the time to move forward.” She felt an excitement at the show and said that buyers were more open-minded during this show.
“COVID gave a lot of people an opportunity to think again and reconsider some things. Because of that, I don’t have pushback when I try to introduce another category that they may not be considering or it’s in the back of their minds,” Nonnis said. “All they need is a little bit of stimulation to eventually move in that direction.”
Searching for pieces to stock at Phoenix’s Story Essential, owner Jen Summers was visiting with her business partner and mother, Margie Dehon, and the store’s creative director, Lauren Ross. The trio visited with Elomi and Playful Promises as they sought to become more inclusive by offering larger bra bands and cup sizes.
“We were really successful because we were able to have conversations in person that sometimes get lost in translation over Zoom,” Summers said. “It’s important to know [the show is] a much smaller scale and it’s much more intimate. What was great for us to know about Curve was that because of the smaller scale you can really sit down and focus and the energy is different.”