Archive | Brand Portraits RSS feed for this section

Sivutyöstä täyspäiväiseksi naisyrittäjäksi: Lumingerien 10 vuotta – From a Side Job to Full Time Female Entrepreneurship: 10 years at Lumingerie

11 Feb

Suomessa alusvaateala on aina ollut marginaalissa: jokaisella suurella kaupungilla ja joskus jopa pienemmälläkin pitäjällä on oma pieni putiikkinsa, jonka kapasiteetti usein riittää tarjoamaan kokoja n. G-kuppiin asti, ja vuokrien ollessa kalliit ja tilojen pienet kivijalkakauppiaana alalla on vaikea menestyä. Alusvaateverkkokaupat ovatkin olleet monen isorintaisen pelastus: kokoja löytyy huomattavasti enemmän ja merkkivalikoimasta löytyy paljon muutakin kuin perinteistä Primadonnaa.

Ensimmäinen suomalainen alusvaateverkkokauppa, johon itse blogiurani alussa (eli n. 5 vuotta sitten) tutustuin, oli omassa kaupungissani Oulussa varastoa pitävä Lumingerie. Lumingerien valikoimassa itselläni sykähdytti tutut nuorekkaat merkit kuten Curvy Kate, Freya ja Cleo by Panache, joita pääsinkin jossain vaiheessa blogiarvostelujen merkeissä testaamaan Lumingerielle. Yhteistyöstä kehittyi ystävyys, ja jossain vaiheessa myös työpaikka, jossa pääsen tänäkin päivänä toteuttamaan omaa intohimoani asiakaspalveluun ja alusvaatteisiin.

Lumingerie on monelle edelleen alusvaatejälleenmyyjänä uudempi nimi ja moni yllättyykin, kun kerromme asiakkaillemme, että yritys on ollut pystyssä jo aika lailla tasan kymmenen vuotta! Haastattelinkin Lumingerien perustajaa ja omistajaa Merviä yrityksen kymmenestä vuodesta ja siitä, minkälaista on ollut olla naisyrittäjä alusvaatealalla Suomessa.

English: The Finnish lingerie market is a tough one – many small boutiques don’t have the capacity to cater for bigger cup sizes than G as the rents are high and store spaces are small. 

I became familiar with a Finnish e-commerce shop Lumingerie in the beginning of my lingerie blogging career and instantly fell in love with their vast selection of young and fun D+ brands. Even better, the storage was located in my town, which meant after a couple of blog collaborations with the company I was invited for tea and to see what the whole thing was about. I was so excited! That very summer in 2014 I got my summer job at Lumingerie and since then, I continue my story with them today as a CS for the company.

Lumingerie was founded exactly 10 years ago, which is a great achievement for lingerie retailer in Finland! Today I have interviewed the founder and owner Mervi about her success as a female entrepreneur in the industry.

27999960_10156457774994415_559325629_o
Mervi Modan alusvaatemessuilla Birminghamin NEC-keskuksessa / Mervi at Moda lingerie exhibition in NEC-centre, Birmingham.

Mistä lähti ajatus verkkokaupan perustamiseen ja miten yrityksen perustamisprosessi eteni? / How did you start your business and what was the process like?

-Kirjoitin pro gradu -tutkielmaani vuoden 2007 lopussa ja lähdin samalla yrittäjyyskurssille kotikunnassani Lumijoella. Pääaineeni yliopistossa oli tietojenkäsittelytiede, mutta ideaa alusvaateverkkokaupasta pyöritellessäni päätin kokeilla verkkokaupan perustamista sillä idealla, että jospa tätä voisi tehdä sivutyönä opiskelujen ohessa. Tein Lumingerien yrityssuunnitelman yrityskurssin päättötyönä ja itse verkkokauppa aukesikin jo vuoden 2008 alussa. Tein tuolloin lähes kaiken itse, ja jopa verkkosivut väänsin omin pienin kätösin. Eiväthän ne hääppöiset olleet, mutta jostain piti aloittaa. Myöhemmin puolisoni Mikko onkin auttanut verkkokaupan kehittämisessä koodaustaidoillaan.

Odotuksena oli, että pari hassua tilausta kun viikkoon saisi, olisin tyytyväinen. Yllätyinkin kovasti kun ensimmäinen tilaus tuli todella pian verkkokaupan avautumisesta, ja tilauksia alkoikin tulla oikeastaan joka päivä. Jossain vaiheessa heräsikin ajatus, voisiko tästä lopulta ihan täyspäiväinen työ.

I was doing my university dissertation in 2007 and took an entrepreneurship course in my home town Lumijoki at the same time. In university I studied computer science, but wanted to try out my idea of a lingerie e-shop as a side job. I crafted my business plan at the entrepreneurship course as my final dissertation and soon in the beginning of 2008 I launched the e-commerce shop. I did almost everything by myself, even the layout of the website. It wasn’t the best layout ever, but I needed to start somewhere. Later on my husband Mikko has helped me a lot with the coding.

My expectations about the shop weren’t too high at first and I would have been happy with just a couple of orders a week. However, I was surprised to find out that the orders kept coming almost every day and it made me wonder whether this could be something I could do full-time.

