REI KAWAKUBO/COMME DES GARÇONS

On view at THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK,
from May 4 to September 4, 2017

REI KAWAKUBO, the Tokyo-based designer, founded Comme des Garçons (“like some boys”) in 1969. Her garments baffle, bemuse and bewilder.

This exhibit is a MUST SEE for anyone interested in FASHION!!! The garments are beautifully displayed within the stark whiteness of the gallery surfaces where each and every garment “pops”. It is a visual feast for the eyes.

I like this quote from her…..”I wasn’t limited to the confines of a pattern. Not being educated, not being taught how to design, I was able to visualize in a completely different context. And I still seem able to draw upon the unconventional.”

Go to the exhibit and see for yourself. Here is a peek of some of my favorites with my captions below.

Camille

SEAM TAPE DRESS

RED DRESSES

EXAGGERATED GINGHAM

PUFFY PRINT DRESS

KNOTS

BALLERINA

LACY MANNEQUINS W/ BANDED SKIRTS

FiT’s Future of Fashion Runway Show

The FiT Future of Fashion Runway Show is tonight!
They will be live-streaming the event at 7:00pm.

http://fashionshow.fitnyc.edu/

The best work of FIT’s graduating BFA class in fashion design students is presented every spring in a professional runway show.

Industry critics lend their expertise to our graduating students during their final semester as they prepare for the fashion show.

Fashion media professionals decide which garments are outstanding enough to make it to the runway.

Our judges select the best looks for the runway in each of the specializations: intimate apparel, special occasion, knitwear, children’s wear, and sportswear.

Learn more at fitnyc.edu/future.

SENIOR BFA INTIMATE APPAREL STUDENT DESIGNS FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Members of the UNDERFASHION CLUB, INC. witnessed the creative abundance of talent at the senior exhibition held in the John E. Reeves Great Hall at FIT on April 25, 2017. These garments, along with other categories (Special Occasion, Sportswear, Knitwear and Childrenswear), were on display as a preview to the FUTURE OF FASHION, the graduating seniors fashion show that will be presented on Monday, May 8th at 7pm ET. Visit http://fashionshow.fitnyc.edu for more information.

These talented FIT students will be graduating in May and we spoke with a few students to gain some insight on their next steps after graduation.

Many thanks to Professor Alexandra Armillas for inviting us to the preview. We are looking forward to the fashion show!

FIT PROFESSOR ALEXANDRA ARMILLAS &
CLELIA PARISI, CO-CHAIR OF THE UFC SAIG COMMITTEE

 

PROFESSOR ALEXANDRA ARMILLAS WITH STUDENTS
NICOLE WILSON & ALLISON HOWMANN

 

Here is a peek at the 25 Intimate Apparel garments on display. The backs have just as much detail and look just as wonderful as the fronts!

 

BFA GRADUATING SENIOR GARMENTS


 


GRADUATING SENIOR KATELYN ZAWIERUCHA

UFC scholarship recipient Katelyn Zawierucha is graduating in May, has two of her garments in the senior exhibition, and is this year’s first place winner of the Underfashion Club’s student design contest, which is held annually in conjunction with the Club’s FEMMY Gala. Katelyn loves intimates and sleepwear (her pajama set will be in the fashion show) and is looking forward to securing her first position in the industry. She is very excited about her upcoming trip to Paris and the SALON INTERNATIONAL DE LA LINGERIE in July generously provided by Eurovet/Curvexpo as part of Katelyn’s prize package. She is very much looking forward to shopping the stores and seeing the show for the first time; and we’re looking forward to following up with her after the trip to share her experiences.

 

KATELYN’S GARMENTS 


GRADUATING SENIOR ANNELISE DAVIS

Another talented UFC scholarship recipient is Annelise Davis. Regarding the Underfashion Club, Annelise said, “I would have not been able to make my garments without the assistance of the scholarship.” Annelise learned to make original appliques and unique closure techniques while working for a costume company but she holds a special place in her heart for intimate apparel. After graduation in May her goal is to work in the industry. 

ANNALISE DAVIS

ALLISON HOWMANN 

NICOLE WILSON

Underfashion Club, Inc. Purchases Intimate Apparel Dress Forms for Parsons School of Design Lingerie Class

Over the last year, the SAIG (Scholarships, Awards, Internships and Grants) committee has worked endlessly to expand the reach of the Underfashion Club, becoming integrated with more colleges and high schools that support the Intimate Apparel Industry.

