New York-based lingerie retailer Journelle is a popular destination for beautiful, feminine intimates -- think La Perla, Araks and Stella McCartney -- and after years of selling the world's top lingerie brands, the store is setting out to create a label of its own. On Tuesday, Journelle announced that it has hired former Victoria's Secret designer Rania Abu-Eid to lead its design department, and its first private label collection will debut just in time for the holiday season in 2014.
Journelle's CEO and founder Claire Chambers says she has been interested in extending the Journelle brand to a collection since the store's inception in 2007, but felt that now was the perfect time to launch.
"This is something that has been in the works for a long time," Chambers told us in an email. "Last year we partnered with one of our vendors to design and produce two styles of silk pajamas and a robe to debut for fall. The response to these pieces -- from customers and media -- was incredible. The pajama styles nearly sold out before the shopping season really got under way. The demand for more styles, more colors, more everything, made it clear our customers were ready."
The retailer stocks both established and up-and-coming lingerie brands, and Chambers says that she sees Journelle's own brand as a chance for them to fill the gaps in the market. Since customer service and sizing are so important when it comes to lingerie shopping (both in-store and online) Journelle will use the feedback from its customers when designing its first collection. "We have the unique advantage of seeing several styles of bras on several body types and that's helped us understand fit a bit better than designing one bra across several sizes," Chambers explained.
As for what the collection will look like, Journelle's signature look will mirror the aesthetic of its stores. "It will be feminine, modern and sophisticated with a more playful and provocative spirit -- beautiful silhouettes in luxe silks and delicate laces," Chambers told us. "We've just come back from Paris and found some exquisite french laces we're excited to work with."
In addition, Journelle -- which just relaunched its online store in Oct. 2013 -- has big plans for expansion, and is looking to open new stores in the coming months.