In 1991, co-owners and sisters, Becky and Diana Simon opened the first Bra Smyth specialty store, in New York's Greenwich Village. Sixteen years later, the pair has expanded their presence-with the opening of two additional stores-and established Bra Smyth as a premier location for intimate apparel and great personal service.
Becky and Diana were bitten by the entrepreneurial bug at an early age. Their mother, who had taken over the family department store, Frishman's, in the Bronx, instructed the pair on the ways of the intimate apparel business.
"We all got hooked on the bra business at an early age...and it's been supporting three generations of women," said Becky.
Three years after Bra Smyth's initial opening, the store moved to 905 Madison Avenue, into what is now the store's flagship location. In May 2006, the Simon sisters began their retail expansion with the addition of a store in Short Hills Mall in Northern New Jersey, followed by a third store in New York's Upper West Side at 77th and Broadway.
According to the Bra Smyth, the shops, which range in area from 1000 to 1500 square feet, are made to have "the look and feel" of a boutique in a comfortable yet modern setting. Their goal is to bring Bra Smyth luxury and sophistication to America's most exclusive shopping venus.
Inside the Bra Smyth shops, customers will find a wide collection of bras, ranging from AA to J cups. "Our clients come to us for bra wardrobes, and we have a selection that addresses their lifestyle needs," said Becky and Diana. "They know they'll find an excellent assortment of bra styles and brands, from molded cup T-shirt bras, to underwire everyday bras, or beautiful lace cups and demi bras."
The store's design features the famous "bra wall" where bras are merchandised by size instead of brand. It is designed to give shoppers a full view of the products in their size, as opposed to having shoppers shift through piles of product.
Bras are not the only products to adorn space in the stores according to the company. Bra Smyth offers panties in all styles from thongs to briefs, along with shapewear, sleepwear, swimwear, slippers and select apparel and fitness garments. Bra Smyth carries many popular intimate brands such as Chantelle, La Perla, Simone Perele, Anita, Wacoal and more.
According to the company, a typical Bra Smyth shopper is in the 35 years and up age range, is smart, savvy, fashionable, and most importantly, takes herself seriously, explains the duo. Yet, the pair has noticed a different-but welcome-clientele shopping their collections of distinctive lingerie.
"We have found that in our store locations we are reaching a younger audience, and in fact, many mother and daughter combinations are shopping us together," they explain.
A client, according to Becky and Diane, will spend anywhere from $65 to $80 on an "everyday" bra, but does not mind spending more on a special occasion bra or a high fashion bra. Shoppers might also be inclined to pick up the coordinating panty that a designer pairs up to their bra, which usually runs in the $30 to $40 price range. The pair stated that Hanky Panky thongs and Hanro briefs are among shoppers favorites.
Customer have three options for buying items from the Bra Smyth: through catalog at (800) BRA-9466; at the stores themselves; or over the Web.
With services such as fit specialists, men's night to assist with their holiday shopping, seamstress services and "bra fit clinics," Bra Smyth has everything a customer could want for their intimate apparel needs. In times of sizing uncertainty, a good Bra Smyth is always on the job.