Parsons School of Design is the latest school to develop an Intimate Apparel Course and, in the Fall of 2015, the SAIG committee reached out to begin to foster a relationship with Parsons educators and students. The committee met with Julia Poteat, Assistant Professor of Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design to discuss the needs and opportunities of the new program. It was brought to their attention that students were losing valuable class time, as they had to share dress forms with other students in the class. Intimate apparel dress forms differ from other industry dress forms as they have a more defined and projected chest, necessary for draping and fitting bras.

Recognizing the need and wanting to assist the students’ learning and future development of the program, members of the SAIG committee consulted with the leading dress form manufacturers. A decision was made to purchase 14 AlvaForms for the growing class, guaranteeing that each student would have a personal form with which to work. Alvanon, manufacturer of the AlvaForm has grown to be an industry leader in dress forms, which are exceptional due to their plush “fleshy” exterior that resembles a human body. The Underfashion Club provided the funding that enabled Parsons to purchase the 36B/Medium AlvaForms at a significant educational discount, a win-win for all involved.

Professor Poteat couldn’t be more appreciative. “These forms will make a tremendous difference in allowing the students to drape well-fitting garments in the Fashion Techniques Lingerie class. Thank you again, we are very grateful.  I’m looking forward to our continued partnership in the Intimate Apparel Field.”

The Underfashion Club and SAIG committee hope to continue to cultivate this relationship striving to pursue their mission of “Education today for a better industry tomorrow.” They consistently find new ways to positively impact the growth of our beloved industry. Thank you to our wonderful volunteers on the SAIG committee, and our active members who help to push us forward.

 

Recap of “Retail Tsunami” with Robin Lewis

Robin Lewis, retail expert and founder/publisher of The Robin Report, shared his insights into the modern retail environment with his presentation, “Retail Tsunami.” Thank you to all Underfashion Club members and friends who joined us on March 28th at the Harvard Club of New York for an evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, networking, and education! Your attendance supports our mission to promote “Education today for a better industry tomorrow.”

Once settled in, all attendees gathered in the next room for the start of “Retail Tsunami.” Robin Lewis began by expressing that he was glad to be giving back to an industry he’s been a part of for so many years. He explained that the most profound transformation in the history of retail is taking place today. In order to stay in business, old world retailers must adapt by implementing new strategies to serve the new young consumer’s values.

It is a complex change, largely influenced by modern society’s most powerful enabler of consumers: the smart phone. The API (application programming interface) software of mobile devices is the means of connecting all users, creating a one-world consumer with shared interests and desires around the globe.

From 1950-1980, the United States had the most explosive growth of retail in all of history. Though demand declined during the early ’80s due to globalization, supply remained the same and became even more efficient with technological advances. Saturation has forced retailers and brands to offer extreme discounts in order to compete. This unsustainable system is devaluing brands and driving many companies out of business. To survive, the basis of competition must shift toward new values that serve millennial interests.

We are redefining what value is. It’s a wholistic, personalized, and frictionless experience that’s powered by the internet and mobile devices that allow unlimited and instantaneous access to whatever we may dream of. This new ability to demand anything as an individual has given the consumer all of the power, encouraging stores to move physically closer to them. The consumer becomes the new point of sale as time becomes the new luxury for young people. Fast delivery and instant access is expected for every product and service.

The millennial lifestyle is drastically different from that of the baby boomers, bringing a whole new set of consumer values. Due to an increase in college debt and  a decrease in the worth of salaries among the youth, consumers have been inclined to share, swap, rent, and resell rather than own, doubling the trading business since 2013. The new consumer prefers small, intimate, and personal businesses such as local restaurants, boutiques, and craft breweries over big mega brands. Today, companies are urged to be ethical in behavior, representative of their target market’s lifestyle, and to contribute to the world through sustainable practices. Values are becoming more important than price.

All of today’s marketing should be personalized. This is accomplished through the aggregation of big data, analyzing it, and implementing it to localize and personalize commerce. It’s going to be a high-tech, high-touch world. Customers will be equipped with tablets that can download information, interactive dressing rooms, and more. However, as a retailer, there is no reason to have a store if you don’t have an intelligent human touch. Humans are necessary for the personal aspect of a business. 

Technology is going to reverse last century’s paradigm of sexualization, consolidation, and massification into a 21st-century style that advocates desexualization, de-massification, and personalization. Retailers who are waiting for the future to come before they start transforming are “dead men walking,” because the future is here. Robin Lewis urges retailers to embrace the future now or be history. Remember, personalization is key!

