Allure Leather & Lingerie
“Kitten is designed for the younger generation, that wants the leather look but can’t afford the leather price,” declared George Makar, owner of Allure Lingerie, about the new collection of imitation leather garments he introduced in late September. “Kitten looks like real leather.”
Emphasizing that Allure Leather will never abandon its well-established collection of true leather (“People who wear leather will always wear leather; the leather customer will always come to us looking for leather”) Makar showed us two corsets that demonstrated just how successful the Kitten line is in providing the look and feel of the real thing, but at about half the price.
“My gut feeling is that Kitten will do extremely well. We want it to be trendy, to have its own following, which will continue to grow. I am expecting to see Kitten in the clubs, to be worn by the younger crowd.” Kitten will be sold “mainly to the sexy stores, but also to some mainstream stores that are trying to bring an edginess to their line.”
To set the new collection apart and give it a distinctive look, Makar said all the Kitten garments have been lined in red satin. “That is the signature. It’s sort of like Christain Louboutin shoes that always have red bottoms. Call it Harley Davidson meets Christian Louboutin.” Kitten is comprised of 36 styles and, on the company’s website, retail prices range from $13.99 for a cuff or a collar, to the most expensive pieces, which are the spike dress or spike pants for $85.99.
Allure Lingerie was launched by Makar in 1992, and soon customers were referring to the whole company as “Allure Leather.” “We realized it was hindering our growth because we do a lot more than leather,” explained Makar. Now the company emphasizes the Allure Lingerie name as an umbrella for the many different collections. In addition to the Kitten and the real leather groups, there is Xoxo (a packaged line of vinyl, leather and soft touch vinyl); Triple X (bondage cuffs and collars); and Diva (plus size leather).
Interestingly, Makar pointed out that Allure Lingerie “never does lingerie, per se. We are not a fabric line.” If fabric is used it is mixed with one of the other favored materials such as leather, PVC or soft touch vinyl. Overall, real leather represents “50 percent of the business.”
One trend that is growing is fetish. While it never disappeared, said Makar, “it seems to be catching on again.” Overall, in design, “You have got to have something new, innovative and different. You cannot jeopardize the quality for the price.”
While many wholesalers have reported problems with maintaining a steady stream of product from their Chinese sources, Makar declared “that’s not the issue here. The factory only works for Allure, not anyone else. We do not have to worry about getting in line” for production.
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