Miten päädyit valitsemaan verkkokauppasi kohderyhmän ja millä perusteella valitsit ensimmäiset merkit kaupan valikoimaan? / How did you set your target market and choose the first brands to offer in your selection?

Olen itse isorintainen nainen (tällä hetkellä käytän UK-kokoja 70-75 J-K merkistä riippuen) ja koin, ettei kokoiselleni löytynyt Suomesta erityisemmin valikoimaa – erityisesti pienen ympäryksen ja ison kupin yhdistelmä on haastava! Päätinkin siis, että Lumingerie keskittyisi erityisesti D-kuppia isompiin kokoihin ja tällä hetkellä valikoimassa on kuppikokoja D:stä aina UK K-kuppiin asti. Muuten en ole lähtenyt kohderyhmäämme määritelemään, vaan asiakkaidemme yhdistävä tekijä on tarve D-kuppia isommalle liiville.

Ensimmäiset merkit, joita otimme kauppaamme, olivat Kris Line ja Adore Lingerie. Nämä merkit ovat sittemmin jääneet pois, mutta ne valikoituivat alunperin sillä periaatteella, että molemmilla oli hyvä kokovalikoima ja he olivat halukkaita tekemään yhteistyötä pienen verkkokaupan kanssa. Nykyään yritämme valikoida mukaan merkkejä, joilla on kohtuullinen valikoima kokoja ja hinta ei päätä huimaa. Suomalaisessa alusvaateverkkokaupassa luksusmarkkinat ovat vaikeat, joten otamme valikoimaan liivejä, joita on matala kynnys tilata kotiin kokeiltavaksi.

I am big busted lady myself (I wear a UK 32-34 J-K) and felt that there weren’t enough retailers catering for my size – especially the big cup, small band market was lacking. I decided that Lumingerie would focus on cup sizes above D-cup and now we cater up to a UK K-cup. There is really nothing else that defines our customers – just a need for a cup size bigger than D.

The first brands we took in were Kris Line and Adore Lingerie. These brands are not sold at Lumingerie anymore but they were selected in the first place for their wide size selection and willingness to do business with a small e-commerce shop.These days we try to select brands that have a decent size range and a price tag. The luxury market is very difficult for an online-only business, which is why it is something we haven’t really wanted to try.

Kertoisitko jotain Lumingerien kehityksestä yrityksenä näiden kymmenen vuoden aikana? / Please tell us something about the progress at Lumingerie over these 10 years!

-Lumingerie on kasvanut tasaisesti ja varmasti näiden kymmenen vuoden aikana. Jo perustusvuonna 2008 työ muuttui päätyöksi vuoden lopulla ja keskityin täysillä Lumingerien pyörittämiseen. Varasto oli aluksi suhteellisen pieni ja siksi pystyin pitämään sitä kotona Lumijoella vuoteen 2010-2011 asti. Muistaakseni vuoden 2010 lopulla kaverini Digitarvikkeelta vinkkasi varastotilan heidän varastonsa vierestä Oulun yrittäjäkylästä, ja päätin tarttua ehdotukseen. Ensin varastoja oli vain yksi, mutta nykyään tilamme ovat jo kolminkertaistuneet.

Vuonna 2014 otin yritykseen ensimmäisen kesätyöntekijän (toim. huom. eli minut!) ja vuonna 2015 muutimme toiminimen osakeyhtiöksi puolisoni kanssa. Tuolloin Mikko tuli myös töihin Lumingerielle ja hän toi yritykseen erityisesti teknistä tietämystä aiemman koulutuksena ja ammattinsa puolesta.  2015 ennakoimme muutenkin yrityksen kasvua ja palkkasimme vuoden aikana kaksi uutta työntekijää mm. markkinoinnin ja kirjanpidon tehtäviin.

Vuonna 2015 valikoimamme muuttui niin, että mukaan tuli myös miesten tuotteita. Miesten verkkokaupalla onkin ihan oma nimensä HerMan’s, joka tulee Mikon toisesta nimestä Hermanni. Ajatuksena miesten kaupan nimen takana oli myös se, että Lumingerien asiakkaat olisivat mahdollisesti voineet ostaa HerMan’silta alusvaatteita puolisoilleen – tämä ei kuitenkaan mennyt lainkaan niinkuin ajattelimme, vaan miehet ostavat alusvaatteensa oikein mielellään itse ja tilaajat ovatkin HerMan’silla lähes poikkeuksetta miehiä. Hyvä näinkin! HerMan’s onkin enemmän Mikon vastuulla, jolloin molemmilla meillä omistajista on myös omat kiinnostuksen kohteensa mukana työssä.

Lumingerie has grown surely and steadily over these 10 past years. In the end of 2008 my job at Lumingerie turned full-time and I decided to give my all to it. The storage was quite small at first so I could have all my stock at home in Luminjoki until 2010. If I remember correctly, it was in the end of 2010 when my friend at Digitarvike suggested I rent a storage right next to them at business village in Oulu. I grabbed the offer and first rented one storage unit, and now Lumingerie takes up three whole units!

In year 2014 I took in my first summer assistant (editor’s notes: that was me!) and 2015 we founded the Ltd with my husband Mikko. Mikko came in to work with me and brought some valuable technical know-how into the company. We also wanted to predict the company’s growth and thus hired two new employees to take care of marketing and book-keeping.

