In today’s fast paced lingerie landscape there is only one way to make sure you consistently make the best decision regarding your intimate wear – to educate yourself is the answer! Many current manufacturers are solely focused on profit rather than providing a high quality product to the consumer. In the last few years a lot of new exciting lines and brands have come out in an effort to reform the status quo. LIVIARA lingerie is one such example.
Founded by an unsatisfied consumer who sought to empower women and change the way the industry operated LIVIARA is challenging the current industry status quo. In this article I reveal three major sins in high fashion lingerie, with exclusive insights from Liviara CEO/Founder Kara Gatto, and Technical Designer , Traci Wooldridge.
In most industries it is almost implicitly expected that a product’s end cost is directly tied to the cost and quality of the materials required to craft it. However in high fashion this is sometimes not the case. Most well established brands base a great deal of their end pricing on false factors that are irrelevant to the consumer, often making the consumer pay for just a brand name or style instead of the higher quality materials you deserve. I brought up this issue with Kara Gatto, LIVIARA’s Founder and CEO;
“How do you feel about the disconnect that can exist between seller/consumer in high fashion in general, with regards to materials used?”
Kara: “As a consumer it is very irritating. It is one of the reasons I founded LIVIARA. In the past, I have paid high prices on luxury lingerie expecting a high quality product. Unfortunately, I found out that many high end brands use the same inexpensive materials as the lower end brands yet charge high prices. I take pride in hand picking our materials from around the world. We spend the maximum amount possible where it counts to create true luxury lingerie.”
When most people picture designer clothing being manufactured they think of a painstakingly perfect process. Hand sewn fabrics being analyzed with a close eye by the most experienced seamstress. Sadly, many higher end lingerie brands have been bought out by corporate investment groups that no longer focus on customer needs, seeking out cheaper labor over quality labor. It’s important to look at how your lingerie is produced before you purchase it. LIVIARA caught my eye being the first American made brand in high end lingerie, a market previously dominated by foreign allure. I asked Traci and Kara each their views;
“How would you describe what you’ve seen as far as labor practices amongst high end lingerie brands?”
Traci: “Many brands go to a country with low labor costs, tell them to come up with a certain number of designs each month within a budget of $4 per pair of panties. Then they add their high-end label and turn around and sell the consumer the same cheaply made panties for $60. It is upsetting, not only are they taking advantage of the low income workers in third world countries. They are taking advantage of the consumer! Knowledge is key.”
Kara: “Disheartening. While I understand the need to make a profit, I do not understand taking advantage of the customer. It is my firm belief that you should be in business to make other lives better. Whether that is providing a better product to consumers or a better work environment. Sewing is a lost art in the United States. Our seamstresses are truly artisans who not only sew our beautiful pieces everyday but help to create them. We work in a team atmosphere where every talent is valued, and that’s the way it should be across the board.”
Not Consumer Centric
When a woman puts on lingerie there’s a good chance she’s transcending into one of the most passionate domains of her life. It’s only right that the same passion follows the lingerie throughout the crafting process. It’s important to women that the intimates they pay a high price for are authentically made with love and passion from start to finish, not made by corporate elites with only profits in mind. Many modern lingerie titans are no longer dictated by consumer wants, instead they follow the money- cutting corners while keeping prices stiff. This leads to unsavory business behavior in materials and labor noted above. These loveless practices are painfully ironic in such a warm and sensual industry. It is an extravagant minority of the top notch lingerie brands that are truly customer centric, when really there should be no other option. Kara and Traci were eager to offer input on this puzzling situation.
“Why do you think it’s so important to keep the customer in mind the entire time?”
Traci: “For me it is the only option. Our first priority is making luxury lingerie not money. Passion is the only place to start from. Kara founded LIVIARA from the perspective of a customer initially, and we’re both still customers just as much as we are designers. We always put the quality of the product and needs of the customer first.”
Kara:“Traci is 100% correct, I will not sell a product that I wouldn’t purchase and wear myself. We want to hear from every customer and we welcome visitors. We LOVE the opportunity to show our clients the care that goes into creating each piece. We are lingerie enthusiasts that love sharing our passion!”
After interviewing LIVIARA executives and seeing first hand their creative design studio and work shop, it is clear to me that they are truly focused on creating the absolute highest quality luxury lingerie. They focus on the customer, not simply on the monetary bottom line. This is easily seen in the high quality lingerie that they meticulously hand-craft. I am ecstatic after my visit to LIVIARA’s headquarters and am excited to see them continue to challenge the status quo and shake up the lingerie industry.