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January 2015

« December 2014

Accidentally a bungalow

Posted 20/01/2015 at 17:42 Comments

After some recent staff rejigging, we've ended up with an unwanted bungalow. I mean, it's nice and all, but we have no-one to live in it, but had had to guarantee the rent until the end of July, so I'd quite like to find someone :)

It's in S4 - Malton Street - and it's a one bedroom bungalow with low maintence garden, gas central heating and parking. It's £450 a month and the bills vary a bit (as with our offices, winter is cold and the heating bill is a total 'mare). I'm open to offers, especially if you come with references.


Comes with furniture, but not the furniture in the original estate agent pictures. Washing machine, sofa, bed, basic cooking stuff.

Drop me a line on if you're interested!





Fraulein Annie for 2015; 8 things you should know about our pop-up, and all about fit!

Posted 13/01/2015 at 13:05 Comments

I'd love to tell you all about when I first met Frauke from Frauelin Annie . . . but I've totally forgotten. I suspect I met her at a trade show, and I know that over the years we've had some seriously intense discussions about 6 strap suspender belts, how retro one should go, fit,  German corporate admin versus British . . . OK, sometimes we're really boring together!

You can find her styles on our site here for the next few weeks.

But here's the important things you need to know;

Fraulein Annie do styles that we don't -  thongs (g-strings), basques, and lots and lots of shaping knickers.

She also makes sizes we don't - A- G cups, and 8-18. And a 38B! The bra backs run smaller (tighter) than ours, too.

She spends WAY more time on fit than we do. That means there are fewer styles, but much more development work.

She uses amazing colour combinations that you'll never see from us -  rich purple, contrasted with slate grey? warm almond tones with lavender hints? Or if you'll always be into black, then try it with great textures, or chesnut satin, or almond cotton lace.

This year, the ranges you can see now will be sold out, and new ranges brought in. So if you like what you see (and we have more pictures than ever before), we'd recommend a bit of speed in buying - and if your order is over £100, we'll pop in a KMD mystery gift!

You can see it in action in her fabulous cabaret video here.

We have quite a chunk of it in stock in our Sheffield offices. We've said it might be two weeks to ship as we didn't want to ask her to send *all* her stock from Germany to us, but there's a significant chance we'll ship it straight to you.

You can read more about her fit here on her shiny new website!

Fit notes, direct from the designer herself:

"The fit of your clothes depends on the cut, fabric and styling of the garment. Garments may vary in measurements depending on the amount of ease allowed over the body which will vary according to fabric. Not all garment styles are suitable for all body shapes.

For that reason, the following size charts can only be a guide, garments need to be tried on to establish the best fit."

(We let you return styles from pop-ups brands, it's fine)


size UK







size US








66cm/ 26”

71cm/ 28”

76cm/ 30”

81cm/ 32”

86cm/ 34”

91cm/ 36”


64cm/ 25”

69cm/ 27”

74cm/ 29”

79cm/ 31”

84cm/ 33”

89cm/ 35”


89cm/ 35”

94cm/ 37”

99cm/ 39”

104cm/ 41”

109cm/ 43”

114cm/ 45”


B R A S & B A S Q U E S underwired
This chart can only be used for smaller cup sizes, larger cup sizes don’t follow size grids and need to be tried on.

(Ed’s note – FA follow the same plus 4 method we do. Although it’s less accurate for larger sizes, it means the sizes are roughly consistent with our own measuring guide and sizes from places like What Katie Did, Marks and Spencers, and pretty much all the independent brands)


































How business changed in 2014 - more pie charts, and what we're working on!

Posted 06/01/2015 at 11:40 Comments

Last year, many Deadlies seemed to enjoy the pie charts as much, if not more, as stuff about girdles,  so here's an update!

I'd totally forgotten what I used to make them with last year, so this year I used what appears to be a website that the US government maintains in order to help children with maths, I think? Seems about right for me, anyways :)

So as you recall, what I showed you last time was that overall our turnover (the number of £ coming into the business every year) was increasing, but that also it was switching from having been mostly selling to businesses (lingerie or fashion stores) to having more than 50% of the income coming in from selling direct to you, the people who actually wear the pants.

So this was 2013:



This is 2014:




So, consistent with previous years,  the percentage of sales direct to you increased.

But, as you will have noticed, because 2014's pie is about 1/4 smaller than 2013's . . .  it's a bit more complicated than that!  

Before, even when the percentage of total sales to businesses has been less, the actual value has been more, each year, than the previous year - so say we made 40% of our sales in one year to businesses and 30% the next, the latter would still be a bigger number, because the business had grown overall. Sales to businesses haven't historically grown as fast as sales to customers, but they have steadily grown.

And then we hit 2014. This year, we lost 9% off the sales to customers, but 45% off the sales to businesses. It's been a bit epic.

That means we've spent most of the year working on what that's about rather than being able to get stuff into production, before I talked to so many people that I eventually concluded that it seems to be challenging quite a few of us - even larger brands. Also, someone told me we'd do better if I made things in beige. BEIGE, PEOPLE. I think this might possibly be the most offensive suggestion anyone has ever made to me, and I get some really exotic emails.

The most persistent request retailers make is that we focus on continuity styles, because they view these as low risk, financially speaking. However, they are both the most annoying styles to make, and we have 8 years of evidence that the sales of repeat styles stagnate steadily and eventually just stop. So that's clearly not a long term solution for us. Sorry retailers, our needs don't always align with yours. It sucks, I know.

Anyway, there's stuff that we can control - getting on top of our supply chain and factory planning issues being the key thing, and keeping what we spend on acquiring wholesale down to a minimum. The really great news is that the main problem we've faced is the high MOQ's the last few years, and this year we have agreed lower ones. This is VERY exciting for me. I basically floated home last night and had a little sing to myself when I found out. MOAR NEW THINGS. Because of lead times this won't start to make changes until May, but still, hurrah :)

There's also stuff we can't control. I can't make shops go to trade shows or buy in KMD. I can't make the banks give us a credit facility to offer retailers (believe me, I tried). So, this year we'll be looking for new and different ways of funding some of the things that are currently being sampled. So, assuming all the sampling goes smoothly, here's what we're currently working on financing for this year!