In 2015 we also took in some men’s products and named the men’s store site HerMan’s according to Mikko’s middle name Hermanni. We also imagined that HerMan’s could be a place for women to buy underwear for their partners – little did we know that HerMan’s whole customer base would basically be all men! This suits us perfectly fine though. HerMan’s is more Mikko’s responsibility and this way we both have a focus in our work and something interesting to work on.

Mitkä koet suurimmiksi saavutuksiksesi yrittäjänä ja mitä haluaisit vielä saavuttaa? / What are your biggest successes as an entrepreneur and what would you like to achieve in the future?

Ylipäänsä se, että tästä oli mahdollista tehdä kokopäivätyö itselle on iso saavutus. Pidän myös itse siitä, että Lumingerie on perheyritys. Varmaan kuitenkin isoin saavutukseni yrittäjänä on mahdollisuus tarjota useammalle ihmiselle työpaikka yrityksessäni. Tänä päivänä Lumingerie on myös kansainvälinen yritys – lähetämme tuotteitamme Eurooppaan ja myös rapakon taakse viikottain.

Tulevaisuuden suunnitelmia ja haaveita on paljon, enkä ihan vielä aio niitä paljastaa 😉 Yhtenä esimerkkinä voisin kuitenkin sanoa omien liivimallien suunnittelemisen juuri meidän kaupallemme – haluaisin tarjota jotain uniikkia asiakkaillemme! Pyörät tässä asiassa ovat kuin ovatkin jo lähteneet liikkeelle ja Lumingerien 10-vuotis juhlamallin Lilahin olemme suunnitelleet yhteistyössä alusvaatemerkki Gorsenian kanssa. Malli tuli myyntiin tällä viikolla ja se on suunniteltu Lumingerien väreissä koko työtiimin mielipiteet huomioon ottaen.

It is amazing that I could make this my full-time job so that is an achievement in itself. I am also happy to say that Lumingerie is now a family business. My biggest achievement though would be being able to offer jobs to other people as well. These days Lumigerie is an international company as well, as we ship to European countries and also beyond the pond weekly.

I have a lot of plans and dreams regarding Lumingerie but I am not sure whether I want to reveal them just yet! Something I could tell you is that I would like to create more in-house designed styles just for Lumingerie and this way offer something unique to our customers. We started this journey already and are now offering a 10-year anniversary style Lilah in our e-commerce shop. This style has been designed with our whole Lumingerie team in collaboration with a Polish lingerie brand Gorsenia. 

Kiitos Merville haastattelusta! Jos haluat lukea arvostelun Lilah-setistä, pysyhän kuulolla huomiseen asti 😉 / Huge thanks to Mervi for the interview! If you would like to see Lilah reviewed here on the blog, please stay tuned until tomorrow 😉

Designer Interview: Meet Rochella Lingerie!

4 May

I recently heard about a new D+ lingerie brand when I visited Paris a few months back. I was staying over at Astrid from Les Gros Bonnets and she told me there was a new British brand exhibiting at Salon de la Lingerie – of course, she had left the stand right before I found it on Monday and sadly, we were unable to chat about the collection. Luckily, I got a hold of Karen, the founder of Rochella Lingerie, via email and we started talking about setting up an interview for my readers. Today, I am presenting you this new middle-market full-bust brand which also supports a good cause by donating a percentage of their profits to gynaecology cancer charities.

6R3B04636R3B03816R3B0296 test std
Some pieces from Rochella SS16 collection

2COP: This is your first collection with Rochella. How did you become a lingerie designer and decided to take the plunge to start your own brand?

K: I originally did a fashion and textile course as my passion was always to be a designer and I loved the way that textures completely changed things. I literally ‘fell’ into lingerie as my friend who cut the head of designs hair at a global company, slipped and almost fell into the road whilst we were out on a weekend. She was telling the story, to the Head of Design at the next haircut, and the designer asked me to come along for an interview. I was taken on as junior lingerie designer, designing ranges for Marks and Spencers. This is where I really learned everything the about the product.

Over the years I moved jobs and climbed the ladder from junior designer into Head of Design and technical for global brands.

I had huge success with an online retailer creating all their own brand D+ lingerie,  and that success sparked off the idea for me to do my own. Im no skinny minx these days. Im a plus size with a large bust. I just wanted to create something supportive and pretty, without thinking my underwear looks really ugly .. so Rochella began.

 2COP: Where do you draw inspiration for your designs and who do you design for? What is the Rochella woman like?

K: I draw inspiration form many places, a lot is flora, I just adore roses and vintage florals, Im also a bit obsessed with animalesque prints. They have just become a staple basic now.  I love colour too, I just think it brings joy into your life and makes you feel good on the inside , even on the dull rainy days.

The Rochella woman is fun, a little quirky, bohemian almost , with a love for beautiful cloths and trims. She enjoys quality. Shes a magpie drawn to sparkle and shine. She can be anyone from 20 – 90 , there is no age anymore in society we are all living longer and just because we are getting older doesn’t mean  to say that all of a sudden lingerie should be restricted to Bridget Jones beige big pants!  

