After the success of our first #TheCityGirls event in Sheffield I wanted to keep up the momentum of the meet ups for us local bloggers so recently I organized a meet up at Panache’s head office in Sheffield!
Panache came to our first event in Sheffield and the lovely Zehra from the marketing team was happy to help organize an evening of learning more about the brand, their design process and everything undie related. I got together a group of local bloggers- some who came to our first CityGirls event and some new faces! It was nice to have a mix; some knew a bit about Panache and owned a set after our last event and the newbies got the opportunity to be measured and feast their eyes on the collections by Panache.
Once all the bloggers had arrived we made our way to the Panache creative meeting room. The ladies had put on a lovely spread of sarnies,cakes,fruit and drinks for us enjoy during the evening- this was very much appricaited as most of us had come directly from work and not had the chance to pick anything up on the way! We then got to meet the lovely ladies who hosted the event; Jenny, Debbie and Alisha. Between them they organise the marketing department, product design,sales organisation and customer analysis- they run in perfect sync to ensure that each season the collections are on point with fashion, suitable for their customer base and most of all, uphold the Panache reputation of the comfy fitting bra's. They all work alongside with the directors of the company, The Power brothers. Panache has been designing and producing underwear for the past 30 years, with offices in Sheffield, NYC and China.
The team spend a huge amount of time researching trends for up coming seasons using platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram.They take into account ideas from catwalk fashion and expectations from their loyal customer base and then feed this inspiration to their design teams in the form of mood boards to help get their creative juices flowing. Whilst all this is going on they have to take into account materials they use and ensure that each piece is inline with their customers expected price expectations.
Panache have a huge loyal customer base as they provide both on trend pieces and day to day bra's and knickers that mean a customer can always expect the highest quality fit and design.
During the design stages the team all have monthly meetings in their creative room. Each department provide feedback and ideas- for example, the marketing team find out what direction the upcoming range is taking and they organise photoshoots accordingly to fit the theme.This means finding the models,location and any accessories they may wear during their photoshoots- this is something I would love to eventually be doing myself- I like organising and thinking outside the box when it comes to photography and marketing!
Panache believe in as little retouching of their models and underwear as possible- they want their customers to be able to see a realistic image of the item so that when they receive their order they aren't disappointed with things like colour and fabric textures- if they over modify photos the customer is unlikely to get a feel for the actual colour of the product and how it will look on. They also mentioned that they don't do any retouching of the models; so if a model has a natural skin fold this isn't edited out the photo- we all have the odd lump and bump here and there so why would they try and disguise this?! Such a good approach I think! This is something they highlight in their campaign Modelled by Role models; promoting healthy body images of six inspirational women-
|Amy Hughes- Sports Therapist,Hannah Cockroft- Paralympian, Marquita Pring- Model, Martyna Kaczmarek- Day for Life campaigner, Mica Paris- soul singer and charity campaigner and Rachel Elliott- senior nurse who travelled to Sierra Leone to treat victims of Ebola.|
The campaign came from the fact that 81% of women today agree that role models help to raise aspirations whilst 75% of them agree that there are no aspirational female role models about in todays modern society- these figures make me sad but it really helps to emhpasis why more fashion/lingiere brands should listen to their customer base and advertise their products in a more realistic light for us women.
Panache take all shapes and sizes of women into consideration when designing their bra's and knickers- they cater for B-K cup sized women, understanding that women aren't all the same and have varying cupsizes and extended shapes but still want to feel comfortable and look great when in their undies.
They have a number of different collections to cater for different tastes,sizes and requirements-
Panache- crafted for fit, styled for comfort. This range includes delicate lace and everyday wearable sexy undies that make you feel nice even if your just off to the office for the day! I already own one piece from this collection, the Jasmine Balconnet bra and knicker set. I have to mention here that ever since I was kindly gifted this set I haven't wanted to wear any other bra- it makes me feel fully supported and comfortable throughout the day. Someone even commented that I'd looked like I'd lost weight on the first day I wore this- it really does put your boobs where they are meant to be!!
