(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Every time a female celebrity steps on to the red carpet wearing a dress that reveals almost too much, there is one woman who celebrates, no matter what the event or who designed the garment. That woman is Ann Deal, the owner of Fashion Forms.
Whether it is Kate Hudson or Charlize Theron, who both wore dresses with deeply plunging necklines to attend this year’s Oscars. Or Rihanna, in a black dress with a dramatically open neckline at the Grammy Awards. Or model Candice Swanepoel, in a short white dress that displayed much of her torso, at a party following last year’s Victoria’s Secret fashion show, Ann Deal is happy. If it is backless, strapless, plunges down to there or is nearly transparent, the Fashion Forms proprietor knows that one or more of her lingerie solutions products would be the ideal solution to provide strategic coverage or hold such garments in place.
And whatever the celebrity ceremony, Deal is often watching. And if revealing dresses predominate, “I know we are going to have a good year,” she told BODY.
2014 has been one of those years.
In her career, Ann Deal has been a seller of other people’s lingerie as well as a store buyer, and has been making her own lingerie products since the late 1980’s. But Fashion Forms itself was founded in 1993, and, in one story the first products were, at least partially, inspired by what Deal saw as necessary accessories to what she was seeing on the red carpet.
Since its launch, the company has accumulated 14 patents and 18 trademarks for a wide variety of solutions products including the Original Water Push Up Bra, Body Sculpting Backless, Strapless Bra and Adhesive Bra. The company says its products are now sold in more than 9,000 stores worldwide.
Solutions products are, for the most part, meant not to be seen. And, although necessary, nipple covers, breast padding, tape to hold a dress in place, adhesive bras and the like were long considered items just too embarrassing to be discussed in public. But Fashion Form has been, especially recent years, aggressively pushing back against this stigma. For one, the company has been running full page, and sometimes two page spread ads, for its products in such consumer publications as OK!, InStyle, Star. (And it is no coincidence that those magazines happen to fill their editorial pages with celebrities wearing challenging apparel).
Fashion Forms’ advertising images have become increasingly glamorous. In recent years the firm has used striking blond models in both its advertising and its point of purchase displays. And the latest series of images almost look as if they were taken back stage at one of those celebrity awards events that Deal favors so much.
The connection with the red carpet does not stop there. The Fashion Forms founder told BODY that her company participates in various awards events by placing samples of its products in celebrity gift bags and by providing products to the fashion stylists who help put together the fashion looks. In addition, on more than one occasion, Deal told BODY, the new challenges of a particular celebrity outfit has inspired the creation of yet another, new Fashion Forms solution product.
During one interview with Deal at a trade show, another connection to the celebrity events revealed itself. A retailer, who had been listening, volunteered that she had created a display in her own store which featured magazine photos of celebrities at events in which each photo was matched with one or more of the Fashion Forms products designed to hold together that particular kind of garment.
The retailer explained that having Fashion Forms products in her dress store, and having a pictorial display of how various product could be used, greatly helped in selling her evening clothes.
Deal told us that many other retailers use this technique, and noted that this idea is behind many of the photos used in her advertising campaigns and the point of purchase displays that Fashion Forms itself designs. A similar example can be found in one of the tag lines often used in her recent ads: “Every Wonder What’s Under?” it asks.
Sales in 2014 at the company have been “amazing” according to Deal, and she has a similar forecast for 2015. She attributes this, in part, to the convergence between revealing fashion styles and the solutions provided by her products. And she gives a large measure of credit to the large amount of advertising she has done to promote the connection.
“We are telling the story of what the products do,” Deal explained, noting that the better customers understand how her products can help, the more she sells. “And we are trying to be glamorous because that is our customer.”
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