Diversification Reigns at International Lingerie Show
Baci Lingerie, the latest brand of high-end sexy lingerie, stole the show with unavoidable in-your-face marketing in numerous publications and banners and videos at the ILS entrance. Baci’s lustrous white spacious booth, conveyed the brand’s elegance with gleaming chandeliers, fresh flowers and Gucci-donning sales reps welcoming passers by with branded strip poker sets into the roped off display.
Baci Lingerie’s COO Robert Rosen said that the company came equipped with 4,000 of the strip poker sets, which are noted with a retail suggestion price of $49, to hand out to the show’s guests. What Rosen may not have expected is the overwhelming response to the 500-piece collection Baci Lingerie debuted at the show.
“We’re creating quite a stir,” he said. “I have not had a chance to breathe since I got here. People are lining up with their credit cards and we’re getting an overwhelming response to our collection books.”
Taking an edgier approach, Hustler Lingerie presented its offerings alongside other branded products that included apparel and the new line of Hustler Toys. With voluptuous models dressed in Hustler’s sexy lingerie introducing the line of vibes, cockrings and bullets, the booth was constantly swarming with interested buyers.
“I’m thoroughly satisfied with this event,” Hustler Lingerie President Elan Rofé said. “I’m impressed with the business being achieved and encouraged by what I see.”
Another well-known adult brand, Digital Playground, also introduced its venture into the novelty market with its Pirates line of sex toys. Digital Playground CEO Samantha Lewis was on hand to meet with interested parties — the amount of which surpassed her expectations, she said.
“Buyers know what women want,” she said, “and this is a women-friendly line designed by women for women. It’s a great fit for any lingerie retailer.”
Day one of ILS concluded with a lingerie fashion show. As male and female models strutted the latest lingerie designs on the catwalk, accessories and complementing products also made their mark. Among them, Le Dame’s feminine-styled footwear designed to fit a masculine foot on drag queen models Kiki and Brian received booming applause from the audience.
“We really stand out among everyone on the runway,” Le Dame owner Bernie J. Fatla said. “It’s the fifth time we’ve done the fashion show and Kiki and Brian have become celebrities in their own right.”
Fatla, who designs Le Dame’s footwear to suit the stage and casual wear, remained humble while reporting that his Natalie shoe was recently featured on cable TV’s “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” reality show and that the entire Le Dame line is set to appear on another reality show yet to be announced.
Overall, Fatla said the show was successful in establishing contacts and creating in-roads for international distribution.
With the debut of XBIZ Sensuals, a lingerie supplement created to connect the lingerie and novelty markets, several exhibitors agreed that diversification is key to expansion.
Shunga’s Angela Mustone said the fun — often edible — products of the Shunga line presented at ILS, which boast elegant, discreet packaging are a great fit for lingerie retailers.
“No matter how many attendees come to the show, it’s a captivated, interested audience and it’s great that the get to see how the brand presents itself face-to-face,” she said.
Similarly, the Screaming O team had a colorful booth set up with its latest products, including the Ojoy, Bang-O and BigO 2. The Screaming O partner Keith Caggiano said that ILS is great for meeting the people he does business with and meeting other qualified candidates — including lingerie retailers looking to diversify with its popular brand.
“Lingerie stores may not want to go full-on with adult novelties and The Screaming O is a great crossover brand with fun, welcoming packaging and displays and excellent price points,” Caggiano said.
Hott Products’ Chris Post said his booth serves best as a tool for his company’s many distributors that bring by clients to see its wares. Post agrees that a soft packaging aesthetic is key to making it in lingerie shops.
“I think what’ll cross over are the couples-oriented products that are friendly and fun,” he said.
Classic Erotica, which tossed out samples of its Coochy Shave Crème during the lingerie show, also presented its soft, intimate products at ILS. Jane Liszewski, vice president of sales and marketing for Classic Erotica said it’s consumable products that can benefit retailers the most.
“How many times does one have to buy lingerie? It’s consumable products like sensual lotions and body sprays that create repeat customers that will return to buy more when they run out, “ Liszewski said, adding that while customers will be drawn in for restocking purposes, the store’s lingerie offerings gets the opportunity to capture them.
BeaMonstar’s booth kept a steady stream of attendance throughout the show, company president Jeff Bolanos said as he tapped into his bilingual skills to explain the benefits of the company’s latest product, Enzyte — “the future of ExtenZe” — to a Guatemalan retailer. The sexual male enhancement is sold as a pill and as an Enzyte Erupt Shot.
“It’s been nonstop since we got here,” Bolanos said. “We’ve been meeting with old friends and informing everyone that stops by about all that we have to offer. ExtenZe is the No. 1-selling dietary supplement — it’s more popular than Flintstones Vitamins.”
Arrow Productions took a minimalist approach with its booth that featured samples of the company’s signature energy drink Deep Throat, a few posters and flyers — and their model Amy.
“We’re handing out ‘Amy’s Cherry,’” said Robert Interlandi, Arrow's marketing director.
Amy, who gave out maraschino cherries with Deep Throat samples was promoting the company’s Cherry Picker Pack deal, a 50-pack of the company’s best-selling classic adult titles.
“We’re keeping it classy,” Interlandi said, referring to the lack of hardcore imagery in his booth. “We’ve been attending ILS for 10 years and we’ve more than paid for our booth on the event’s first day.”