I never was any good at sports, so . . .

I never was any good at sports, so . . .

I am going to demand that you all vote so we can get some sort of trophy in the UK Lingerie Awards! (before Friday, please, ta) . I’m hoping the awards are like miniature futuristic bras.

And also explain things in a way that is utterly inadvisable, because my brain has melted in the sticky London heat today.

Since the awards are being run partly by a sort of nominations poll system, and we’re running a poll to see what you would like us to reward you with if we win, I’m going to explain these awards using a multiple choice quiz. You can answer below if you want but there are no points and no prizes, excepting maybe if you make me laugh so hard I snort. It’s easier than you’d think.

On a briefly serious note, for this to make any sense I need to explain that each industry has its own magazines, websites and events (including civil engineering which I believe has one called “Concrete”). In the UK lingerie trade, the magazines are Underlines, Lingerie Buyer and Lingerie Insight. The latter two have websites. They are full of vitally important news and gossip like which celebrity is wearing what in their video, what new cup sizes are out this month, and whether Egyptian lingerie shops stayed open in the uprisings – we have a firm grip on what’s important in world politics here.


You can help independent brands win the Lingerie awards by:

a) Annoying the bejeezus out of all your friends on facebook by going on and on about it despite half of them never buying bras (my current tactic).

b) Going here, ignore the attempt to get your email address, typing the brand name and writing something short and sweet about us.

c) Going here, putting in someone who will be embarrassed about receiving lingerie news email address, and then writing something rude about Lingerie Insight, but only if it’s funny.

d) Making sure you mention “Lingerie Insight” and your favourite brand as visibly as possible everywhere on the net, because this will score us points for promoting Lingerie Insight. Double points for me on that sentence alone!

I feel compelled to wave to some of the other indie brands out there at this point: Playful Promises (which is what I wear when I’m not wearing KMD, like, if I want something not black), Made By Niki (loving the new stringy stuff, though I’m pretty certain they have a much better name for it) and Lascivious (who I ran into back when I was doing something entirely different and loved). Also What Katie Did, who are by far the biggest indie brand by miles, but don’t really take part in trade events so may well get overlooked for this.

The UK Lingerie Awards are:

a) a valuable opportunity to reward the extensive and undervalued workers with the lingerie sector of the UK fashion industry. I mean c’mon, we’re the only country in the world with degrees in Lingerie!

b) a valuable opportunity to promote the role of lingerie in the fashion industry in the UK, ditto. Seriously, we don’t get to go to London Fashion Week most years, and I know from experience that politicians are not allowed to be photographed at fashion events near lingerie, despite how much money we bring into the country!

c) a valuable marketing exercise for Lingerie Insight, the newest player in the trade press, with bonus points for getting right up the noses of the established trade mags. Shh! We all pretend we didn’t notice.

d) a valuable opportunity for every brand you ever bought from to contact you with little love notes and hope like hell that you reciprocate, or maybe buy something, or preferably, both. I should have put hearts all over this, but it’s beyond my skills.

e) a valuable opportunity for 95% of the industry to get very very drunk in a posh room. It’s not antisocial if it’s expensively done.

Last year this was what people had to get drunk to. Don’t make us go through that again, please.

I am suggesting you nominate us for “Directional Independent Brand of the Year” because:

a) I really truly believe that “directional”* means “vaguely based on the 1940′s and 50′s shapes, especially those cut to fit big bums”.

b) I really truly believe that directional means “managed by a right bossy boots” (in which case we totally win. I mean, Jo filed my phone number under “God”).

c) I am cynical and fiscally minded and I don’t think we have a cat in hells chance of winning best overall brand or shapewear brand, because then we are competing against people with advertising budgets of millions and online followings of zillions.

d) Well, we’re independent, right, which means no giant corporation with its money and infrastructure supporting and promoting you, and re-engineering some of those old fashioned designs for modern figures is WAY more tricky than people realise, yeah? So that has to count as directional . . . probably.

Seriously, this has so not been a snooze to get right. It looks simple but its got 13 panels, umpteen components, a specialist zip, and thus far, about 4 samples even before we started fitting.

I would actually genuinely like to win this because:

a) It would entertain me no end to go to a posh event and be me. Especially since I’m always the only one sober at the end of the night and therefore remember all the embarrassing things other people do. I could have leverage over important types for years, people!

b) It would really help KMD be noticed by lots of retailers and that would mean more sales and that means we can start doing more peculiar stuff like overwires and fan lacing and things in unusual colours and also some silk and some swimwear and maybe corset-style-affairs and . . . yeah, well, I have a few ideas.

c) Actually, I’m very happy with KMD products and imagery and everything of late, though clearly there are many things to work on, I’m just too un-marketingy to jump up and down about it. Well, except for testing purposes, obviously. So it would be nice to have the validation.

d) It would be really nice to take Rachel and Jo out to something that wasn’t a small Italian restaurant in Sheffield and didn’t involve them dressing up in medieval armour (but with modern pants).

e) I secretly love how daft some of the Lingerie News is. Particularly the very silly products. So I’m all for getting sent some every day and supporting them in return is no hardship, especially if it means they come to our press events.

f) It’s one of those things where I always feel like an outsider (doesn’t mean I rationally am, just a habitual feeling on my part) and therefore would be warmed in the cockles of my wizened dark little soul to actually get anything.

Underwires, overwires, wombling free. . . . sadly we haven’t found any of these, or the fan laced girdle bits, left behind for free, so some extra publicity would be really super-handy to fund buying them.

By the way, if you’re on a roll nominating people, I suggest:

Ayten Gasson for Ethical Brand of the year – its something she’s really been working on and given that she is somehow managing to mother a terrifyingly large baby boy at the same time as keep the brand going, the woman really needs a good night out. Hell, if she wins, I might even babysit (if we both win I’ll pay for the babysitter).

Miss Mandalay for full bust brand of the year (this translates to large cups for those of you not up with current fashion speak). Basically, I suspect that without independent brands like Miss Mandalay showing there was a market for this long before people started talking on national TV about bra sizes, the big corporate brands would never have bothered developing large cups. So wouldn’t it be nice to reward her hard work on that score? especially as the fit is awesome.

Fairygothmother/Lulu and Lush for Independent Retailer of the year - with both a shop and a website, Sam really pushes independent brands like us who otherwise wouldn’t get much of a look in. For me, she provides valuable feedback about fit and other customer service interest that I then take into account next time we produce things, so its really beneficial for everyone.

Made by Niki for Most Innovative Brand of the year – if you don’t want them to compete for directional but love both of us, I think this would be great. The rare collection and their new sportswear style ranges both look to be both amazing, very different to what’s out there already and wearable, and I was already in love with the slinkies.

Joanna’s Wardrobe for Best Online Retailer of the year is an entirely ego based decision for me as she does brilliantly by us, I would happily buy all the ranges on her site, and she’s very detail-focused which is great for customer service. Plus she’s always got new pictures and content and games to play, which I think is great. Way more fun than buying from the mainstream stores!

Right, now I have to go dunk my head in cold water. Have fun!

 * Please note that we have established with careful research that directional is fashion speak for “This will be a major trend that won’t actually suit most people next year, this small brand is doing it now and the the high street will sort of make it work in a while”. This is mostly the opposite of us.