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Fresh names to check out at Curve shows east and west.


What does the cool chick wear to sleep?

That question riddled Courtney Kates until two years ago, when she began designing stylish togs for bedtime under her brand, Maison Du Soir.

“I didn’t understand why sleepwear didn’t echo a better style,” said Kates, 34. “The girls who are wearing Acne and Rag & Bone — what do they wear to sleep? I don’t think it’s lace chemises and wide-legged pants. We’re all wearing skinny jeans [during the day]. I don’t think wide-legged pants serve a purpose [as pajamas], because in the middle of the night they’re halfway up to your forehead.”

Designing in silk crepe de chine, MicroModal spandex and a cotton-rayon blend, often with a stripe theme, Kates approaches sleepwear with a contemporary customer in mind. Inspired by men’s wear, her fall offerings include silk shirtdresses dipped in gem tones, button-down shirts with matching pants that have pockets, and pearl-colored pointelle knits cut into leggings, long-sleeve Ts, racer-back tanks and shorts. The pieces are substantial enough to be worn out of the house — she sometimes wears her shirts paired with jeans, boots and a fedora.

By making her debut at Curvexpo’s New York edition, in booth 447, Kates, who gained experience in the apparel industry through launching brands for action-sports companies, aims in 2015 to double her sales, which are currently less than $500,000. With retail prices between $40 and $200, she already counts and the Nordstrom Web site as retail accounts. Her devotion to making everything in Los Angeles also helped her become a finalist for Martha Stewart’s American Made Awards last year. Taken together, these efforts let her advance her mission to change the perception of what sleepwear has to be. After all, she said, “it doesn’t have to be frumpy or old-fashioned to be comfortable.”

— Khanh T.L. Tran

NEXT: Skarlett Blue >>


Dana-co Apparel Group is courting twentysomethings with a new brand called Skarlett Blue.

The New York-based manufacturer, which has produced intimates for Josie Natori and other designers under license, is mixing all-day comfort with nighttime sex appeal in a colorful variety of lingerie and sleepwear, blending spandex, lace, nylon and polyester. The fall collection of brassieres, panties and sleepwear ranges from demi cups and balconette bras to G-strings and lace sleep shorts, all in a palette of black, nude, red, violet and light blue.

“All the [Dana-co] women designers got together and were like, ‘Let’s make something empowering and something sexy,’ ” said Ruby Brallier, Skarlett Blue’s marketing representative. “No matter where you are or what you’re doing, we want to give you a great-fitting, comfortable bra that also has sexy features.”

Following its retail debut this past holiday season, Skarlett Blue is available solely online, on its own e-commerce site as well as on and The company is striving to build business with boutiques and department stores alike at CurveNY, where it’ll be showing in booth 146. Wholesale prices run from $7.36 to $25.76.

Said Brallier, “We wanted to give off that feeling [that] no matter what you’re wearing, underneath you always feel sexy.”

— Rebecca Dancer

NEXT: Kina Swimwear >>


A trio of Uruguayan sisters is turning the swimwear business into a family affair.

Fusing modern prints onto retro silhouettes, Sol, Joaquina and Faustina Alonso launched Kina Swimwear late last year. Using original graphics created by Sol, the brand focuses on themes rather than seasons. Kina is offering two themes this time around — the first is a mix of Hawaiian florals and vintage surfer prints, and the second draws on Japanese motifs. Styles include high-waisted bikini bottoms paired with bustier tops, triangle-shaped string bikinis, classic one-pieces that tie in back and three other styles in 12 different prints, all cut from a Lycra-polyester blend.

“The aesthetic of the brand is trying to reinvent classic swimwear — modern and fresh, with a retro touch,” said Sol Alonso, the designer. (Faustina handles sales while Joaquina oversees social media and brand image.) “The first [collection] is cool and young, and the second one is more feminine, sensual and sophisticated. They are both a bit playful.”

Retailing between $69 and $108, the bikinis and one-piece suits are sold on the brand’s e-commerce site, as well as in four boutiques in Uruguay and one in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

But no matter how much they love their home country, which also serves as the base for their manufacturing, Sol Alonso acknowledged that they need to explore other markets in order to grow their business, so the sisters decided to bring their wares to CurveNY, where they are showing in booth 247.

“We would like to find more shops around the world, anywhere, that fit the brand,” Alonso said.

— R.D.

NEXT: Exes and Ohs >>


Texas-based designer Kinsey Tolley is on a mission to flatter women of all shapes and sizes.

Forgoing a typical brassiere size chart, the 25-year-old designer hopes labeling her intimates as small, medium and large will appeal to a broader range of women than traditional lingerie. Stretch-lace panties, ribbon-tie bralettes and silk-chiffon loungewear make up her overtly feminine collection launching for fall.

“I think sometimes lingerie can get a little too serious and intense,” Tolley said. “I wanted to do something young, girly and fun that women would love to put on. What I want is for women to start loving their bodies.”

The name Exes and Ohs refers to the brand’s stylistic duality, inspired by the opposing sides of a woman’s personality. “The Exes are sexy, tight-fitting…just showing a little bit more, and the Ohs are a little bit sweeter,” Tolley said.

Showing at CurveNV, in booth 308, the fall collection includes six Ex styles — in black, red and fuchsia — and seven Ohs, featuring lace detail, bows and floral prints. Wholesale prices start at $28 for a chemise-and-matching-thong set and run up to $44 for a silk robe.

Tolley also infused her own love life into the line: each piece is named after an ex-boyfriend, such as the Jared, a chemise fashioned from polyester chiffon with lace and satin, at $38 wholesale.

“No matter how long you’re with someone, they shape you,” Tolley said. “My friends have already offered up some names of their exes for when I run out.”


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