This month, I’d like to tell you about my first time.
At ILS, of course. (What did you think I meant?!?)
Yes, it was my maiden voyage to the International Lingerie Show, and it was a fantastic experience. Of course, many things that were new to me were old hat for many — being offered a “piece of ass” at the Erotic Chocolates booth, seeing models garbed solely in glittery appliques at Xotic Eyes and Body Art, and the frenzied rush for front row seats and giveaways at the fashion show.
Exotic Eyes & Body Art
While much of what I experienced was right in line with what I expected, there were a number of surprises that greeted me at the show.
Focus on Plus.
I loved seeing the number of brands that offered a wide range of product for full figured women. A lot of the booths not only had the products but also put real effort into making them more flattering to a curvier form. Coquette and Baci were just a couple of the brands that went out of their way to emphasize the importance of inclusiveness in their lines.
While there has always been a crossover between sex and health, I didn’t expect the science-forward approach that some vendors used to sell at the show. I saw vegan and organic lube from Sinclair Institute. The fine folks at Revel Body presented charts, graphs and math to illustrate performance data in relation to the competition. I certainly didn’t anticipate discussing the technology that allowed the Svakom “Gaga” camera vibe to simultaneously vibrate and record a steady image.
From the time I arrived until the moment I left, the people at ILS were friendly, fun, and inclusive. I felt welcomed and as a result, truly felt the warmth of the environment. (And we’re not talking about the weather. Rain in Vegas? Really??) Several vendors mentioned that this was a particularly great show, and that the number and size of the orders written was an indication that the industry is headed in a positive direction. Just as a negative outlook on business can create its own self-fulfilling prophesy, a positive outlook can be carried into stores, into conversations with customers and translate into sales. Let’s hope that continues to be the case across the board.
Ali Cudby is the CEO of Fab Foundations®, a lingerie consulting company that has helped retailers and manufacturers around the world spread their message and elevate their brand. She is the founder of The Intimate Circle, a members-only online learning lounge for retailers, with a focus on business shortcuts, community, and taking lingerie businesses to the next level. She also founded The FabFit™ Academy, an international online bra fit training and certification program. Known as America’s #1 Bra Coach, Ali is the author of the bestselling book on bra fit, Busted! The Fab Foundations® Guide to Bras That Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic. Busted!was an Amazon bestseller for over a year and is also available in a Spanish language version, entitled ¡Tómatelo a Pecho! (roughly translated as “Take it to Heart!”).
Ali can be found on Twitter @alicudby, and you can be a fan of the Ali Cudby’s page on Facebook.