Lingerie designer Leigh Bantivoglio has gotten far by swimming against the industry tide.Chat long enough with Leigh Bantivoglio about her career and you wouldn’t be surprised to hear her call innerwear by its old-fashioned name: unmentionables. "The most annoying thing is when people ask me what I do — especially men," says Bantivoglio. "It opens up the gamut for all kinds of inappropriate conversation."A native Philadelphian, Bantivoglio moved to New York in 1991, when she was 24, and pursued a marketing and merchandising program at Parsons School of Design. She later worked as a fashion assistant at WWD’s sister publication, W magazine. But her aspirations soon digressed from those of a wannabe fashion editor. In 1995, she decided to become "a big fish in a small pool." She started her lingerie firm on a shoestring budget of $20,000. "There was so much saturation in the ready-to-wear field at the time," says Bantivoglio. "I felt I didn’t have the competitive drive or the financial backing needed. Ready-to-wear is such a cutthroat business. Now, lingerie is the big thing." Today, despite a small volume — $2 million anticipated by yearend — Bantivoglio is a star in the intimates pond, with accounts at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys Japan.Bantivoglio managed to make her name quite quickly in the lingerie world, despite her lack of formal training as a designer. "Not having a technical background allowed me to break rules," she says. One such design, Bantivoglio’s signature stretch-lace boy-cut shorts, was initially ridiculed by manufacturers. "Everybody was making fun of me, saying things like, ‘That’s the biggest panty on the planet,’" she recalls. "Now, boy shorts are the biggest item on the planet."For trim, Bantivoglio prefers Calais leavers lace, a supple, complexly woven variety often used in couture, and delicate silk ribbons and bows. She also favors unexpected color matches, for example, a lace trim cross-dyed orange and gold. For fall, Bantivoglio has launched several new styles, including some ready-to-wear pieces: a Thirties-inspired dress and a cardigan that can be paired with a lined cami for a twinset look. Wholesale prices for Bantivoglio’s collections run from $15 for thongs to $135 for dresses. Her upcoming spring collection features a six-piece microfiber group that includes a cami, a thong, a chemise and an Empire-waisted dress."Leigh has created a whole new direction in lacy looks. I see a lot of people knocking it off," says Barbara Cook, owner of Joovay, a lingerie shop in Manhattan.
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion
Exclusive: Cate Blanchett has been named the first global beauty ambassador for @armanibeauty. Blanchett has been the face of the brand’s Sì fragrance franchise since 2013, and is now representing all of the label’s beauty categories including makeup and skin care. #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)