Listen up, lingerie-holics! U.K. fashion merchant ASOS recently launched a U.S. e-commerce site that allows Americans to shop online for their favorite skivvies.
I’m sure most of you have heard of ASOS, one of the online destinations to get your fashion and beauty fix. Established in June 2000, ASOS has grown to stock over 35,000 branded and in-house label products, with over 1,500 new lines added each week.
Sounds great, right? Alas, before last month these facts only added salt to a fashion-deprived wound, because the items could only be purchased by residents of the United Kingdom.
This exclusivity was a major bummer (remember when we didn’t have access to uber-cool retail chain TopShop?), but much to the delight of online shoppers, all that has changed. Now ASOS has launched dedicated websites that can be accessed by residents of America, France and Germany.
And the push into the U.S. appears to be paying off. U.S. sales for ASOS jumped nearly 300% in the three-month period ending September 30 — and that takes into account just the first few days of U.S. activity. Watch for a huge year-end leap in the next quarter!
ASOS founder Nick Robertson told WWD that he expects the company’s U.S. revenues will actually equal those from the U.K. within four years.
Apart from selling dangerously addictive duds, ASOS.com also has a killer lingerie department. Industry darlings like Elle Macpherson Intimates, La Perla, Mimi Holliday, Princesse Tam Tam, among others, are yours at the click of a button! There is also maternity lingerie from labels like Cake Lingerie and HotMilk, and an entire section devoted to bustier women.
What’s more, ASOS has its own in-house lingerie label that, dare I say, is incredible. The photos above are all from ASOS’ own Boudoir range.
You can purchase the ASOS Boudoir ruched lace plunge bra (top left photo) that is comparable in style to many high-end designers, for only $31, with matching brief at $20! Not only are the prices unbeatable but the site is also easy to navigate — trust me, there is nothing more infuriating than a confusing and visually overwhelming website.
As if all this wasn’t enough, ASOS entered the battle for the U.S. consumer with an ace up its sleeve — would you believe free shipping and free returns? Yes, what you see is what you pay — no hidden costs or fees, and even taxes are included in the price.
So at any time of the day, you can peruse your favorite underthings by color, style or brand for stress-free shopping experience. For now, all items will be shipped from ASOS’ U.K. warehouse, but in time one will open stateside.
Now to devise a plan to entice Mr. Robertson and his team to expand just a little further north …
It’s hard for some women to get comfortable with leather lingerie.
If you’re not a biker chick, or trying to earn some BDSM cred, or dressing up for Halloween, it can be tricky introducing leather to your boudoir. And if you’re a PETA supporter, well, it’s a non-starter, isn’t it?
Allure Lingerie, one of the leading labels in this select fashion niche, is doing its part to broaden the appeal of leather lingerie with a sexy new faux leather collection that delivers a combination of class and sass without the guilt (and cost) of real cowhide.
Allure’s new Kitten collection consists of outer- and undergarments, and covers a lot of bases — skirts, leggings, corsets, bras, panties and accessories. Each piece has the look and feel of real leather and is lined with red satin and decorated with grommets and the Kitten logo.
The collection consists of an impressive array of styles to choose from. Their selection of bustiers and corsets range from simple to jaw dropping, experimenting with collars and ribbons, and can be paired with any one of their shorts and skirts to create an enciting outfit.
While any of these pieces may be worthy of the best dominatrix, the Kitten range also lets other, less-daring, ladies take a walk on the wild side. These are perfect pieces to peek out from behind a billowy dress or a barely-there tank top.
Despite the selection of corsets and dresses and accessories, the selection of bottom-wear in the Kitten collection is unfortunately limited. With the exception of the skirts and shorts, the only underwear available for purchase is the matching g-string included with bras and corsets — and it’s not even available for purchase separately. With any luck, Allure will include some new designs with the retail launch in November.
If you’re feeling adventurous, Allure is good place to introduce yourself to the unique temptations of leather, faux leather and even PVC vinyl undergoodies. Who knows, maybe there’s been a biker chick inside you all along?
Here’s a few styles from Allure’s Kitten line, followed by a video that will give you a sense of how these pieces look and feel. Keep an eye on Allure’s website to learn where and when to find them.
