Category Archives: Club Events

Recap of “Trends in the US Retail Landscape”

On October 10th, 2017, The Underfashion Club had the pleasure of hosting Don Unser, Group President of Retail with NPD, at the Harvard Club of New York for a discussion on “Trends in the US Retail Landscape.” The NPD Group is among the top 25 market research companies, providing marketing information and advisory services to companies. After an hour of cocktails and networking, attendees took their seats  to learn about the modern retail climate in the United States.

Don began his presentation by highlighting macro trends across industries and categories before digging deeper into apparel and intimate apparel. Based on tracking $1.8 trillion dollars spent by consumers in the US, Don Unser commented that “There has never been a more tumultous time in retail in the 30 years I have been in the industry.” The overall growth rate is -0.2%, the only time we’ve seen a negative growth rate in US retail since the recession. Apparel sales are now flat, which is a first given that a growth rate of 1-3% is typical in this industry.

Where is consumer spending being shifted? Though there is a downward trend overall, there are several industries that are experiencing a marked increase in sales. Prestige beauty, home improvement, cruises, national park attendance, and RVs are seeing positive growth rates. Don theorizes that this shift toward spending on memories and experiences may be influenced by millennials’ mobile use, online presence, and search for uniqueness. With platforms like Instagram being enormously popular, millennials are always on a search for the “money shot” to share on their profiles. A life that’s personalized and picture-perfect is high on the modern consumer’s priorities.

Even e-commerce growth rates have been slowing for the past few quarters as various categories reach their online maturation points. Don reminded the audience that brick-and-mortar stores are still key for growth, feeding the relevancy of a retailer’s online sales.

Despite its lack of overall growth, there are clear distinctions between the top and bottom performers in apparel. Woven shirts and dresses are the biggest drivers in apparel, while T-shirts and sweater sales are significantly declining.

The large number of store closings over the past year is a big factor contributing to the difficulty in retail. Don predicts that apparel space will continue to decrease for another two years. To adapt and to stay relevant as Amazon grows, manufacturers are ramping up their direct-to-consumer services. The majority of retailers are using data to figure out how to appropriately distribute their brand outside of stores.

The intimate apparel industry has remained relatively flat for the past few years. Sports bras and swimwear are seeing improved sales while shapewear is facing a slight decline. Bras have more online penetration than women’s apparel, though panties fall short.

Amazon has grown to become the top online retailer in intimate apparel, with nearly 22% of bra sales and 42% share of the underwear market – almost 8x the runner-up. Intimate apparel brands should take note, especially if they plan to partner with Amazon.

With the nature of the modern retail climate and its inevitable changes in mind, Don Unser concluded his presentation with a call to action for both brands and retailers with advice on how best to compete and adapt to this volatile retail environment. We thank Don and NPD once again for an interesting and insightful evening.

See photos from “Trends in the US Retail Landscape” in our Facebook album!

Watch a clip of the seminar on YouTube:

Recap of “Success, Tailor Made For You”

On September 26, 2017, Underfashion Club members gathered at the Fashion Group International in New York City  for the presentation of “Success, Tailor Made For You.”
We’d like to extend a warm welcome to the new club members who joined during that evening’s event!

After an hour of cocktails and networking with old friends and new, club members took their seats for the start of the presentation. Underfashion Club president Victor Vega welcomed Hsin-Yi Shieh, Account Executive – East Coast, Triumph International to the podium.

Triumph International was founded in Europe in 1886 and, with over 130 years of innovation and creativity, is recognized as a world-leading maker of lingerie and shapewear. Drawing upon her professional experience, Hsin-Yi shared her personal vision for “success” in today’s Intimate Apparel Industry.

She discussed the customer’s value of beauty and comfort in lingerie, and what makes the Triumph brand in particular so successful. She urged the audience to put themselves in new situations and believe in their abilities to find their own personal path to success. We hope everyone who joined us drew inspiration from Hsin-Yi Shieh’s heartfelt presentation!

View photos from the event on our Facebook Album:


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:

Holiday Party 2016 Recap

Photobooth Fun

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the annual Holiday Party of the Underfashion Club on Tuesday, December 6th! It was our first time celebrating the holidays at The Harvard Club in Manhattan and it was great! Club members and friends mingled, drank, dined, and danced to a fantastic mix of popular songs fitting to the season, spun by the talented DJ Tom! The Photo Booth was a festive touch, bringing friends together for silly poses with holiday-themed props. We’re glad you all enjoyed it!

Santa's Helpers

Underfashion Club President Victor Vega extended a special thank you to long-time members, contributors, and Santa’s little helpers, who collected 180 wrapped presents from generous guests for the annual gift drive held for the children of Women In Need, Inc, a New York based charity. Thank you all for helping make Holiday dreams come true for the children!

Ugly Intimates

Out of the four fabulous designs put forth for the Ugly Intimates Contest, only one could win! Roz Harte, board member of the Underfashion Club, pointed out that while none of them were “ugly,” one design was a clear winner because it looked so uncomfortable to wear. Congratulations to Walter Costello and Clelia Parisi for their winning design, “Santa’s Athleisure” (shown on the right)! Their prize was free admission to a Program event of their choice.


