18-20 February 2018, NEC Birmingham

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Q&A: Linda Leestemaker

06-Dec-2016

From its charmingly vintage roots as a shoulder pad manufacturer to its comprehensive offer of today, Magic Bodyfashion is an essential staple for lingerie and womenswear retailers alike. CEO Linda Leestemaker reveals the story behind the brand, and its plans for this season’s Moda.

Q: What’s the story behind Magic Bodyfashion?
A: Magic Bodyfashion was established in 1991 in the Netherlands starting with the famous MAGIC Shoulderpads. They are still in the assortment and starting to be a trend again. Eventually this unique product rolled out into a successful line of body solutions including trendy shapewear and backless bras.

Q: What sort of presence does the brand have in the UK?
A: Established, and growing rapidly. We work with a wonderful agency in the UK - Philippa Bradley Agency - which takes great care of our brand in the UK & Ireland. Since I bought the business alongside my husband Marc de Graaff five years ago, we have seen a huge opportunity for Magic Bodyfashion both in the UK and overseas. We will arrange our first shipments to the USA by the end of this year which, next to Asia, is our next emerging market in addition to the current 57 countries we already distribute to. The global character is definitely there.

Q: Why is the brand so successful?
A: Because it works. Our key product is our incredible line of backless bras. Our famous and absolute number one style is the Backless Beauty, the one and only bra that is backless and will stay on your breasts no matter what you do. We are so proud of this. Our shapewear also stands out due to the look and feel of each garment, and the exclusive materials that are comfy no matter what. Basically we offer everything you need for under your party dress.

Q: How have you developed the brand since you acquired it?
A: First we looked at our stock. Within one year we had all of our products ‘never out of stock’ to be able to ship to our customers complete and promptly. We hired wonderful people, and we added great new products because innovation is what we stand for. We also expanded the business with our Total Body Solution categories, and this has resulted in 20 -25 per cent growth year after year.

Q: What are you hoping to achieve at Moda?
A: The time has come in our strategy to meet with the bigger players including Selfridges, John Lewis and Brown Thomas so that is our target in February. We also love to meet independent customers old and new from across the UK & Ireland.

Q: What can buyers expect to discover this time around?
Q: We have just launched Magic Lovely Legs, a wonderful and elegant hosiery assortment with a strong shaping function, and new for 2017 is a new category for larger sizes - Maxi Sexy Shapers – which is available up to size 4XL. Also new in our backless category is a Body and a thong bodybriefer with an extreme low back to go backless while remaining wonderfully-shaped. We will also offer basic colour extensions and innovations in each category, while our Active Wear collection is having new additions to ensure the wearer looks well shaped while working out.

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