6R3B0343 std6R3B06096R3B0814
Rochella AW16

2COP: Your designs seem to be sporting a more luxurious feel to them. What does luxury mean to you when it comes to lingerie?

K: My brand is premium, Its not that costly so its only available for the top 10%, but its above high street pricing. I look at many brands and they all sell for similar price points, all in similar fabrics.. To me its all just cloned! Almost robotic. I wanted to give the most beautiful fabrics and embroideries, to give the ooh aah factor, to make you feel good. The silky satin I use is just like liquid chocolate, soft sensual to touch and the trims are all gold plated. I think we deserve something special as we all work very hard. Luxury is a feeling, its not about money.

2COP: How did you decide on the size range for Rochella? Was it obvious to go for the full bust market? Also, do you have any plans or dreams to expand the size range, e.g. into smaller band sizes? (For readers, Rochella now makes sizes 32-42 D-J)

K: Globally we are all getting bigger and our frame has totally changed over the years, we are more rounded. I’ve been a designer for 30 years and I also design for new start ups. I get asked all the time to design for this area as there is little on the market. I  consciously looked at clothing sizes and based my size range on this , but I will be bringing in 30 back sizes for AW16.

2COP: You donate a percentage of your sales to gynaecology cancer organizations and are a survivor yourself. How did your experience with cancer affect you as a designer? Did it eg affect your material choices or your decision to start your own brand in the first place?

K: Cancer to everyone is  a huge shock and life changer. I had a very bad experience  with my treatment. I had vulval cancer. Thankfully things have improved and treatment is better, but no one knows these cancers exist, they get no press , yet they are nearly as rife as breast cancer. I didn’t start my own brand because of it, but I line my garments in a lavender colour, so that whoever buys them knows that even when they are putting on the bra that a percentage of profits is going to a good cause.

2COP: What is the best part of desining lingerie? What about the worst?

I’m currently just getting my thoughts together for SS17 and I love getting all the embroideries and prints created. Of course this is always the best thing for a creative person.  The worst thing.. there isn’t one, I sleep and breathe it!

GX4G6945Pink October cancer bra
Rochella AW16

2COP: How do you feel your brand differs from other British full-bust brands?

K: Britain is stuck in a price battle war of all brands on fuller bust. I could have designed something similar, but whats the point,  I’d just be competing with everyone else. Retailers don’t buy after certain price points. There is nothing on the market like mine currently. At the moment it goes from brand to luxury with very little in-between. I’m having a lot more success outside of the UK in sales.

The UK has become a bit of a throw away society, we wear things a few times and then bin it. This is not good for the environment. We need to produce items that people care about. If you look after a bra well, it becomes a favourite.

2COP: What is in store for Rochella in the future? Have you got any specific dreams regarding your brand?

K: My dream of course is to become a global brand and I would then support cancer charities all over the world. Having had cancer myself, you have to pay the ferryman. Im lucky to be here enjoying life. Many have only a few hours left. If I can change this by just making a few bras , then I have succeeded in my mission.

Thank you Karen for introducing your brand to me and my readers! If you are interested to see how Rochella bras fit, I have a review coming up soon so stay tuned for that 😉

Moda Lingerie & Swimwear Show: Introducing Moontide & Piha Swimwear

31 Mar

When it comes to swimwear, I tend to be extremely picky – I hate triangle bikinis, can’t stand tacky 90’s patterns and a tankini is a definite no-no. I like my swimwear cute, comfy and retro-inspired which makes my hunt for the perfect swimwear a bit tricky. Not to mention my size – someone in the 30-32 G-H range ought not be too fussy, but what can you do! However, now and then I come across brands with exactly my kind of aesthetics and one of those brands were Moontide and their sub-label Piha at the Moda tradeshow. One thing that made the brand instantly more appealing to me was that the Moontide range actually goes up to G-cup with some styles. Let’s dive into this swimwear giant a bit more…

DSC_0912 DSC_0913 DSC_0914
Tulip, Poppy & Bauhinia in their fantastic tropical floral prints (all from their SS14/15 collection)

Moontide was founded 35 years ago in Auckland, New Zealand and is now one of the leading fashion-forward swimwear-only brands in the world. When going through the Moontide website, it’s easy to see that in addition to fabulous fashion styles the brand is extremely confident about their fit. The passion towards well-fitting swim pieces is pretty obvious which makes me a new fan of the brand. The fuller-busted customers have been thought of too; there is a separate logo for the so called “cup fitting” pieces, which simply states “CF”. These pieces are either sized in bra sizes (with some styles going to up F/G) or offer a separate full-bust fit (this feature is mainly used with the one-piece swimsuits). Even though this kind of sizing cannot cover each and every bust size, it’s a good way to acknowledge that there is indeed a demand for more boob room among us gals with fuller busts. To be honest, I would be quite intrigued to see how well the full-bust version of the swimsuit would hold up my ~GG boobies!

