As consumers continue to gravitate to “Made in the U.S.A.” products, smaller, niche fashion apparel brands have emerged to respond to the demand, which includes handmade products such as accessories and fashion apparel.
In 2015, Belle D’Amour entered the luxury market with couture lingerie and swimwear, and its collection includes bodysuits and chemises, robes and bridal as well as streetwear. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla. e-commerce brand designs and produces its line in the U.S. from imported lace, mesh, fabric and trim.
Nicole Travert, designer, manufacturer and president at Belle D’Amour, has deep roots in the industry. Her great-grandparents were owners of the Le Tulle Prilliez — one the largest lace mills in France — which had gained notoriety in the 1890s for popularizing the tutu. Here, Travert discusses her designs, target customer and collections.
WWD: When was your brand founded, and how would you describe the design aesthetic of the collections?
Nicole Travert: Belle D’Amour was founded in March 2015 and incorporated shortly after. The way I would describe the design aesthetic is that it has to satisfy a few criteria such as functionality, appealing to the eyes at first glance, so visual, and foremost the desire to feel beautiful once in it.
WWD: Where do you draw inspiration? Especially for designs such as the Gold Finger Swim Suit and the Cocktails and Conversations set?
N.T.: I draw inspiration from everything that surrounds me: music, nature, colors, silhouettes, people, my daughter as well as my own desires. With the Gold Finger Swim Suit, I wanted something unique, a different way to put on a bikini, which explains the hooks on both sides and it had to have the most luxurious fabric to match the extraordinary colors.
When I created the Cocktails & Conversation two-piece set, I had a vision of while wearing it and being covered, feeling powerful, super-sexy, confident, elegant, beautiful and very feminine.
WWD: How would you describe your target customer? Who is she and what’s her aspirational lifestyle?
N.T.: I would describe our target customer as someone confident, comfortable in her own skin, she has an awesome personality, she wants to feel sexy, a strong woman that knows what she wants, loves quality and affordability as well as our gentlemen clients who can visualize their significant other wearing our collection’s pieces and want to spoil her.
For her aspirational lifestyle, she wants to be beautiful, is in love with love, cares about style and status, she is assertive, determined, understands quality and design, wants to flaunt her best features and feels understood and appreciated.
WWD: What is your distribution plan? Direct to consumer, e-commerce? Wholesale?
N.T.: Our distribution plan is e-commerce through our Web site as well as wholesale.