Van De Velde Spotlight

MarieJo Avero Orchid

Above: Marie Jo’s popular Avero in Orchid. Interested in carrying Marie Jo? Contact: northamerica@vandevelde.eu

by Michelle Broomes, Lingerie Journal Editor

The Belgian name of Van De Velde is synonymous with the concept of ‘Lingerie Styling’ as well as some of the most esteemed brand names in lingerie on the market – namely Prima Donna, Marie Jo and Spanish brand, Andres Sarda.

Van De Velde operates on the principle that retailing lingerie rests on styling the individual woman to look and feel her best beautiful and the company’s pillar philosophy is ‘shaping the bodies and mind of women’ using lovely lingerie as the medium.

Rigby and Peller hangers

To date, Van De Velde works with thousands of specialty establishments worldwide and has its own retail channels, achieving a multi-million euro turnover as it applies the ethos of making women feel sensational through high quality lingerie fashion.

Evelyn Verstraeten, Global PR Manager at Van De Velde tells TLJ about the Van De Velde way of business and how the company uses it products to undergird companies, taking business to a new level.

Interview with Evelyn Verstraeten, Global PR Manager at Van De Velde

Prima Donna By Night Malva Ash

Above: Prima Donna.

Van De Velde has been a leader in the lingerie industry for decades, so what’s been the formula of the company’s success so far?

Consistent strategy in focusing on quality: As a company we have never compromised quality despite increasing costs and despite the pressure from the market to lower our retail prices. We firmly believe that trading-up is a healthy business model for the multi-brand specialty store. Offering the consumer a quality product in combination with excellent service creates the best advertising any brand or store can hope for: = word of mouth = loyal customers = customers who buy more and more often. Both Van De Velde and our customers/retailers win.

Andres Sarda Milano

Above: Andres Sarda.

Research & Development: Van De Velde invests considerable resources in R&D. Our own in-house R&D department has the mission to outperform and be pioneers in technicality for fabrics, production machines, production processes,

Last but not least, we are a customer focused company. We love our customers/ stores and we love our PrimaDonna/ Marie-Jo/ Andres-Sarda consumers. As a company we listen and look into every feedback and remark that comes our way and we act upon it. That interaction and mutual trust and respect from us to the field and the field towards us creates an inspiring and positive energy and synergy.

Andres Sarda

Above: Andres Sarda.

‘Shaping The Bodies and Mind of Women’ – that’s the Van De Velde mission. How is this philosophy played out in what Van De Velde seeks to offer women through lingerie products?

Our variety in brands – the many collections within brands to choose from (basic [to] fashion); different body styles per collection (to perfectly fit a specific breast shape) – it all adds up to giving women not only a good shape but also to having more confidence. A good bra not only lifts the breasts and chest, [and] is beneficial to the back but it also lifts a woman’s spirit, self-esteem, confidence and feeling of comfort.

Kindly walk us through the Van De Velde family of brands. What kind of customer/client is attracted to these brands?

Marie Jo – Created for Living and Loving

MarieJo LAventure Azuma
Marie Jo revolutionised the lingerie industry in 1981 with a trail-blazing Belgian signature: the label combines discreet luxury with novel designs and caters to self-assured women who want to make a seductive but refined statement.

Our new ad campaign and marketing images as of 2016 clearly show Marie-Jo as a life style brand and does no longer link lingerie only to the bedroom or romantic scenery. Marie-Jo is part of women in all aspects of her day and life and this is clearly shown as well in the photoshoots which were taken outside.

PrimaDonna – Ode to Curves

PrimaDonna Delight in Riviera Blue
Since 1965, PrimaDonna has always been about women embracing life, full of confidence, not afraid to show off their femininity. PrimaDonna underlines that message now with the Ode to Curves campaign.

PrimaDonna has – for more than 150 years now – kept the same goal: designing perfect-fitting luxury lingerie for naturally curved women. The collections marry the best support in larger cup sizes (all the way up to J-cup) with elegant designs. 93% of women who wear PrimaDonna would recommend it to a friend. Since 2013 we have also added PrimaDonna Swim.

Andres Sarda – Designed in Barcelona

Andres Sarda Berlin
Since 1962 Andres Sarda has been creating luxury lingerie and swimwear in the atmosphere of a cosmopolitan and avant-garde city as is Barcelona. The refined and surprising collection combines sophisticated taste with craftsmanship and innovation. Andres Sarda lingerie has a unique identity.