DSC_0907 DSC_0909 DSC_0910
When it comes to styling, I find the Moontide to be an instant winner – I mean, who can resist a good floral or juicy summer brights? Well I certainly can’t. My favourite of the new collection pieces (pictured above) would definitely be the yellow one with the black and white rose print as it’s such a lovely vintage-inspired style. These pics are however only my favourites, so if floral and super bright colours are not your thing there is also lots of black and white monochrome, stripes and abstract prints on offer. I have previously worked as a gardener and a florist which should explain my love for all sorts of floral prints 😉

Even though I have pictured above only Moontide swimsuits, they do offer also a wide array of other cuts to choose from. To be honest, I have never seen such a variety of different styles when it comes to a single design of swimwear! Most Moontide swim pieces come in an array of tops, bottoms and even a couple of different onepiece styles so everyone can make their pick and be happy with it. As a lover of onepieces I would love to try their “Twist”-style swimsuits with the fuller bust fit as the whole design seems very flattering allover.

DSC_0915 DSC_0918 DSC_0919
Piha (which, funny enough, means ‘yard’ in Finnish) is a sub-label of the more mature Moontide brand. Even though Moontide’s designs could probably appeal to any age group depending on one’s personal style, Piha is clearly directed to a younger audience with a love for clashing colours and pop-art kind-of prints. The size range of Piha is much smaller, only accommodating up to D, but I am really hoping and wishing for a bigger size range in the future – these pieces would definitely rival the likes of Cleo and Freya in the full-bust swimwear market! However, I do understand the limits of making cup sized swimwear/lingerie as you do always need to make a profit. Just hoping Piha could someday make a profit of us bigger-busted gals as well 😉

If you are interested in the brands more, I suggest you visit their websites for more info. Also, the brands are sold world-wide so if you are still in a need of proper swimsuit for the upcoming summer, do check out the likes of Asos, House of Fraser and Simply Beach to find your favourite style. The Moontide and Piha websites have both a very impressive list of stockists and online retailers stocking their designs so you can pick one according to your own location!

How do you like the Moontide and Piha designs? Do you think Piha should extend their size range eg. up to G as well? Let me know in the comments!

Introducing Samanta Lingerie

26 Jan

As many of you know the year 2014 was a year of Polish lingerie for me. When I first started the year and promised myself I would look more into our Slavic neighbour in East, I was prepared for a secretive world of lingerie elite brands but as I discovered later, the research was way worth it. I was not sure if the Polish brands could top up the likes of Panache and Curvy Kate I had adored for a while but was so happy to find a whole different world of lingerie aesthetics and fit solutions. The British and the Polish brands are so different, I can’t really compare the two to each other but I was happy to have the option of narrower wires and deeper cups with lovely European detailing. Today I am bringing you the one Polish brand I have been talking to for so many months now and we have finally put together a decent info post for you, topped up with a review that will be published tomorrow.

When I first contacted Samanta on Facebook I was instantly greeted warmly by the lovely Natalia, the lingerie stylist of the brand. We talked through the different cuts and the aesthetics of Samanta and also what I liked as a customer. I really felt like she knew what she was talking about and that there was a huge amount of passion behind this brand. Fast forward to today and I have finally my first Samanta set with me and I can see the fruit of passion in flesh.

10428503_10153548078699196_2104996951196828535_n
Boshenit, Aurora & Earth from the SS15 collection inspired by stones

Samanta is a family business and Natalia’s sister designs the bras to the very last perfect detail. To me, Samanta is one of the most detailed extravagant brands that cater to women who seek that special look and pure beauty when it comes to their undergarments. The sets are named after a certain theme, this SS15 it’s stones, last season they draw inspiration of the galaxy of stars. This is what Natalia has to say about the materials and quality of their lingerie:

“Our products are made from the highest quality materials from the best producers in Europe: France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany, Spain, which have an Oeke-tex certificate, which means that they are pleasant for the skin. This ensures standard quality products which aren’t harmful for us.”

10897916_10153449979764196_2582210823329712740_n1468501_10153094399644196_2571676022184190668_n

All of the products, both the bras and bottoms, are made in different cuts to ensure a perfect fit. The cuts are named by a letter and a number which forms an array of cup depths, constructions and bra shapes from which the customer can opt the ones best for her.