Lastly, we announced the winners of the annual raffle! For each present brought for the gift drive, the donor received one raffle ticket. The first prize awarded was a bottle of wine, won by Camille Block. Another bottle of wine was awarded to Glen Schneer. Zhanna Shmukler won a ticket to the 2017 FEMMY, and a second ticket to the FEMMY was won by the very lucky Camille Block. Congratulations!

Underfashion Club Holiday Party 2016

This year’s Underfashion Club Holiday Party is only a week away!

Members and non-members are welcome to join us on Tuesday, December 6th from 6pm-9pm at The Harvard Club, 35 W. 44th St. We’re excited to celebrate at this new, spacious location. Look forward to some photobooth fun!


Feeling creative? We’re holding a holiday-themed contest, titled the Ugly Intimates Competition! Decorate your favorite intimate item. The ugliest design will win a prize!

We will be hosting a gift drive for the children of W.I.N. — WOMEN IN NEED INC. Spread holiday cheer and bring a gift for a child! For each gift you donate, you will receive a ticket to be entered into one of our fabulous raffles. Please wrap and tag gifts with descriptions and recommended age group.


This year, we are making donations to Citymeals on Wheels, St. Francis Friends of the Poor, Women In Need, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Register today!
RSVP to – Email:, Phone: 845-758-6405
or on the web:
$50 Prepaid $60 At The Door


The Underfashion Club’s Ultimate Chocolate Tasting Experience

On October 13th, 2016 The Underfashion Club welcomed its newest members with a trip to Maribelle New York for the Ultimate Chocolate Tasting Experience, where we networked and tasted delicious chocolate samples from around the world!


We’d like to thank our new members for joining us and some of our longtime friends for keeping the mission alive by inviting new faces to the club. It’s empowering to see your fresh enthusiasm for the future of the intimate apparel industry. With your support, we’ll continue to realize our motto:

“Education today for a better industry tomorrow.”

Thanks to Christine Alles, Tristine Berry, Amy Bittner, Karen Bromley, Gay Danna, R. Scott French, Laurence Jaillet, Linda Kestel, Helene Ly, Emily Park, Laura Pulgarin, Gali Svechinsky, Victoria Vandagriff, Victor Vega, Jackie Wander, Tina Wilson, Kendall Wszolek, and Carole Kamura for inviting our newest members, Nancy Airkka, Jayme Cavazzini, Olivia Choi, Patricia Hernandez, Meredith Janos, Briana Rowser, Heather Stein, and Julie Wald. We’re glad to have you all as a part of The Underfashion Club!

See photos of from the event on our Facebook album:

UFC Chocolate Tasting

Watch the event on our YouTube channel:

The Sexy Side of 3D Imaging


The UNDERFASHION CLUB held its most recent program event, “The Sexy Side of 3D Imaging” with Lectra on September 13, 2016 at the Cutting Room. Lectra’s fashion industry expert and director of business development, Luis Velazquez, discussed how 3D technology will impact the future of the fashion industry. This world renowned company is an industry-leader that’s been training today’s fashion students with cutting edge technology.  Lectra has also collaborated with lingerie brands and schools in Paris to award student designers with internships for the technical and aesthetic excellence of their work. As a company, they aim to move the industry forward and help push the next generation of fashion leaders.

Designing lingerie is an intricate art, involving up to 50 components that require such careful precision that many prototypes must be created in order to achieve the right fit. This delicate and demanding process can take a lot of time, and the cost can be difficult to balance, especially in the intimate apparel industry. 3D technology can cut time from the development cycle, helping designers create better products faster.

3D technology allows us to print garments, put them together in a virtual space, and even present them a virtual fitting room. On average, it takes 3-4 weeks to make a sample with 1 fit session. 3D makes completing this process possible in half the time, giving designers more time to get creative and test out new ideas that can be visualized immediately.

This new technology will change the nature of market exchanges. Brands can now prepare 3D showrooms and virtual displays of stores to give clients a feel of the entire experience of owning a product. With product catalogs loaded as 3D data, several colorways can be displayed in a virtual showroom without the need to have a photo shoot or even make the garment itself. With such a detailed display, it would be easy to see where things might fit tightly, opening the doors for customized fit without the cost of manual fit cycles.

It is important to incorporate 3D technology into your business strategy within the next few years, otherwise you’ll fall behind! Help build the future and push our industry to be better! Students today are excited and ready to push the envelope. Work with them and you’ll be surprised what they come up with.

See our photos of the evening on our Facebook album.
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Watch the event on our YouTube channel.


“Modern Allure” Parsons School of Design Contest


For the first time, The Underfashion Club worked with Parsons School of Design to hold an intimate apparel design contest! Students competed over the theme “Modern Allure,” which prompted them to design lingerie that speaks to today’s woman. The Underfashion Club awarded cash prizes to the top two designers. On May 17th, 2016, five gorgeous garments, designed by Parsons School of Design seniors, were displayed at The Gallery in The Prince George Ballroom in Manhattan for the club to witness and vote for.

