Leave it to the French to have an official association of lingerie (the Promincor–Lingerie Française, or Association for the Promotion of Corsetry Industries).
Who can blame ‘em?
And they’re setting up shop in NYC tomorrow with their French Lingerie Loft. There will be a series activities that will take place in the Loft, with a full list of scheduled events that include fitting lessons, styling and chocolate making. All amidst a gaggle of fine silk and lace and straps that you’re not sure how to work.
But knowing about it is one thing. Getting your darling there — a whole other.
Which is why we tapped Ulyana Sukach, Responsable du Développement International, to offer her poignant advice on the dos and definitely don'ts of lingerie shopping.
InsideHook: What am I supposed to do while my girlfriend shops? Stand there and nod my head?
Sukach: As our French Lingerie Loft is more like a showroom, your girlfriend won’t be able to shop any products in French Lingerie Loft. But much better, she will have a rare opportunity to meet and discuss with French lingerie brand ambassadors, be expertly fitted by professionals and discover the latest lingerie collections directly brought from France. She will also enjoy a great number of lifestyle and sports workshops "à la française" and live a really creative experience.
On your side, you will be able to admire her perfectly fitted and in an embellished look in French lingerie and then run to the closest lingerie shop to buy the set she would have fallen for while she will be dancing Zumba or practicing yoga in our loft.
That’s true, our Loft is a rather ladies experience, but some activities will be interesting also for the male public. For example, the Perfumes & Love Potions Masterclass by Sous le Manteau, French brand of unisex perfumes. You will have a possibility to make an olfactive test and discover "which lover are you — would you rather seduce, or be seduced?"
IH: What makes France's lingerie culture unique?
Sukach: French Lingerie is rooted in a unique and rich cultural heritage and, above all, superior trade expertise. Our designs from Aubade, Chantelle & Passionata, Empreinte, Maison Lejaby, Antigel, Antinéa, Eprise, Epure, Lise Charmel, Lou, Louisa Bracq, Simone Pérele and Implicite are all endowed with an exceptionally robust creative know-how. They must consistently surprise the consumer, awaken desire and spearhead trends, while simultaneously creating new, seductive and comfortable lines that proactively meet women’s needs. In this highly competitive world, all technical arenas must be perfectly mastered and fashion-forward. Research, innovation and foresight have always been — and will continue to be — the key to success in our lingerie sector.
The design workshops of French lingerie members are all based in France. In some cases, this goes back centuries: Aubade came into being through a company founded by Dr. Bernard in 1875. Chantelle saw the light a year later. The origins of Barbara date back to 1926. Empreinte was born in 1946, Rosy in 1947 and Simone Pérèle in 1948!
IH: What makes French lingerie unique?
Sukach: The French lingerie is unique by its enduring passion and, of course, a technical expertise that is unique to France. With its stable reputation as a fashion leader and purveyor of high quality, France rests on laurels that go all the way back to the first bra model, patented in 1889 by Herminie Cadolle. Very interesting fact about French lingerie is that in 1889 two big things took place: The Eiffel Tower was built and the first pattern for the French bra was granted. For centuries our breasts were supported below, thanks to corsets. The bra killed the corset by dividing it in two parts (and since the breasts were supported by shoulders). With the birth of the bra women were liberated to run, play sport and … breathe.
IH: How do I broach the subject? Should I surprise her or ask?
Sukach: My recommendation would be to subscribe her secretly to one of our workshops, for example, that one about “How to wear a lace lingerie.” After this experience your girlfriend will wear only lace bras every day. In fact, all benefits will be for you.
Photo courtesy of French Lingerie Loft