MODEL
A111 This bra design is dedicated to women with larger breasts. Optically reduces the bust, exposes it and slightly raises it up. It maintains and naturally rounds the bust. Deep cups cover 80% of the bust, ensuring maximum subtlety and comfort.
A122 This bra is designed for women with larger breasts. It collects the bust to the cleavage. Lifts it giving it strong support and comfort. Hidden supports inside the bra offer additional support.The cups cover 80% of the bust.
A222 The bra is designed for women with larger breasts. It doesn’t enlarge the bust, but lifts and gathers it, providing it with strong support. The cups cover 80% of the bust. The bra is made of lace or embroidery, lined on the inside by an extra net which has the same values for usability as in the A122 model.
A142 The design of this “balconette” type bra with a shallow cup is meant for women with firm breasts. Lifts and raises the bust to gently promote cleavage while giving it stable support. Hidden supports inside the bra offer additional support. It sensually exposes the bust.
A211 This bra design is dedicated to women with larger and/or less firm breasts. It lifts and naturally rounds the bust, without making it appear larger. Deep cups cover 80% of the bust ensuring maximum subtlety and comfort.
A225 The design of the “semi-soft” type bra (bottom of the cup stiffened, reinforced by foam with cotton from the side of the body), is dedicated to women with less firm breasts. Rounds and supports large breasts very well, collects and naturally lifts the bust up, while providing maximum comfort.
A242 This “balconette” type bra is additionally reinforced with a net layer on the inside cups. It is dedicated for women with firm breasts. It raises and collects the bust to gently promote cleavage, giving it stable support at the same time. It sensuallyexposes the bust.
A330 The design of the push – up type bra is dedicated to women with smaller and less firm breasts. Lifts and collects breasts to promote cleavage while it enlarges and rounds the bust. Provides impressive level of comfort while wearing.
A331 The design of the stiffened push – up type bra is for women with smaller and less firm breasts. Displays and enlarges the bust. Also has the asset of extreme comfort when wearing.
A333 The design of the stiffened push – up type bra is directed to women with larger breasts. Raises, rounds and collects the bust promoting cleavage and providing strong support. Cups cover 80 % of the breasts. The cups are mounted on a 3/4 high gore, which encourages the display of cleavage. Ensuring maximum comfort while wearing. This model is especially designed for women with softer, less firm breast. It’s perfect women who have just completed breastfeeding.
A335 Push-up bra design. This design is meant for women with smaller as well as widely spaced breasts. Lifts and collects the bust to promote cleavage, creating a “round apple” effect. A shallow cup promotes appropriate exposure of the bust making it ideal for very deep cleavage.
A341 Balconette type push-up bra design. Designed for women with smaller and medium-sized breasts, which are widely spaced and less firm. Lifts the bust and helps to expose it sensually and supportively.
A345 This bra design is stiff with a deeper cup, designed for women with a larger and/or less firm breasts. Gently enlarges, lifts and rounds the bust, while strongly supporting it. Collects bust to gently promote cleavage.
A351 Contour type bra design. The sides of this bra are finished off with silicone. It greatly lifts and exposes the bust. Ideal for dresses with bare shoulders and back.Detachable shoulder straps .
A470 Contour bra construction without push-up padding, designed for women with fuller breasts. The bra gathers, fills out, and naturally enhances the bust. The cup is smooth, seamless and stiff, placed high on the gore. The sides smoothly adjoin to the body. Detachable shoulder straps, where the width depends on the cup size. Designed for fitted outfit, thanks to the smooth finishing it stays hidden beneath clothes.
A472 Contour, push-up, décolleté bra construction. It lifts, strongly enhances and enlarges the bust. Smooth and stiff cups are placed high on the gore. The sides of the bra are seamless, finished with silicone. Ideal for dresses with exposed shoulders and back. Detachable shoulder straps. Designed for fitted outfit, thanks to the smooth finishing it stays hidden beneath clothes.
A475 Contour type push-up bra design. Lifts, enlarges and naturally exposes the breasts. The cup is smooth and rigid, mounted on the gore. The sides of the cup cling smoothly to the body. Detachable straps and their width is adjusted to the size of the cup. The bra is ideal for women with widely spaced breasts. Designed for close-fitting outfits, thanks to a seamless finish that does not stand out under clothing.
A476 Design of the multi-functional, front-fastened contour type bra. Allows for a variety of strap pin-ups and the back can be change to a silicone one. 6 combinations depending on your needs. Naturally enlarges and rounds the bust. Ideal for deep cleavage and an exposed back.
A479 Contour type, mega push-up bra design. Ideal for women with a smaller bust.Greatly enlarges and rounds the breasts, sensually exposing them.
A922 Thise bra design has additional strength. Designed for women with larger and/or less firm breasts. Patented straps add to increased comfort and stability. Deep cups cover 90% of the bust and the additional strength of the cup ensures stable support.  This bra gathers and rounds the bust, naturally exposing it.
A925 This bra design is for women with larger and/or less firm breasts. Patented straps guarantee comfort and stability. Deep cups cover 90% of the bust and foam in the lower part of the cup provides additional strengh and ensures stable support. This bra gathers and rounds the bust, naturally exposing it.
B0309 Classic briefs. Height below the navel. Discreetly covers hips and buttocks. Gives a beautiful shape. Perfect for women who appreciate a classic style and comfort.
B0501 Maxi briefs – very high up to the navel. Fully covers hips and buttocks. The sides and a wider crotch provide more privacy. Ideal for women who want to discreetly model their figure.
B300 Classic briefs. Height below the navel. Discreetly hides the sides and buttocks. Give a beautiful shape. Perfect for women who appreciate a classic style and comfort.
B400 Midi briefs – high below the navel. Cover the sides and buttocks almost completely. Perfect for women who appreciate comfort and a classic style.
B500 Maxi briefs – very high up to the navel. Fully cover the sides and buttocks. The sides and a wider crotch provide more privacy. Ideal for women who want to discreetly model their figure.
B700 Control briefs – high waist reaching above the navel. Fully covering the sides and bottocks. The sides and a wider crotch provide greater comfort. Front reinforced, for a slimming effect. Ideal for women who want to discreetly model their figure.
C100 Mini thongs – very low on the abdomen line. Fully expose the sides and buttocks.
C200 Hip hugging thongs- low on the hips. Discreetly obscure sides and fully expose the buttocks. Perfect for women wearing low-waist pants.
C300 Classic thongs below the navel. Discreet and fully expose the buttocks. Perfect for women who appreciate a classic style and comfort.
D100 Boy shorts on the abdomen line. Cover sides and discreetly exhibit the lower part of the buttocks. Perfect for women wearing low-waist pants.
D200 Hip boyshorts, covers sides and discreetly exhibits the lower part of the buttocks.Perfect for women wearing low-waist pants.
D300 Classic boyshorts, below the navel. Covers and discreetly exposes the lower part of the buttocks. Ideal for women who appreciate a classic style.
F60 Garter belt, reaching from the hips to the waist. Back fastened with hook and eye clasps. Front and sides high, reinforced with a net to perfectly model the figure.
G251 Linen corset with a balconette type cup. Back fastened with hook and eye clasps, bottom garter clasps. Corset greatly lifts and exposes the bust. Ideal for wedding dresses, emphasizes the shape of the body. It has detachable shoulder straps .
M200 Thong, often called “Brazilian”, held on the hips.Covers about half of the buttocks and expose feminine shape. Ideal for low waist pants and clothing that clings firmly to the body.
M300 Thong, often called “Brazilian,” of a classic height below the navel. Hides and exposes half of a woman’s buttocks. Ideal for clothing that clings firmly to the body.