The designer swimwear of Andres Sarda is highly elegant and attractive and meets the needs of the contemporary woman. Exclusive prints on fabrics of the highest quality show the feminine forms to their best advantage.

Rigby and Peller store front

Above: Rigby and Peller store front.

The Van De Velde name is associated with over 5000 companies worldwide. What do you look for in companies that you feel can aptly represent the Van De Velde brand and business ethos?

Passion for women and focus on wanting to shape their body and mind because they also [like Van De Velde] firmly believe this philosophy [combined] with premium product is the way to win market share in the lingerie industry and to grow the business.

The specialty boutique and Van De Velde work as true partners. We as a manufacturer need the specialty boutique/ retailer and its team to transmit our passion and expertise to the consumer; the specialty boutique needs us to have a niche offering with many opportunities to sell a variety of products in the fitting room. The consumer leaves the store happy and will return for more. The whole circle helps the retailer to differentiate him/herself from department stores and/or lower price point chains in the industry.

MarieJo Axelle in black

Above: Marie Jo.

Since 2002 Van De Velde has its own and operated retail shops? What’s this experience been like for Van De Velde?

Van De Velde entered the retail business because – in Europe as in the US – we noticed a lack of multi brand premium lingerie boutiques in many geographical areas. The potential consumers were / are there but too often had/ have no access to stores with fit expertise and a good variety in size-runs or collections. As we entered into the world of retail, we discovered many aspects of the business which we – as a manufacturer – had never anticipated or expected. We were not always aware of the day-to-day challenges a retailer encounters or the demands, frustrations, complaints that were expressed by women in the fitting room. Over time we noticed how extremely valuable this direct feedback from the fitting room was to learn how our collections were perceived, where we missed out on opportunities, etc., also how valuable it was to be able to test out certain innovations in our own stores [and] fine-tune them before bringing them to the market, etc.

Today Rigby & Peller [the Van De Velde operation] is based in the UK, US, China and Germany and currently counts for 44 stores.

PrimaDonna Sunrise in Powder Rose

Above: PrimaDonna.

Given the success of the Van De Velde name particularly in partnering with and undergirding other businesses – what can you offer to retailers seeking to attract new customers, increase profitability and take their business to a new level?

Complementary lingerie and swimwear brands with consistent sizing and body shapes within each brand. If a customer is for example a PrimaDonna size 34D, you can bring at once in the fitting room a skin tone bra for every day, a lace bra, and a swimsuit. Same size – same fit – same quality. The variety in our offering creates more and better sales opportunity.

PrimaDonna

Above: PrimaDonna.

Van de Velde takes risk in stocking back-order possibilities for fashion series. This allows stores to carefully buy into series with an initial size-run and when they see a series is very successful, they can re-order in season and can count on a quick refill delivery. This allows stores to spread their risk – fill-in on series that do extremely well – play safe on series that might have a little less demand. Less risks [means] more rentability at the end of the season.

Customer Service : B2B platform 24/7 to check in real-time product availability per size; place orders, consult invoices, open order, track shipments [all] next to a top team of customer service agents who can assist on-line or via phone. Very quick and consistent shipping (free of charge). Refill orders will take less than a week to be delivered in store although we still ship everything out of Belgium.

MarieJo Avero

Above: Marie Jo.

What’s next for Van De Velde? Are there any new partnerships, innovations or products in the pipeline that you can share with us?

Our R&D department is constantly working on new projects but is now fully testing a 3D mirror for the fitting room.

In France we have launched the home party channel in response to the declining number of multi-brand specialty stores. We do this in collaboration with existing customers/stores in order to help them increase and diversify their revenue. It’s a win-win for all parties involved.

In Germany and Belgium we are testing an E-com service offered by Van De Velde to our wholesale partners by giving them access to an e-com platform (branded as the retailer but the back-office and stock is managed by Van De Velde).

Van De Velde Wholesale Questions?

Email: northamerica@vandevelde.eu
Website: http://www.vandevelde.eu/en

Van De Velde Gallery

Marie Jo
MarieJo Avero
MarieJo Avero Orchid
MarieJo LAventure Azuma


MarieJo Axelle in black



PrimaDonna
PrimaDonna Sunrise in Powder Rose
PrimaDonna
PrimaDonna Delight in Riviera Blue


Prima Donna By Night Malva Ash



Andres Sarda
Andres Sarda
Andres Sarda
Andres Sarda Berlin


Andres Sarda Milano