Underfashion Club “Femmy Gala” Sizzles Camille Block
It was a frigid night on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 but inside CIPRIANI, New York City, the Underfashion Club’s Femmy Gala sizzled!
The 650 party-goers were captivated by host Vivica A. Fox, well-known film and TV star who added a capital “G” for glamour to the lingerie industry’s premiere event.
Once Victor Vega, President of the Underfashion Club, Inc.introduced Ms. Fox, the event was well under way with honoring Nordstrom.com, Dana-Co LLC, Macy’s Merchandising Group, 3-D Intimate Apparel Ltd., and Kristin Kramer of Victoria’s Secret.
Especially significant to the evening’s event was the Underfashion Club’s 12th Annual Student Design Contest, the first place winner was Samantha Burns whose “Delectable Deco” design inspired by the Broadway show Chicago won $5,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to Paris to attend the intimates show this summer.
The second place winner was Jezebel Torres, $4,000 for “Five Nights at Cicero,” inspired by Chicago.
The third place winner was Consuelo Garcia, $3,000 for “Breathless,” inspired by Lady Day.
Adding to the awards was the exciting ambience of the dance floor, the exquisite centerpieces … lanterns and cherry blossoms, and of course the food. But who had time to eat? Everyone was connecting … either on the dance floor or off.
Starting with this year’s special host, I want to tell you all about the talented honorees of this year’s Femmy Gala 2015.
VIVICA A. FOX – She was born on July 30, 1964, in South Bend, Indiana. In 1989 she earned a role on the soap opera Days of Our Lives and a bit part inBorn on the Fourth of July. She made appearances on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1991), Beverly Hills, 90210 (1991), and Family Matters (1992), and then landed a starring role as Patti LaBelle’s daughter on the NBC sitcom Out All Night (1992-93).In 1996, she landed her breakout film role in Independence Day. Ms. Fox sought to create a more positive image with the 2001 film Two Can Play That Game. Since then, Fox has continued to land prominent film and TV roles, including Juwanna Mann (2002), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), and Ella Enchanted (2004).Fox’s notable television credits include City of Angels (2000),Alias (2004), 1-800 Missing (2004-2006), and Curb Your Enthusiasm (2007-2009). She also competed on the popular reality dance competition Dancing With The Stars in 2006, and hosted the reality TV shows Glam God with Vivica A. Fox (2008) and The Cougar (2009).
Along with her numerous acting credits, Fox is also an executive producer of TV and stage and can currently be seen on Celebrity Apprentice.
NORDSTROM.COM – Nordstrom was founded in 1901 as a shoe store by Swedish immigrant John W. Nordstrom. Over the last 113 years, the company has remained committed to offering customers the best possible product and experience. Today, Nordstrom continues to take care of customers on their terms, serving them in Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores in the U.S. and Canada, and online at Nordstrom .com, Nordstromrack.com, and HauteLook. The company also serves customers in Jeffrey stores in New York City and Atlanta as well as through Trunk Club, a men’s personalized clothing service.Blake Nordstrom, President of Nordstrom Inc., and his brothers Pete Nordstrom, President of Merchandising and Erik Nordstrom, President of Nordstrom Direct have led the company since 2000.
Together with their leadership team, they have worked to improve the way the company serves customers, and ultimately have grown sales and profitability through integrating stores and online for a seamless shopping experience, grown Nordstrom Rack, driven international growth into Canada, and further expanded the company’s capabilities with strategic investments including the acquisitions of HauteLook and Trunk Club. During the same time period the company added 46 Nordstrom stores and more than 100 Nordstrom Rack stores, ending 2014 with 294 total stores. Under their leadership, revenue has grown by nearly 140% from $5.12 billion to $12.2 billion in 2013 and net income has expanded 267% from just over $200 million to $734 million during the same period. Blake, Pete, and Erik also serve on the Nordstrom Board of Directors.
Blake began his career working in the stockroom in the early 1970s and was selling in the downtown Seattle store by 1975. He went on to hold various positions in store, buying, and regional management. Blake was named a co-president of the company in 1995 and became President of Nordstrom Rack in 2000 before receiving his current assignment later that year.
DANA-CO LLC – Founded in 2001, Dana-co LLC is a well-established designer, importer, and marketer of better women’s intimate apparel. Consistently emphasizing the importance of quality and design – two of Dana-co’s guiding principles – the Company has become known in the industry for a great fit and innovative concepts. Dana-co enjoys a solid reputation among retailers as a leading resource in its product categories.
One of the Company’s most successful partnerships is with theNatori foundations brands, for which Dana-co LLC has held the exclusive license since 2003. Since this relationship’s inception twelve years ago, Dana-co has nurtured the growth and development of the Natoriumbrella resulting in one of the most successful and growing brand names in luxury intimates.
Zvi Ertel, President and Chief Executive Officer, is accepting this honor on behalf of Dana-co LLC. With over 30 years of experience in intimates, Zvi was the original founder of Dana-co in 2001. He continues to oversee daily operations and cultivate the relationships that are integral to the company’s growth. He is proud of Dana-co’s distinct commitment to success and innovative design.
MACY’S MERCHANDISING GROUP – Macy’s is recognized as a retail leader in developing private brand merchandise that differentiates the assortments in its stores and delivers exceptional value to the customer.
Macy’s Merchandising Group, the private brand powerhouse of Macy’s, develops and markets over 35 private brands and labels spanning the ready to wear, intimate apparel, active, men’s, accessories, home, and kids businesses. MMG leverages their insight on emerging market trends to develop differentiated product that encompasses both fashion and basics, always delivering quality product with a strong price/value relationship.
