Launching a brand afresh to the market is daunting enough, but how about launching an already established brand overseas? I talk facing ‘the fear’ in foreign lands and designing for a new market with Rebecca Spiers, European Sales Manager for Affinitas.
(TK) How long has Affinitas been established in the US?
(RS) Affinitas launched in 2006.
What has contributed to your success? What sets Affinitas and Parfait apart from other US brands?
We have great comprehensive collections, offering a good fit in fashion, basics and bridal. We also offer great margins for the retailer who get opportunities for add on sales.
It must have been a big decision to cross the pond and launch Affinitas over here too. How did you come to the decision to do this?
The owner of the company is a canny businessman who knows that despite the economic challenges in Europe, we still love our lingerie and our brands (Affinitas and Parfait) fit that value for money niche.
What obstacles did you meet on the way?
The first warehouse facility we opened fell short of expectations and moving from one to another was a challenge we could have done without.
And, have you so far received a warm reception from busty Brits?!
Yes, why should busty girls miss out on fashion in their lingerie? They want a great fitting camisole, strapless or bralette as much as the next girl.
You must have had to do a lot of research into the British lingerie market. Were there any changes you needed to make in terms of Affinitas design, styles, and sizing to cater to UK women?
Yes, it was the feedback from the British market that really pushed us into developing Parfait up to a g cup. We hope to increase on our cup sizing so watch this space!
What are your most popular pieces right now in the UK? Do these differ to the US favourites? Would you say US and UK women have different tastes?
Yes there are differences in some ways. The girls in the UK and Europe are keen on a choice of unpadded bra as well as padded and the babydoll is perhaps a more seasonal purchase here whereas in the states it’s an all year rounder.
You promote quality lingerie at affordable prices, how does that affect your production process?
We have a highly effective sourcing team and the factory is family owned.
Where next? Do you have any other plans for global expansion?!
We are growing customers through new distributors throughout the globe. We have recently taken on board a new French and Finnish distributor and talking to more.
…and you’ll continue gracing the UK with more gorgeous designs?!
Love Affinitas lingerie? Take a peek at some fabulous SS13 Parfait designs in our lingerie editorial.