Cleo- crafted for fit, styled for fun. This range is full of bold colours and eye catching prints. I love the bright colours in this collection, from neon blues to floral prints. The Cleo range also offer swimwear items- I already own one piece from this collection, the Cassie High Waisted bikini.
Panache Sport-crafted for fit, styled for support.This award winning range quite rightly boasts that it offers 83% less bounce by encapsulating your boobs rather than compressing them into one uncomfortable lump! The research and rigorous testing Panache have put into their sports range is rather impressive- they even managed to coax some of the designers and marketing ladies to whip their lady lumps out in front of some rather clever (and lucky!) scientists so they could really see the movements of breasts when exercising. They then look away these results to ensure their collection supported women in all the right places whilst being comfortable and still looking great. They do both wired and non wired bra's in this range. When creating the wired bra's the designers understood the importance of comfort and incorporated silicone wires rather than your standard wiring to ensure that the bra's don't dig in and cause discomfort.
Sculptresse-crafted for fit,styled for curves. This range of undies is designed for ladies who have sumptuous curves and fuller busts. I love the high-waisted knickers available in this range- who says having curves can't be sexy eh?!
Panache Black- crafted for fit, styled for glamour. This collection screams sexiness with its sumptuous satin, velvet bows and delicate lace. Although some may think this range is designed for date nights and such like, I think why shouldn't we wear undies that make us feel special and nice whenever we please?! I always sway towards black underwear so these pieces really caught my eye as I know from wearing my Jasmine set that Panache will never let me down on the comfort side whilst still looking amazing.
Panache Swim- crafted for fit, styled for comfort. The swimwear collection ranges from halter swimsuits,bandeau and high waisted bikinis and kaftans. I love that you can get most of the pieces in a style that kits your shape and preference; for me, high waisted is something I always go for in swimwear as I don't like to show too much of my middle on the beach!
So, back to what we saw and learnt on the evening! After having a chat with the ladies and looking through the mood boards we were taken down to their sample sewing room where they make up the half cups (yes just half a bra- this saves time and money in the design stages as it means they don't have to send it overseas to their manufacturers and spend a fair amount of money on production costs if they aren't sure whether its going to make the cut)
Their sample room is pretty amazing- filled to the rafters with all of the components needed for production of high quality lingerie!
Once the designers have put together ideas for their potential pieces they then get the half cups produced and then reconvene with the rest of the teams to decide on which pieces will fit the themes of each collection. With lots of designers, marketing gurus and sales people involved this can take a fair bit of time to come to decisions but its all for the sake of making sure each range is really on point with its direction. Once the final decisions have been made its then the job of the sales department to cost up the production costs, find the right suppliers at the best prices and then link in with their sales executives to ensure everyone understands the products and influences behind each piece. The Panache sales team hold sales conferences with all of their stockists and sales representatives so that they understand each of the pieces and can see how their research and feedback have influenced the new collections.
Once the new ranges are ready to go they are then shipped out all over the world to department stores such as Selfridges, online underwear sites such as Figleaves, Bravissimo, Cherise Lingerie and independent underwear boutiques. You can visit the "Find a stockist' page here to see see where is best for you to purchase from and also use their "find the bra fit challenge" quiz to see if you are clued up on bra fitting!
Of course a blogger event wouldn't be complete without a few treats so Panache put together some goody bags for us, I also added the Nair product to each bag from #TheCityGirls-
Panache "Don't get your knickers in a twist" tote bag
Nair Argan oil Salon Divine Body wax- I love Nair and thought this would go really well with the event- who wants stubbly legs with lovely undies eh!?
Panache Nail File and Made in Sheffield Panache scarf
Panache Brochures and pen
As you can probably tell, I love Panache, I think i've found my go-to company for my underwear needs! They fit like a dream and I love that their whole range caters for different shapes,sizes and tastes.
Check out their website and follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest to see more of their beautiful creations.