Barbara Lipton, Group Vice President of intimate Apparel and Activewear at Macy’s Merchandising Group, has over 25 years of Intimate Apparel industry experience. In her 4 ½ years at MMG, she has been responsible for the vision, conceptualization, design, production, and delivery of sleepwear, innerwear and activewear private brands, such as Charter Club, Alfani, Jenni, Morgan Taylor, and Ideology that are exclusively available at Macy’s.
Barbara was recognized in 2002 as a Femmy Award Winner and remains active in the community as an advisor for Girls on the Run of Nassau County and as a Luminary Member of Step Up NYC.
Innovation Award Recipient
3-D INTIMATE APPAREL LTD – Founded by a group of passionate, visionary, experienced and determined entrepreneurs in 2006, 3-D Intimate Apparel Limited’s exceptional growth and success story has sprung from a devoted, dependable partnership with our global customers.
3-D proactively leads rather than follows when faced with the market’s ever-changing dynamics and challenges, expanding production capacity in 2008, with over 100 dedicated staff members continuously pursuing improvement in Product Development and Design to pursue new ideas and better workmanship. Significantly, the revolutionary bra and pad dyeing technology of Go! Color is inaugurating a whole new era of lingerie production.
Through rapid development, 3-D has gained extensive cooperative relationships with leading International brands in the world of intimate apparel. Committed to merging advances through technology, material characteristic and body shaping in pad craftsmanship to provide continuous evolution to the lingerie world, while also retaining their passion, 3-D aims for the finest wearing experience as their constant innovation rewards customers around the world.
CLOVER GROUP INTERNATIONAL LTD.
With nearly 60 years of production expertise, Clover Group International Limited (“Clover”) is synonymous and renowned for its commitment to high standard and impeccable quality. Clover emerged as one of the industry’s most preferred and dynamic manufacturer of intimate apparel.
Established in 1956 by the late Mr. Andy Lau, Clover has gone from strength to strength over the last decade and has evolved from a single factory employing only 50 people to a global operation with manufacturing facilities in Cambodia and China. Following the visionary footsteps of Mr. Andy Lau, Clover embarked on a new chapter by partnering with the L. Brands, Brandix and Brandot to establish a factory in India to meet the ever-changing needs of its clients. With a combined workforce of over 9,000 workers spanning three countries, Clover’s production capacity remains one of the strongest in the industry.
Clover attributes its success to hard work and a dedicated team of professionals who strive to provide a friendly and supportive working environment for their workforce by investing in training programs to keep them up-to-date with innovative developments in the industry.
Clover continues to flourish and ascend into a new dimension and excel as a strong force in its own field.
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
KRISTIN KRAMER – As Executive Vice President of Design for Victoria’s Secret, Kristin Kramer has played a role in bringing to life some of the most recognized and well-loved lingerie fashions in retail. Very Sexy, Dream Angels, Body by Victoria, Biofit, and Bombshell are just a few of the iconic collections she helped bring to women around the world.
Kristin joined the world-class brand in 1993 and since then her curiosity around the customer and her passion for retail have fueled her work in helping Victoria’s Secret stay on the cutting edge of fashion while offering women the product innovation and comfort no other brand provides.
This curiosity fueled Kristin since her early childhood years in Nebraska and led her to attend Mills College, a women’s-only liberal arts school in Oakland, California. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, she moved to Los Angeles as a trainee for Federated Department Stores. There she proved she was ready to forge a career in retail with all of the possibilities and challenges that presented.
Over the next 12 years Kristin took on roles of increasing responsibility at Bullocks Wilshire and Bullocks Department Stores, working with many strong and capable women who left their impact on Kristin. She then moved on to I. Magnin as a Buyer and a Divisional Merchandise Manager. Through all of these experiences, the lessons of staying true to the fundamentals and making things happen with the bare minimum requirements stayed at the heart of Kristin’s work.
Since joining Victoria’s Secret, Kristin has held various positions within the organization, from Associate Merchandiser to Vice President Merchandising and Senior Vice President Commercialization. Kristin is deeply inspired by her work with the retailer, not only because it is a company primarily run by women, but because of the company’s mission of empowering women and improving people’s lives.
In 2013, Kristin co-led fundraising efforts for the company’s Pelotonia campaign, which is a Columbus, Ohio based fundraising ride that benefits cancer research at the world-renowned James Cancer Center at The Ohio State University. Under Kristin’s leadership, the Victoria’s Secret campaign raised more than $1.3M. Kristin is also highly involved in other philanthropic efforts including The Kathryn Sandahl Philp Nursing Scholarship, which Kristin established in 2007 as an enduring way to honor her mother and to make a difference in others’ lives. Kathryn Sandahl Philp is a University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing 1956 BSN graduate. The fund is a permanent endowment used annually to provide a faculty award in the College of Nursing at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Kudos to Karen Bromley and Barbara Lipton, the Femmy Gala Chairpersons, for another successful Femmy event.
As a fundraising event, the Femmy Gala serves a dual purpose: creating a venue for business and social interchange, and generating the money that enables the Club to fulfill its mission of “Supporting education today for a better industry tomorrow.”
Also, as part of the Club’s emphasis on the students who are our future, the Femmy Gala hosted the design contest for Intimate Apparel track students from FIT for the twelfth consecutive year. Thanks to the SAIG Co-Chairs, Suzanne Beck and Clelia Parisi, and to FIT Professor Alexandra Armillas for their efforts.