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April 04, 2017

Seminars Enhance Second Day of Altitude Show

LAS VEGAS—The second and final day of the inaugural Altitude Intimates show kicked off Tuesday, and continued to offer more than just show floors. While Monday featured a fashion show for buyers, Tuesday centered on educational seminars. Attorney Ted Luymes kicked off the seminar program with a discussion titled “Real World of Brand Protection.” He educated attendees not only about how to secure copyrights and trademarks for their works and brands, but also how to enforce them. His talk also addressed the recent spate of rights of publicity lawsuits facing lingerie manufacturers and the like from models and what he termed “bounty hunter” lawyers. “There are 33 states that have some type of rights of publicity laws that tend to favor the models,” he explained. “In some of those states, particularly California, Florida and New York, there are attorneys who have created a cottage industry suing people—largely adult boutiques, strip clubs and the like—for alleged misuse of photos.” In a roundtable discussion, leaders of some of the top brands in the lingerie industry—Angela Tobon of Maple, Vinh Luong of Seven ’Til Midnight, Nicolas Attard of Ooh La La Cherie, Marcus Horea of Coquette and Susan Feldman of DG Brands—talked about the key trends they see in the industry, both in fashion and business. Feldman kicked off the session by noting, “We are all lucky to be in this industry at this time” because the mindset of millennials is that they want lingerie pieces they can wear anywhere, any time. Luong backed up that sentiment by noting a big trend now is back detailing on bralettes, bodysuits and more. Lattice work, straps and appliques are all big. Attired said sexy lingerie is no longer just for adult stores and boutiques, but acceptable almost anywhere by women of all ages, shapes and sizes. “The U.S. right now is on fire when it comes to lingerie,” he said. The third seminar offered an overview of the Elevate U educational program from Eldorado Trading Co., presented by Kira Manser of the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health. Manser covered all the key points of the program, which features 16 different learning modules on everything from anatomy to lubricants to pleasure products and beyond. Adding the retailer perspective to the presentation was Lennox Ryerson-Gonzalez of Adam & Eve in Oklahoma, who talked about the benefits his staff had gained after enrolling in Elevate U. After the program, Eldorado’s Allison Travers reported that hundreds of Eldorado clients had signed up for the training—and they are sticking with it as well, signing up for the fifth course of study, which was recently added. The day’s final talk was presented by Christopher Scharff of DG Brands, and it tackled an ambitious subject: “The Disruption of the Internet and the Effects of Globalization on Lingerie Retailers and Manufacturers.” Scharff, a former executive at BCBG/Max Azria who purchased Dreamgirl about 15 years ago, recently sold the brand to a large Chinese company. Scharff painted an unvarnished picture of the current economics of manufacturing in a global economy. Look for more on his discussion later in the week as AVN’s coverage of the inaugural Altitude Show continues.

 
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