Novelty Biz: Spring Arrivals

Arianna Rodriguez

The spring edition of the International Lingerie Show was held last month at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, bringing together international retail buyers, manufacturers and distributors.

The three-day event kicked off a day early with the Home Party Planning Association’s meet-and-greet with Angela Mustone from Shunga.

The three-day event kicked off a day early with the Home Party Planning Association’s meet-and-greet with Angela Mustone from Shunga.

Mustone told XBIZ that close to 50 home party organizers visited the suite in which it was held to learn all about the benefits of offering Shunga to their clients.

PHS International brand manager Raquel Rabago manned the company’s booth featuring new additions the Heart to Heart line that include new leather gear in red-andblack and purple-andblack options.

Front-and-center at the PHS booth was the company’s Fresh line of pleasure products, which includes a new USBrechargeable wand with corresponding attachments that are made from vegan materials and designed to appeal to women with a “girly” aesthetic, Rabago said.

Paramount, Calif.-based clubwear manufacturer J.Valentine garnered plenty of attention with a booth full of bright neon colors, fur and flashing lights.

“We have always specialized in club wear, but our customers have started to take us in a new direction,” J.Valentine’s Brian Vasquez said. “We’ve broadened our demographic to cater to gogo dancers and ravers — it’s all very sexy but still young and playful.”

Young and playful is applicable to J.Valentine’s newest accessory, a furry hood with light-up ears available in an assortment of colors, which the company gave away for free to buyers that visited its booth.

Retailing at approximately $60 at retailers such as Pure Delish, Ami Clothing and Electric Boutique, Vasquez said that the hoodie features a unique design that incorporates straps to give dancers freedom when they’re not wearing the hood on their head. The flashing lights in the hoodie’s ears feature three settings and are sold with replaceable batteries.

“Feedback from our customers also inspired us to focus more on accessories and separates,” Vasquez said, “Many go-go dancers and ravers are creative with their outfits and can incorporate J.Valentine’s items into their look.”

Former Hugh Hefner girlfriend and “Girls Next Door” star Bridget Marquardt drew multiple crowds each day of the show to the Roma Costumes booth where she debuted her line of costumes made in partnership with Roma.

Marquardt, whose fascination with Halloween was many times documented on the E! reality show, told XBIZ she took a hands-on approach in designing her 17-piece costume collection with Sam Fard, president and head designer of Roma.

“I’ve designed costumes I’ve worn in the past to the Playboy Mansion’s parties, but with this collection there’s a lot of all-new and original outfits,” Marquardt said, “Sam and I worked on every little detail together and it’s that attention to detail and high quality that Roma is known for that made this partnership just right.”

Alan Breeden, Roma’s national sales manager said Marquardt’s line was first introduced at January’s Halloween & Party Expo tradeshow in Houston and with its wide appeal followed with an ILS debut for specialty retailers.

Delicious Sexywear empowered the Playboy brand with two booths showcasing its line of high-end costumes and a special appearance by Sara Jean Underwood, Playboy’s 2007 Playmate of the Year, who signed autographs for excited fans and posed for photos dressed in a Playboy brand mermaid costume.

Patty Gatto, Delicious Sexywear’s national sales manager, told XBIZ that the high-quality collection of Playboy Costumes incorporates trends and styles used in mainstream in its construction, with a special emphasis on embellishments and details.

“The Playboy Costume line is designed to be sexier and appeals to 18 to 30 year olds,” Gatto said. “What we’ve learned about this demographic is their desire to accessorize and these costumes come complete with them.”

Accessories are kept safe in the Playboy Costume branded garment bag that comes with the outfit and includes multiple pockets and a clear front to view all its contents.

Gatto also said Delicious is preparing to roll out a plus-size collection of costumes called Extra Delicious, which will offer the company’s bestselling styles in stretchy, form-fitting designs to accommodate all sizes.

Paradise Marketing’s booth at ILS featured a grand display of the new Trojan Triphoria vibrator, which features a price point carefully selected to fall right in the middle at $39.99.

The Triphoria features three choices for tips, including two in silicone with five speeds of vibration.

Its brilliant packaging is eye-catching while communicating Trojan’s iconic appeal and product information right on the box.

However, according to Dennis Paradise, the real standout characteristic about the Triphoria is the $10 million budget it’s shelled out in marketing through television commercials, print and radio ads, in-store promotion and social media, as well as through doctors and therapists.

“This is a fully coordinated campaign that has never been done in the adult toy business before,” Paradise said. “They say 50 percent of women have experimented with sex toys — well, this will get the other 50.”

Paradise said that adult retailers can expect shoppers to come into their stores asking for the Triphoria by name; and not only will it increase their traffic, but will illuminate any part of the store in which it is placed.

“Trojan is an iconic brand,” he said, “and its quality will convert on the ‘other side of the store.”

The Paradise Marketing booth also showcased other well-known brands’ foray into vibrating toys, including the Astroglide vibe — a starter toy that comes with the brand’s lube — and Lifestyles’ a:muse vibrator, which retails at under $30.

The International Lingerie Show came to a close with exhibitors closing sales and buyers sticking around until the very end for last-minute deals.

Electric Lingerie President Elan Rofe and national sales manager Zach Goode worked two booths during the show — Electric Lingerie and Hustler Lingerie that was shared with LFP’s novelty and apparel divisions.

Electric Lingerie displayed its new collections, including the range of Blue Line men’s underwear that were modeled by Hollywood Men entertainer Sarge, the Lux Fetish line of BDSM gear, Last Lix bachelorette items and Hot Manequin display models.

An aisle away, the Hustler Lingerie booth featured the debut of Hustler Shoes, a collection of 23 styles ranging from high heels to sneakers, which is set to ship in June.

“We are enthusiastic about the new line and to continue to innovate and develop the Hustler brand through our great relationship with Theresa Flynt,” Goode said. “Our partnership is blazing trails.”

Goode also referred to rooftop party held the evening prior at the Hustler Club that treated attendees to an open bar, giveaways and topless dancers on a lower level of the multi-story club and retail store.

ILS marked Goode’s first trade show since joining Electric Lingerie and he said the event was fruitful through to the very end.

“The show was great,” he said, “I was booked with appointments every day, every hour down to the very last day.”


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