18-20 February 2018, NEC Birmingham

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Q&A: MARY CAMERON

Premium French lingerie labels Chantelle and Passionata will launch their spring collections to the UK trade at this season’s Moda Lingerie. Ahead of the launch, UK managing director Mary Cameron gives buyers an insight into the heritage and direction that makes the brands so distinct.


Why is Moda Lingerie such a key date on the trade calendar?

Moda is the perfect opportunity for buyers to see and feel the entire range and buy into it without any distractions. We take an extensive team to the show so there is an opportunity to learn more about the labels, and also to see the designs on actual models including a larger cup-sized model. We have been very dedicated to responding to retailer feedback in that way, and we are very pro-active in talking buyers through the range and helping them to make the right selection for their business.

How are you supporting your retail partners this season?

Again, we have listened carefully to feedback and have responded with a show incentive, offering buyers free carrier bags and tissue paper with orders being placed at Moda. It’s added value to the already-luxurious experience of buying premium French lingerie. We are also offering customers who order at the show an exclusive Chantelle gift, as well as the opportunity to be entered in a prize draw to win a trip for 2 to Paris.

What’s the essence of the Chantelle brand?

We are a heritage brand and, in some ways, what we stand for hasn’t changed. But we are also a very cutting edge company that strives to remain contemporary, and that is what gives the label its edge. Chantelle started out selling it very first girdle, and we have carefully maintained all the hallmarks of that heritage for 60 years – the je ne sais quoi if you will. But since we first diversified into bras, we have continued to innovate and respond to the industry with a particular focus on the larger cup sizes that have become prevalent through the UK, Scandinavia and increasingly across the continent.

Does Passionata share the same heritage?

Passionata turned 25 last year so it is a younger brand both in age and direction. Passionata is more fashion-orientated, and offers a more accessible price structure to a potentially younger consumer. It has an identity based around playful seduction, compared to Chantelle’s handwriting which focuses on effortless elegance.

How have both brands evolved over the years?

By responding to the evolving consumer, particularly with regards to the introduction of larger cup sizes and innovative fabrics. As of s/s 15, we introduced FF cups and 30 backs in our Passionata collection and we have had some very positive feedback. We have always paid a lot of attention to the bust shape of the consumer, and it is this detailed approach to design that sets us apart from our competitors.

Do the same standards apply to the swimwear collection?

Absolutely. We are currently in our second year with Chantelle beachwear and the bikinis, tankinis and swimsuits offer the same support and fit as the core lingerie collection. We want to offer our consumers the opportunity to look and feel as feminine on the beach as they do in their good fitting bras everyday. The collection bears the hallmarks of French design – a lot of it is very ‘chic on the beach’ with beautiful colours and prints. But there are also some timeless options for those who want a more classic look on the beach, as well as a selection of co-ordinating cover ups.

What else is new for the labels?

We are focusing on supporting our retailers this spring and beyond with an increased focus on digital tools. That may be visuals for their websites or e-letters that they can send out to their consumers. We also have a streamlined ordering system which means that buyers can top up on the orders that they place at Moda quickly and easily via our online system. Essentially we are working hand in hand with our retailers, and we look forward to a very productive show at Moda this season.

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