First published in Elysiants on 9 January 2012.
Flaunt, a well established online lingerie shop, just threw a massive party last Tuesday, 27 September 2011, to celebrate the opening of their first physical boutique. I was lucky enough to have caught Emily Ma Richardson, the mastermind behind Flaunt, for a private tour around her collection. As a certified bra fitter, she clued us in with what we should look for when we are buying a bra, as well as why her shop comes equipped with masculine leather couch, a handful of magazines, and a fridge full of beer!
How did you become a certified bra fitter?
I use to be with the W Hotel in New York and Kowloon Shangri-La in Hong Kong, until my career took a radical turn when I finally gave in to my passion for lingerie, and went off to Britain to study in becoming a certified bra fitter. It made sense though, since the hotel side of me loves interacting with people, while the fashion side of me longs to discover more beautiful lingerie, so Flaunt is a great way for me to combine my hobby with my vocation.
The bra fitting course was amazingly eye opening, and here are a couple of basic tips for you to try when you are on your next bra-shopping trip. When you try on a bra, you must first make sure you put it on the outer hoop, instead of the inner hoop as girls usually do. This is because the material will stretch when you machine wash it, which I know is rather common even though you are advised to hand wash it. Putting it on the outer hoop in a sense gives the bra some room to grow, so when it gets looser, you can just hook it a hoop closer to compensate for such. Also, make sure the wire sits on your rib bones comfortably, and the bit between the two cups sticks onto your cleavage, leaving no room in between.
Obviously it will be great if you drop by during our opening hours on Monday to Saturday to get fitted by me personally, but it would make it even better if you could make an appointment in advance so I can give it some preparation.
Why did you decide you needed a physical shop?
I first started Flaunt as an online shop, with girls coming into my flat in Happy Valley for fitting. Although that worked well for a while, I needed a bigger space to showcase a wider range beautiful lingerie, as well as to provide a better bra fitting area. It would also be better if we situated in a more easily accessible location, so that's how the Flaunt Boutique came to life in Soho, a trendy location right at the heart of Hong Kong.
The boutique was designed by a fellow New Yorker Bethany Andres, aiming to give Flaunt a homey feeling, just like a hip downtown Manhattan loft where girls can relax and shop in. The faux brick wall, stainless steel counter tops, and exposed pipes suggest a modern industrial look, while feminine touches such as picture frames, vintage desk, and antique mirror were added to soften the space, making it a shop where you could pop in and pick out something quickly during lunch hour, or spend an entire afternoon trying everything on.
The shop has a large display wall, making it easy to see every style available. There is also a large fitting room with great lighting, giving girls plenty of room and privacy to try pieces on. For men coming to shop for or with their other halves, there is a large leather chair with some magazines and a couple of freezing beers to ensure you don't feel out of place.
While I would love for you to drop by the store to say hi, I don't want to waste your time by coming too often with nothing new to offer you. Which is why I make sure what you like best has been jotted down, be it lace nightie or foam cup bra, and I will drop you an email when something of the similar sort arrives. I can also cater for girls who want to throw private parties at our shop, so email me in advance, and I will make sure the bubblies are in stock for you and your friends!
What is so special about the products you carry?
I understand that girls want to get lingerie that is pretty as well as in their size, but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. That is why we offer a gorgeous selection of lingerie, lounge wear, and accessories from international brands known for their exquisite fabrics and range of colours. We have something for anyone who ranges from cup A to cup E, in size 28 to size 38. Our collection proves that life can be both pretty and practical, and we are not about to make any compromises.
If you have a petite frame and is bored of the uninspiring nude colour lingerie that they usually manufacture for girls in smaller sizes, then the Little Bra Company is for you! Founded by Emily Lau from California, they offer sexy, comfortable, and stylish bras from size 28A to 36B. One thing that always lures customers to our shop is the Commando seamless undergarments, which Kerry O'Brien made so comfortable you will simply wear them every day. Getting married and looking for something blue to wear? Hanky Panky from America has the most astonishingly comfortable lace you could get your hands on. Wedding nightwear solved!
More on the busty side? Pleasure State from Sydney uses innovative cutting technology to give support and doesn't make you look any larger than you already are. Eberjey's pieces ooze an androgynous look, giving it a boyish sexual appeal to your nightie. We also supply Cosabella's products, which are designed in Miami and manufactured in Italy, as well as Oroton's lingerie, which are from Australia, so make sure you keep up to date with our latest products and special offers by liking us on our Facebook Fan Page!