Many of us rarely stop to consider where our purchases come from, let alone how they have come to be.
When it comes to intimate apparel, the who, what, where and how questions are of crucial importance.
Quality of fabric and design can vary on many levels, and can make all the difference when it comes to comfort, support and longevity!
We were honored when Van de Velde invited us to tour their offices in Belgium to get a closer and behind-the-scenes look at their operations.
Van de Velde is a gold standard in the lingerie world, and the genius behind popular lingerie brands such as Prima Donna, Marie Jo and Andres Sarda.
Located in Schellebelle, a small village outside the quaint and charming city of Gent, Van De Velde was founded in 1919 by Margaretha and Achiel Van de Velde when they opened a corset workshop in the town. Today, Van de Velde employs more than 1,500 people, is traded on the stock exchange, and sets a standard for excellence in the lingerie industry.
The design team at Van de Velde works year-round to bring to life new collections on a seasonal basis. In total, Philippe and his team introduce 300 new models in 50 different sizes and 60 different colors, amounting to 8,500 new references each year. To put things into perspective, it takes approximately 20 months for a collection to go from concept building to delivery.
Since its inception, Van de Velde has dedicated efforts to offering products that are of both high quality and comfort. Van de Velde exclusively sources all raw materials from European suppliers. All fabrics must pass five standard quality tests: weight, elasticity, color, washability and strength.
To prepare for production, every piece is cut, moulded, and organized into compartments within the factory and then shipped elsewhere to be assembled. While their products are assembled outside of Belgium in order to be competitive with pricing, all finished products are sent back to Van de Velde, where each individual piece is examined, guaranteeing its quality.
Interesting trivia: Do you know how many parts your bra can be broken down into? The Marie Jo L’Aventure Marion bra (above), for example, is made up of 6 different fabrics and 42 individual pieces. It is no wonder Van de Velde is one of the leading lingerie designers in the world.
So, next time a bra’s price tag surprises you, consider the possibility that it might have been designed with love and care, created with wisdom and expertise, and will actually save you money in the long run. If the designer is Van de Velde, you can almost certainly guarantee that it will!
Melmira Bra & Swim Boutique is a Toronto lingerie salon. Melmira’s staff offers expert bra shopping and fitting advice to Lingerie Talk readers each month..