Design #1: Chicago Collection by Tianyang Li


Design #2: by Anna Jiang


Design #3: Curvature by Allyssa Kim


Design #4: Blue Lagoon by Samantha Garcia


Design #5: Reverie by Casey Barber


The five designs depicted young perspectives on modern allure, each in wildly different styles. Attendees observed the designs over cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and networking, then voters cast their vote to determine the winners of the contest.

As votes were being counted, an exciting multi-branded, fun and funky intimates & swim presentation was shown! Brands included: Anita, Betsey Johnson, Christine, Cleo by Panache, Cosabella, Curvy Couture, Delta Galil, Eberjey, Fantasie, Fleur’t With Me, Freya, Hanky Panky, Lise Charmel, Montelle Intimates, Natori, PJ Salvage, Prima Donna, Rago, Simone Perele, & Wacoal.

And the winners are…

1st Place: Allyssa Kim with Design #3, Curvature for a $3,500 cash prize.


2nd Place: Tianyang Li with Design #1, Chicago for a $1,500 cash prize.


Thanks to the Parsons design students who participated in the contest for sharing their talent with us. We wish you all the best in your careers. We’d also like to thank all club members and attendees for making our first ever Parsons student design contest a huge success. All of your contributions help us uphold our motto, “Education today for a better industry tomorrow.”

View more photos from “Modern Allure” on The Underfashion Club’s Facebook page.

UFC Modern Allure


Sketch Night with Bil Donovan

Would you like to sketch beautiful fashion figures from live lingerie models while networking with others from the industry?

Join the Underfashion Club for “Sketch Night“ with acclaimed illustrator Bil Donovan who will help guide us through the art of fashion illustration!

The event will take place at the Society of Illustrators in Manhattan on Tuesday, April 13th, 2016 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.


Bil Donovan is one of today’s most accomplished and revered fashion illustrators. He subscribes to the idea that “less is more” and uses this premise to create work that is elegant with a timeless style. With this ideal, he has nurtured a working relationship with the cosmetics, beauty and fragrance industries. He’s a fine artist, educator, and author whose client list includes Vogue, Vanity Fair, St. Regis, The New York Times, and the CFDA. Donovan has been the fine artist-in-residence for Christian Dior Beauty since 2009.


The Underfashion Club sketched with Bil Donovan last year at the “Illustrations & Libations” event, which was also held at the Society of Illustrators. The evening included networking, dining, and a chance to exercise our artistic skills in an intimate setting that included a patio, buffet, and open bar. All art supplies for this event will be provided.

 Facebook Album:

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Want to join us to learn a bit about fashion illustration? You can pre-register for “Sketch Night” on our website here:


Finding Your Purposeful Career with Miki Agrawal


It was a pleasure to have Miki Agrawal, best-selling author and serial social entrepreneur, join the Underfashion Club to share her experience with turning passion into a career. We met on August 19th, 2015 at Space530 in Manhattan to hear her speak. Miki Agrawal is the co-founder and CEO of Thinx, which patents no leak and stain resistant, antimicrobial, moisture wicking, absorbent underwear. To Miki, leading a purposeful career is playing your part to solve problems in the world that you are passionate about!


If you have many ideas but are unsure of where to begin or what to create, Miki suggests asking yourself 3 questions in order to crystallize what you’re doing:

  1. What sucks in my world?
  2. Does it suck for a lot of people?
  3. Can I be passionate about this issue, cause, or community for a really long time?

For Miki, having to throw away good underwear because of period stains sucked. When touring in Johannesburg, South Africa, she met a 12 year old girl on the street and asked why she wasn’t in school, to which she replied, “It’s my week of shame. I stay home when I’m on my period.”

The “girl effect” shows that, given 100 dollars, a woman will reinvest 90 into the community and her family while a man will reinvest 20-45. Given the girl effect and the lack of access to hygiene products for millions of school girls, communities suffer billions of dollars in lost income potential but nobody talks about it because it’s taboo.

This inspired Miki to develop absorbent underwear to support women at home while funding reusable pads for school-age girls in Rwanda, Nepal, India and elsewhere, which has enabled 30,000+ students to return to school to date.


What should you know before starting a new business? First, take a good look at who the most influential people are in your life because “You are as good as the average of the 5 closest friends you keep.” Your friends should inspire and support you, not just dote on you! When you need support, lead with, “How can I help you?” rather than “How can you help me?” to build strong mutually beneficial relationships.

An important concept for entrepreneurship is “Purpose builds motivation.” Consumers feel more motivated to support brands with a mission to give back, and thus it is important for businesses to think about business through a social lens.

When running digital businesses, own your entire margin, control your own story, and leverage social media and search engine optimization to increase brand awareness. It’s now easier than ever to locate and communicate with your target audience through the use of digital tools.


See Miki Agrawal’s interview with the Underfashion Club on YouTube!

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See who was there with our photo album on Facebook!


Congratulations to George Cherundolo for winning the raffle for the hour with Miki!

If you attended, we hope you were inspired. We’re looking forward to seeing many of you again for the club’s next event. Until then!