Watch the entire “Retail Tsunami” presentation on YouTube:

See our photos from cocktail hour on Facebook:

Retail Expert Robin Lewis

Retail Tsunami: What’s Next is the keynote presentation by Robin Lewis at The Underfashion Club’s upcoming event at the Harvard Club in NYC on March 28th.

Almost everyone in fashion retail religiously reads the Robin Report, distributed directly to Top Management in Retail and also by The Huffington Post.

The Robin Report is the go-to resource for retail trend analysis in America. It’s analysis are thorough, complete and deep into the why, where, how, as well as influences behind successful retail marketing.

Robin Lewis, the founder and publisher of the Robin Report, is one of the foremost authorities on fashion trends and retail management, making retail fashion a business success. His years with Goldman Sachs, Women’s Wear Daily, DuPont, VF Corporation and Grey Advertising have given him a razor perspective on retail.

He is frequently requested by C-level management for advice, consultation and strategic presentations: among them are Kohl’s, Bloomingdale’s, JC Penney, Macy’s, Liz Claiborne, VF Corp., Charming Shoppes, Estee Lauder, Ralph Lauren, and Sara Lee, as well as financial firms such as Bear Stearns, The Carlyle Group, Goldman Sachs and others.

He is the co-author of The New Rules of Retail, published by Palgrave-McMillan, and is often quoted in various trade and consumer publications such as Women’s Wear Daily, Time Magazine, Chicago Sun Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Brand Week, and Advertising Age, as well as on CNBC, ABC and Fox News.

He’s also predicted a Revolution in Retail Marketing, especially in the area of Intimate Apparel.

Hear what Robin Lewis has to say about your business and your future, and how it will be affected by the coming Retail Revolution. He will provide a personal roadmap to your success by giving you the inside story of what’s coming, when it’s coming, how it’s coming, who is going to be affected, and what it will take to make it happen.

Click here to reserve your place at this game-changing event.

CURVENY Fall/Winter 2017 Collections

Curvexpo celebrated their 10th year anniversary at the Jacob Javits Center in New York from Monday, February 27th to Wednesday, March 1st, 2017. This world-renowned lingerie and swimwear trade show featured collections for the upcoming Fall/Winter 2017 seasons from over 600 exhibitors.

A festive display of mannequins adorned in lingerie lined the entry of the show floor, displaying some of the most prominent trends from over the last decade.

Top Trends:

  1. Athleisure
  2. Bralettes
  3. Nude Illusion
  4. Lace and Embroidery Applique
  5. Bodysuits, Rompers, and Teddies
  6. Bondage-style, Harnesses, Strappy and Cut-out Details
  7. High Neck Bras and Racerback Bras
  8. Ultra-luxurious Loungewear
  9. Nude Lingerie for All Skin Tones
  10. Increased Full Bust and Plus Size Options
  11. Corsetry and Shapewear

Fabric Trends

With the rise in athleisure comes a demand for comfortable, flexible fabrics. Feel good modal is becoming more popular as a leisurewear textile for many brands and breathable materials like spacer fabrics are being used in activewear, enhancing the functionality of fashion in motion.

Soft and insulating velvet is trending as a luxurious and warm fabric option for Fall/Winter 2017 intimate apparel and loungewear.

Style Trends

Full coverage garments such as bodysuits are en vogue and brands are focused on making these supportive styles more beautiful than ever before. Cut outs, high necks, and plunging necklines add extra dimensions to these garments, bringing even more extravagance to the lingerie as an outerwear trend. Strappy embellishments continue to thrive and many garments have simulated this style with sheer mesh panels, creating linear details with negative space.

Intimates are becoming a medium for creative illustrations with embroideries, strategically placed on Fall/Winter intimates that may be obscured beneath thick layers of clothing.

Technology for wearability is making improvements throughout the industry, especially in activewear. Brands are opting for more natural silhouettes, following the demand for comfort that came with last year’s boom in bralettes.

Color Trends

Pantone’s color of the year is “greenery” and this is reflected in intimate apparel through the prevalence of peacock green tones. Deep reds, cool blues, and slate grays were present in many collections, communicating a common wintery theme.

There are now more shades of nude than ever before, expanding to meet the needs of a diverse market.

We’re looking forward to seeing how these trends may thrive in the future!