This table was sent to me by Natalia which shows the differences between the cuts. I have not edited it so this is the brand’s view on their styles. I myself have tried their A925 which is an almost full-coverage balconette bra for large breasts. The style is specifically designed for less firm breasts but I can assure you that it will work for various breast types. These descriptions above are merely guidelines to find the perfect fit but many of the styles work for multiple breast shapes despite of being designed for something particular.

10424245_10153089127149196_2429802826901599229_n10552644_10152999322444196_8803291702346817619_n

The different models can be confusing so if you want to see them in action, I would suggest you take a look at Miss Underpinnings’ guide to all the different cuts. However, if you set your eyes on something the list above is also very useful to determine whether a certain style would be a good choice for you. Also, all the styles come in different size ranges which will limit the option you have in the first place. The whole size range of the brand goes from 60-95 (UK 28-42) A-M (UK A-J) which is amazing for a family business! The sizing is pretty regular EU sizing so my 30H translates straight to 65K.

If you want to know more about the sizing and fit, I will share my first Samanta review tomorrow so stay tuned for that! Samanta ships to everywhere in EU but if you are based eg. in the USA, I would suggest you try to contact them directly for more details. For promotions and new collections, do check out their Facebook page too!

How do you like Samanta? Have you ever ordered from them and how do you feel about their products? Let me know in the comments!

Kris Line – Brand Introduction & Bra Review

17 Sep

During my visit to Moda last month I encountered a brand I had heard of a long time ago – Kris Line. I had never tried their lingerie before so I was eager to see what they had to offer to the full bust industry. As I have been looking into Polish lingerie more recently I was indeed interested to see how they fit but was unsure about the sizing as it can be a bit baffling to someone with no knowledge of the brand in question.

Anna and I talked to the brand representatives and also met their lovely new head of marketing, Patryk. The whole crew was so kind to introduce us to their new SS15 collection but also to tell us a few things that were on Kris Line’s radar in the near future – including a nightwear line especially designed for the most full-busted. After the show Patryk came to talk to us and seemed to be sincerely interested in the industry and also what their customer really need and like. Later on, I got an email from Patryk and we decided to introduce Kris Line properly on Two Cakes On a Plate. This is what they have to say about the brand…

“Kris Line is one of the leading manufacturers of large cup lingerie in Central and Eastern Europe.Kris Line company was founded in 1992. With 20 years of experience in lingerie design and manufacturing we offer premium quality lingerie on over 30 international markets. We produce only in Poland using exclusively top European materials, laces and embroidery.

We are very proud of our modern management methods and high tech technology in production processes. Despite of having 100% EU production we manage to offer our products at prices very competitive to brands who produce in far east.

Our philosophy of looking for high productivity  leads not only to well priced premium quality products. We support European Common market by defending over 1000 workplaces in our company and at our suppliers’ sites.  Our philosophy also reflects in corporate social responsibility, we actively support local healthcare and sport initiatives.  All this allows us to successfully introduce our products to demanding Western European markets. Now we would like to bring our products to the UK.

Each 6 months our designers work on new designs, forms and construction types. Wide range of our products is divided into following collections: basic, fashion, nightwear, nursing and swimwear. Basic collection consists of two models Fortuna and Brilliant. They are available whole year around. Fashion, nightwear and swimwear is designed twice a year for spring/summer and fall/winter seasons.

We realize that high quality and well fitted bra is a guarantee of beautiful and healthy breasts. This is why bra-fitting is Kris Line’s top priority and trade mark for now and many years to come.”

As their bras are not widely sold online nor offline in Europe, UK and US, Kris Line is currently looking for retailers in these areas to widen their market and influence. So if you are a lingerie retailer and feel like Kris Line would be a suitable brand for your business, don’t hesitate to get in contact with them! Also, if you are an individual customer, you always have a chance to ask your local retailer for new brands. If Kris Line seems like a good choice for you, just let people know and you might just get what you want. The size range is enormous, including sizes up to O-cup with the smallest band sizes and 115 bands up to H cup depending on the style.

