Last season during The Lingerie Collective (TLC) Kelly (Isaac, the founder of TLC) asked me to talk to a new designer. “Kriss, do you remember your first season and how you hid behind your rail because you were afraid to talk to buyers? Why don’t you share your story with Lucy how you conquered that fear and became this ray of light chatting to everyone with such ease.”
I remember my first season at TLC too well. It was my debut trade show, so I had no idea what to expect. It was daunting to be among all these awesome brands. I was self-confident but didn’t really have any selling skills. After all, I am a quiet Estonian, so selling doesn’t really come naturally to me. But what TLC has given me is more than just a trade show. TLC has helped me build our brand into what it is today.
So when the opportunity knocked to visit the SS14 TLC show as not an exhibitor but as a reporter for Nineteen13, I had to grab that. And did I feel any different visiting the show? No. It has always felt more like a family reunion rather than hard work and this time wasn’t different.
What I like about TLC is that it is intimate, having direct access talking to designers themselves, not weird old sleazy sales guys. And the brand new venue at The Chiltern Studios in the heart of Marylebone was just perfect. Newcomers and established brands side by side, showing their gorgeous SS14 collections.
My highlights included Fräulein Kink’s stunning new range of red harnesses and accessories, newcomer All Undone with their strong imagery of large cup-sized lingerie and Sumarie, the London-based swimwear brand. There has definitely been a rise in shapewear and swimwear lines over the last few seasons. Even the lovely Beautiful Bottoms girls have launched their first swim line with their signature pattens.
There were splashes of colour and summery pastels, bright, bold patterns and strong monochrome looks.
TLC event manager Sophie Metchick confirmed visitors from Harvey Nichols, ASOS, Net-a-Porter to niche boutiques Dolci Follie, Coco de Mer and Petits Bisou in the UK. But this season also saw a lot of overseas buyers visit the show including Faire Frou Frou from the US, Baby likes to Pony from Australia and Le Macaron from China. So sounds to me like the London show is at its top form and going strong. Excited to see what the TLC show in New York in August will bring.
But what did I tell Lucy that day? “Open your eyes, look around, observe, and take it all in.”
For me growing up next to such iconic brands as Lascivious, Made by Niki, Ell & Cee, was an experience that money cannot buy. If you have a unique vision, don’t copy anyone and do your own thing, these brands will share all their selling tips and inspire you to keep on doing what you love no matter what. You just have to let your passion show. And then you’ll get the orders.
You can see Kriss Soonik Loungerie SS14 5th Birthday collection at The Lingerie Collective New York show 4th-6th August at Studio 320, 320 West 37th St, New York 10018. Book an appointment firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the original article on lingerie site Nineteen13.