The Underfashion Club’s 2017 FEMMY Awards Recap

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2017 FEMMY Awards Gala on January 31st at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City! You all looked so fabulous for the 59th annual celebration of this red-carpet-esque Intimate Apparel Industry event. A special thank you to our host Hal Rubenstein for his energizing presence, lending his talents for an evening full of love and support for fashion and education.

Hal Rubenstein is a writer, designer, critic and one of the founding editors at InStyle Magazine, where he served as fashion director for fifteen years, after being a style director at The New York Times Magazine for five years. Since 1995 he has been a frequent red carpet and fashion commentator for Good Morning America, The Today Show, Extra, E! and The View. His experience in the coverage of red carpet awards seasons in Hollywood made him a perfect fit for the FEMMY Awards Gala. Hal greeted each of the Honorees of the 2017 FEMMY Awards with warmth and enthusiasm, narrating an evening full of pride and joy for us all in the Intimate Apparel Industry.

Congratulations to the Honorees! We thank each of you for your dedication to excellence.

Retailer: Aerie accepted by Jennifer Foyle, Aerie Global Brand President.

Jennifer Foyle joined Aerie in August 2010 as Senior Vice President/Chief Merchandising Officer and has been instrumental in transforming the specialty retailer into an authority in the body positivity movement.

Manufacturer: Cupid Foundations, Inc. accepted by David Welsch, CEO, President and Marilyn Welsch, Secretary/Treasurer.

David started working part time at Cupid during the 1950’s. He joined the company full time after graduating LeHigh University in January, 1960 and has been President of Cupid since 1979. Marilyn graduated Summa Cum Laude from Boston University in 1962. She has been Cupid’s Corporate Secretary & Treasurer since 1982.

Supplier: Tianhai Lace Co., Ltd., accepted by Ning Yi Shen, General Manager.

As a responsible manufacturer, Tianhai is fully aware of the environmental impact of its operation and is continuously working together with selected partners and institutions to be ecofriendly at the highest standard. Ning Yi Shen graduated from Xi-An University, Textiles Department in 1982. He has worked at Tianhai Lace since it was established in 1988.

Innovation Award: Under Armour, Inc. accepted by Lisa Struble, VP, Technical Design

Lisa Struble is the Vice President Technical Design for Under Armour. She leads the technical design/product development group, pushing performance and innovation through fit and construction. Ms. Struble is responsible for product consistency and execution.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Norman Collier, Managing Director, Stretchline (UK) Limited.

Norman Collier has been involved in manufacturing elastic for 53 years, supported by his wife Janet, 2 children, Adam & Anna and 5 wonderful grandchildren. Over the last 20 years Stretchline has positioned itself in 7 countries producing 20 million mts/wk and supplying most of the world’s major brands and retailers.

The 14th Annual Student Design Contest

The 2017 FEMMY Awards Gala also hosted the 14th Annual Student Design contest, featuring designs by students from the Fashion Institute of Technology. The contest was themed “Athletic Allure.” With athleticism as a foundation, all designs emphasized support and movement as performance garments. The 5 guest judges were: Jos Berry, Concepts Paris / Jami Dunbar, Under Armour / Gill Heer, Lane Bryant / Angie Lau, Clover Group / and Helen Mears, Adore Me.

The scholarship winners are:

1st Prize Winner ($5000 + all expense paid trip to Mode City in Paris in July)
Katelyn Zawierucha, her design “Tres Sportive”
 
2nd Prize Winner ($4000)
Jennifer Monzon, her design “Obsidian”
 
3rd Prize Winner ($3000)
Mary Kate Kauffelt, her design “Instant Replay”
 

Finalists: Bonnie Chen, Diandra Howell, and Lara Tabak.

 

Victor Vega, president of the Underfashion Club, announced that he will be retiring in May. He thanked everyone that has been part of his career, as well as the Wacoal family, for contributing to his happy and wonderful life. “God bless America. Thank you!”

Karen Bromley, co-chair of the FEMMY committee, prompted a standing ovation for president Victor Vega for his service to the industry and community. Thank you all!

View the 2017 FEMMY Awards and highlights on our YouTube playlist:

Photos from the evening have been uploaded to our Facebook page:

 

 

Hal Rubenstein, Host of The Underfashion Club’s 2017 FEMMY Awards

The Underfashion Club, Inc. is pleased to announce that Hal Rubenstein will be hosting the FEMMY Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City on Tuesday, January 31, 2017! Famous for his uplifting views of women and unique sense of style, Hal Rubenstein’s quick wit will be the foundation for a celebratory evening.