Crystal Renn is never too far from the news, whether it’s because of plum modeling assignments for Gaultier and Chanel or her outspoken views on body image.
Last week, Crystal wore new latex designs from Atsuko Kudo on the runway (sharing the stage with a poodle!) at the glittering Lingerie NY benefit. Afterward, she gave a revealing interview to New York magazine in which she confessed that she “doesn’t tend to wear undergarments.”
What she said next is worth hearing, and repeating:
“When I was really, really thin and starving myself and I thought, basically, stick-thin was absolutely the only way to be beautiful, yeah, I hated wearing lingerie. Didn’t want to be naked on sets. God, a runway? Absolutely not. I would have called my agent and run home.
“I think it’s about setting your standards to something that’s attainable. You know, don’t set a size zero as someone you look up to in lingerie. Look for someone who kind of looks like you.
“You can be beautiful at any size, and that matters. And then the lingerie, that’s just the accent. It’s really about the person inside who should feel beautiful and confident. The lingerie is just an extra touch.”
You can hear more from Crystal and other celebrity panelists on Monday, when Glamour magazine hosts a Love Your Body forum as part of its Love Your Life series of talks. The event takes place at the 92nd Street Y in New York at 4:30 p.m.
Photo: Seth Sabal c/o FashionGoneRogue.com
Well, at last we have proof — those wings don’t really work.
A pair of Victoria’s Secret supermodels arrived by helicopter at a Toronto mall this morning to officially open the last of the chain’s four new Canadian stores.
Lily Aldridge (above left) and Alessandra Ambrosio landed on the roof of the Eaton Centre in Toronto’s busy downtown district to cut the ribbon on the 11,000-plus-square-foot VS store.
Later, the pair posed for photos and met fans who lined up to get their purchases (and VS bags) signed by the models.
The downtown store is the second in Toronto and fourth in Canada, following launches earlier this year in Edmonton and Mississauga. Including half a dozen new VS Pink stores, the push into Canada represents Victoria’s Secret’s first significant expansion outside the U.S.
The chain is also readying a flagship store in London, and has opened a number of smaller boutiques in airport shopping concourses.
Keep an eye out for Ale and Lily when the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show hits the airwaves on November 20 on CBS.
LG Fashion Week recently wrapped up in Toronto, and while there wasn’t much lingerie seen on the catwalks there was a good deal of buzz surrounding indie darling Fortnight Lingerie.
Fortnight had a kind of coming-out party with a Fashion Week installation that gave the public a sneak peek at its upcoming Spring/Summer 2011 line and the craftsmanship behind it. And mark my words — this will make a splash.
Remember, a year ago Fortnight founder/designer Christina Remenyi was still putting together her first small Etsy store. Even after launching, her reputation didn’t spread much beyond the postal code of the Drake Hotel — not a bad thing, if you only want to serve Toronto urbanettes.
So much attention and acclaim has pushed Fortnight into a serious growth phase, and the Spring 2011 collection should propel them into the ranks of North America’s leading boutique labels.
We’re promised a total of 30 pieces, available by January through Fortnight’s online shop and selected boutiques. Keep checking their website as more distribution points are added.
Fortnight’s early success isn’t just about smart marketing, though. Remenyi’s designs themselves really stand out in the cookie-cutter world of fashion lingerie, where the word “unique” is used a lot but is too often an exaggeration.
Fortnight’s lingerie combines elements that you don’t often see together: the glamour of satin and lace, a vintage/retro feel (in the high-waisted briefs and structured bras), and ultra-modern mesh fabrics that provide the kind of skin-hugging fit you find in athletic wear.
Today, we can offer four images from the upcoming collection to spark your appetite.
The top photo shows the new Rita bodysuit in a lace/power mesh combination, while the two shots below are from the Ginger line, including a satin/power mesh bodysuit and a classic satin bra with power mesh high-waisted knickers.
The final shot below is something new for Fortnight, the Shirley robe in silk and cotton, over the Rita soft-cup bra in lace and power mesh.
I have a hunch that some of Fortnight’s techniques will be widely copied in the years ahead by other labels. Until then, keep an eye on this exciting Canadian brand!