As the fit of different brands usually differ a lot, Kris Line was so kind to send me a set to review. Here’s how I liked their lingerie…

DSC_0070DSC_0037
The Design: As my first Kris Line set, I picked the gorgeous Marilou Deco in 70H and Small. This style is from Kris Line’s SS14 collection so it is possible that you’ll be able to snatch it up online somewhere either now or later. Older Kris Line styles show up on Zulily and Brastop now and then, so be sure to check them both out to see if you’re in luck.

I chose the Marilou Deco as it was such a lovely unusual colour combination and one can never own too many light-coloured t-shirt bras. The style features almost seamless moulded cups (with one nearly-invisible seam going across the outer part of the cups) and a plunging shape to go well with lower-cut necklines. The shade is a bright lemony yellow with some beautiful grey and yellow embroidery adorning the band and the straps. This style is great under light-coloured shirts and dresses and it is my go-to bra with my ivory Collectif “Phyllis” dress. The colour and the shape allow a lot of outfit options so I would say the Marilou Deco is a great bra for both day- and nighttime. The bra gave me a lovely rounded shape and one of the best cleavages I have ever had in a well-fitting bra and that is always something I appreciate.

DSC_0033 DSC_0055
The Fit: Kris Line bras fit a bit differently than you might imagine when you compare to British or even other Polish brands. They do include the double letters, just like Ewa Michalak (who btw used to work for Kris Line!) and all the British brands, but they also include the letter “I” in their size chart. This means figuring your bra size with KL can be a tricky task to do. I was provided with the size chart for their brand and finally opted for the same size as with Ewa Michalak padded bras – 70H (32H).

unnamed
My usual size with British brands is now between 30GG and 30H and sometimes I also go for the bigger band size of 32 (eg. with Lepel and Gossard). On the base of this, I would say that Kris Line tends to run smaller in the cups (partially due to the “I” letter being included) so going up a couple of cup sizes is something I would definitely recommend. I also opted to go up a band size as I usually do with Polish brands. I felt like I might be between 65 and 70 with Kris Line but so far the 70 has worked for me fine. However, if I would happen to lose even a little weight I would probably need to go for a size 65HH.

The cups feel great though I do feel my other boob is very near escaping the cup a bit but that’s what happens when you have a-symmetry. However, there’s no spillage, just a feeling of little restriction with the other boob which is very familiar to me with padded moulded cup bras. The cups push my breasts up and bring them in front of me to create a phenomenal cleavage. The wiring feels great – it’s very similar to other Polish brands but perhaps not as narrow as with EM. This is good news to me as I sometimes feel the EM wires are a tad too narrow for me, especially the unpadded styles. The cups seem medium-to-deep, just the way I like them.

DSC_0039 DSC_0056 DSC_0091
Comfort: Marilou Deco is made of the most soft micro fibre and carefully placed lace to keep you comfortable during the day. As the wires and straps seems to be perfectly placed for me, I have no complaints about the comfort aspect of this set. The bottoms run quite small and seem tiny at a first look but they are made of extremely stretchy materials to accommodate a range of sizes. I opted for my regular size Small and even thought the panties looked Barbie-sized they fitted my butt and hips quite well. If you are between sizes, I would advice to for the bigger size for comfort reasons.

All in all, the Marilou Deco feels like a great option for something pretty and practical for everyday wear. The Deco shape can be found in many Kris Line styles so even though you couldn’t get your hands on Marilou, there are plenty of similar styles you can have access online.

What do you think of Kris Line and Marilou? Have you tried their lingerie previously? I would love to hear about your experiences, both about buying them online and the sizing, as it seems to be a mystery to so many women interested in them! Drop me a comment if you have any useful tips xx

Mette Sofia - Makeup & Hair artistry

- for the beauty, the drag and the art ever-fab

CurvyGirlThin

a curvy girl's exploits in the wardrobe

Lucy's Corsetry

A Comprehensive Source for all things Corsets, Waist Training and Tightlacing

comicsgirlsneedbras.wordpress.com/

For the perfect fit and beyond...

The Lingerie Addict - Expert Lingerie Advice, News, Trends & Reviews

The world's leading website dedicated to intimate apparel. Discover the lingerie of your dreams - no matter your size, shape, age, or budget.

Sweet Nothings

Everyone deserves a little sweetness.

Big Cup Little Cup

UK Lingerie Blog

the musings of Renzilla

My thoughts one blog post at a time

The Petite Collegiate

A fit focused love affair with lingerie

Miss Victory Violet

Vintage Fashion, Hair & Beauty and everything in between!

Junebugs and Georgia Peaches: The Adventures of Modern June Cleaver + Amelia Jetson

A blog about lingerie, bra fit and all things D+. A love letter to lace, dresses and pinup lifestyle.

Bras and Body Image

One girl's perspective on boobs, bodies, self-image and society

Kupista asiaa

A blog about lingerie, bra fit and all things D+. A love letter to lace, dresses and pinup lifestyle.

Fuller Figure Fuller Bust

A UK plus size fashion and lingerie blog with a little extra padding.