I have been a fan of Fleur’t since the first moment I slipped on my super soft lulu boyshorts (mentioned here). The flirty and feminine line, designed by Nancy Yoo, is one of my favorites because the collections (which include camisoles, chemises, bralets, and more) tell a story. I had the pleasure of meeting Nancy during the Lingerie Americas show in August and have since had the chance to ask her a few questions. I hope you enjoy hearing first hand about Fleur’t.
Could you introduce yourself, and talk us through how you ended up in the lingerie business after exploring so many other avenues?
My name is Nancy Yoo and I am the owner/designer of Fleur’t Lingerie. I ended up in the fashion industry because I think it really affords me the opportunity to wear so many different hats and also allows me on a daily basis to express my creativity. It’s no joke “ this is a VERY difficult business, but I still love that I am able to do so many different things all in the span of one week. I think lingerie is the most exciting growth area within fashion and lingerie people allow themselves to explore difference in a way that I think the ready-to-wear designers don’t or can’t. People in lingerie are a little more willing to take a risk. It’s fun and inspiring.
What was most important as you initially began to develop your collection?
Wearability and fit, first and foremost. And after that, color. Lots of it!
What was the most challenging part of the design and marketing process?
This is a business and that means finding out what sells and doesn’t sell, which collections are strongest and why and then making sure you can bring that spirit into the line again and again can make the difference between whether you’re going to survive or not. I’d say that’s the most challenging part of the melding between design and marketing.
Practically speaking, I think finding the right sales representative is the most difficult part of having a fashion business.
I think the name of a line speaks volumes. How did you decide to name your line “Fleur’t?”
I hired a friend of mine who is a branding genius. We had one breakfast meeting during which he asked me to describe my line in a few words. I said, “fresh, flirtatious and feminine.” He scribbled something down, held it up for me to look at and asked, “How about “fleur’t”?” I said, “Great!” And because we were friends, he barely charged me anything for his work.
Why do you think your collection has been able to stand out and be successful?
I think we offer something special but also very comfortable and comforting for women. Our fabric and laces are so soft and conform so well to women’s bodies â€“ it’s the kind of lingerie that women wear for themselves. This has a strong, broad appeal.
Since you’ve experienced so much success with your collection thus far, how do you continue to create innovative pieces?
We are at a point where we really want to hone our branding process through creating our own prints and offering special Fleur’t packaging. We are also working on growing our loungewear into a solid collection that can be sold in ready-to-wear stores just as easily in lingerie store.
Which design (if you can pick just one!) is your personal favorite for next Spring?
The Amber bralette. It’s a bralette that’s cut out of our beautiful, rose galloon Amber lace and lined with lightweight nylon mesh. It’s available in white, black, lemongrass, orchid and sky. I am a 34C and cannot fit into other bralettes, but this one is a soft cup with a lot of support and great fit and coverage. Also, it’s just super pretty with lace that looks adorable peeking out of camisoles and button-down shirts. There is a matching low-cut lace thong boy as well.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
From a designer’s perspective, I would like to have branched out into ready-to-wear. But from a larger perspective, my husband (who works with me) and I have great dreams of creating this economically and ecologically responsible company that takes care of the people who devote their lives to it. We are into preventive healthcare and alternative medicine and want to create a wellness center at work for our Fleur’t employees. We are also very interested in fostering a work/play/live culture that’s closer to those in countries like France, Germany and Italy, where 5-6 week vacations are taken for granted. We are already looking at ways to increase our productivity by cutting our work hours down to 35 hours a week. I strongly feel that allowing ourselves rest and renewal time leads to higher productivity and overall happiness.
I have to say that designing clothes is a very rewarding part of what I do, but what truly excites me is knowing that I am in a unique position to create this dynamic, new workplace.