We are thrilled that Hal Rubenstein, with his unique combination of expertise and enthusiasm, will be our Host for the 59th Annual FEMMY Awards,” says Victor H. Vega, President of The Underfashion Club. “The FEMMY gala is the premier event of the intimate apparel industry and we are proud of the many ways we support the next generation of talent.”

Hal Rubenstein has earned his position among the most respected and influential figures in the fashion industry, sharing his invaluable insight for over two decades. He was one of the founding editors of InStyle Magazine , serving 15 years as Fashion Director and then Editor-At-Large for this immense resource to the fashion industry. InStyle’s popularity and embrace of hi/low fashion forever changed the way retailers regard and market to the American consumer.

In 2013, Hal launched his own very successful collection, which debuted on the Home Shopping Network. He’s now a regular on that network and is a frequent guest on TV talk shows including The View, Today and The Early Show, and regularly appearing on EXTRA’s red carpet coverage of award season in Hollywood as their fashion expert. His expertise is sought by brands that the modern fashionista knows and loves for consultation and advised marketing, impacting how we shop today.

Hal Rubenstein also lends his knowledge to fashion education and lectures at The Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons Institute, The Savannah College of Art and Design and The Governor’s Conference on Women. He will be speaking at FIT in two upcoming seminars, March 1, (Fashion & Film: the 1960’s) and May 16th (Red Carpet Style). The information is at the FIT Museum, fitnyc.edu/museum.

With passion for fashion, business, and education close to his heart, Hal Rubentein will be a perfect fit as the host of the 2017 FEMMY Awards Gala!

HAL RUBENSTEIN TO HOST 2017 FEMMY AWARDS

FASHION AUTHORITY, DESIGNER & INSTYLE MAGAZINE FOUNDER

HAL RUBENSTEIN

TO HOST 2017 UNDERFASHION CLUB FEMMY AWARDS

New York, NY (January 4, 2017) – The Underfashion Club, Inc. is pleased to announce that one of the most respected and influential voices in the fashion industry, Hal Rubenstein, will be hosting the 2017 FEMMY Awards on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at Cipriani 42nd Street, New York City. Famous for his uplifting views of women and unique sense of style, Hal Rubenstein’s quick wit will be the foundation for a celebratory evening.

The 2017 FEMMY Award Honorees include: Retailer: Aerie accepted by Jennifer Foyle, Aerie Global Brand President; Manufacturer: Cupid Foundations, Inc. accepted by David Welsch, CEO, President and Marilyn Welsch, Secretary/Treasurer; Supplier: Tianhai Lace Co., Ltd., accepted by Ning Yi Shen, General Manager; Innovation Award: Under Armour, Inc. accepted by Lisa Struble, VP, Technical Design and Kelly Cortina, VP, Women’s Apparel, Run & Accessories; and Lifetime Achievement Award: Norman Collier, Managing Director, Stretchline (UK) Limited.

“We are thrilled that Hal Rubenstein, with his unique combination of expertise and enthusiasm, will be our Host for the 59th Annual FEMMY Awards,” says Victor H. Vega, President of The Underfashion Club. “The FEMMY gala is the premier industry event and we are proud that this event is just one of the many ways we support the next generation of talent.”

The FEMMY Awards honor those individuals and companies that have significantly contributed to the Intimate Apparel Industry and its growth.  The Gala is recognized as one of the premier events in the Intimate Apparel Industry, and is the fundraising vehicle that enables The Underfashion Club to support its extensive Scholarship, Awards, Internship and Grants (SAIG) programs.  These efforts bring to life the Underfashion Club’s credo of “Education today for a better industry tomorrow.” 

The 2017 Femmy will proudly host the 14th Annual Student Design Contest featuring the designs of Fashion Institute of Technology students, with the contest theme of “Athletic Allure.” Contest winners will receive cash awards presented by SAIG Co-Chairs Suzanne Beck and Clelia Parisi. The Annual Student Design Contest is an integral part of The Underfashion Club’s mission to help educate, influence and attract new talent for the future of the industry. The design contest is being sponsored by Clover Group International Ltd., Regina Miracle International (Holdings) Ltd., and Stretchline Holdings Ltd.

2017 marks the 59th Anniversary of this not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization established to provide Intimate Apparel Industry leaders with a forum to exchange information and ideas, and support the Intimate Apparel market as a vital aspect of the fashion industry through its ongoing commitment to support the education of new talent.