There is no finer lingerie in the world. The company was founded in the 1950’s in France’s capital of gastronomy, Lyon. Fittingly, Lise Charmel lingerie is literally a feast for the eyes. For more than half a century, the company has built its identity and reputation by offering the most beautiful lingerie available and prides itself on constant innovation.
Today, the Lise Charmel Group encompasses four individual brands: Lise Charmel for the fashion connoisseur; Eprise with the same fabrics and fashion forward designs for the fuller figured woman; and Antigel and Antinea, which is aimed at a somewhat younger customer with a more moderate budget. Regardless of age and shape, the Lise Charmel woman is a woman of high expectations who wants the perfect fit, the best materials and the highest quality available.
Lise Charmel was among the first in the industry to use guipure (those without a backing) and elastic laces using the finest silks and other fabrics from Switzerland and France. Lise Charmel designs also incorporate special design and construction techniques that are unique in the industry. Designs feature rich embroideries, opulent fabrics, soft tulles and fine attention to detail. In short, Lise Charmel lingerie is designed to please the most refined tastes, and devoted to the service of women who love fine lingerie.
We carry a full line of Lise Charmel lingerie and exquisite sleepwear, which we replenish as much as four times per year. We also work to ensure that we carry a broad range of colors and designs for every occasion. Case in point, the Lise Charmel bridal collections are the highlight of our store.
PrimaDonna has existed for more than a century. Since its inception it has sought to design perfect-fitting lingerie for naturally curved women who take a fuller cup. Available all the way up to a J cup, PrimaDonna gives women the right support, always fits perfectly and creates an elegant female form.
Because of the functional requirements of supporting larger breasts, PrimaDonna bras are complex garments, carefully engineered to provide the correct balance of comfort and support. A single PrimaDonna bra can consist of more than 40 pieces, and can take from 30 minutes or more to stitch a completed garment. Cheap bras have fewer than half the parts and typically take at most 10 minutes to stitch.
While famous for fit and support, PrimaDonna also features beautiful materials and a spectrum of colors and styles. 10 years ago, the brand introduced the Spacer bra, constructed with a unique material that produces an attractive shape without making the bosom appear larger. The Spacer rapidly wicks away perspiration, making the bra comfortable on hot or busy days.
PrimaDonna offers bras suitable for everyday use, as well as fashion lines suitable for any special occasion. The company also introduced the Twist line, which emphasizes lined foam cups, young styles, and a range of colors and prints.
The designer also recently introduced its new PrimaDonna Swimwear collection. Women requiring large cups can now take advantage of PrimaDonna’s legendary fit, quality and gorgeous designs at the beach and at the pool. Once fitted at Ela, custom ordering can provide beautiful swimsuits for women with cup sizes up to J.
Marie Jo is the younger sister of PrimaDonna. Designed by a team in Finland that is dedicated to the creation of beautifully detailed and expertly engineered pieces, Marie Jo lingerie features refined designs for today’s fashion conscious women.
Marie Jo maintains a panel of women of all body shapes and cup sizes to ensure the highest standards of fit and function. Each Mary Jo item receives 25 to 30 minutes of hands-on quality assurance before leaving the warehouse.
With many styles and designs to choose from, the Marie Jo Avero (the famous “daisy” bra) is by far our best selling item at Ela. We have one of the largest Bay Area collections of Marie Jo lingerie in an enormous range of sizes, styles and colors.
Marie Jo L’Aventure is a sub-brand with designs intended for the young, or young at heart, at moderate price points that reflect the same quality standards as the Marie Jo lines.
Andres Sarda lingerie was founded in the early 1960’s in Barcelona, Spain, and quickly developed a reputation as one of the most beautiful and sexy lingerie lines in all of Europe. From the outset, Andres Sarda targeted the woman with a mind of her own looking for luxury, quality and comfort combined with innovation sensuality and a daring color palette. The designer also designs exquisite swimwear.
Several years ago, the Andres Sarda line and design team was acquired by the Van de Velde Group in Schellebelle, Belgium, the parent company to the PrimaDonna and MarieJo brands. Van de Velde has wisely retained the Sarda design and fashion flair, while significantly expanding the range of available sizes and dramatically improving the sophistication and functionality of the actual bra designs to support fuller figures.
While we always carry a wide range of Sarda lingerie and sleepwear in our boutique, we can also now special order sizes, designs, and colors directly from Van de Velde on a personalized basis, taking advantage of the company’s advanced electronic ordering and production system, which is virtually unique in the industry. As we sell one of the largest volumes of the entire range of Van de Velde lines in California, we maintain an excellent working relationship with the company, with significant benefits for our customers.
The Aubade brand was founded in France more than a half century ago and has become known for one of the most successful, fashion-forward lines in the entire industry. If any of our lines can be described as “sensual,” Aubade would be the first to come to mind. Still designed and manufactured in France, Aubade maintains long-term collaborations with Calais makers of the famous leavers lace and Swiss embroiderers to create lingerie of elegance and distinction.
The Aubade customer learns to love the refined sexiness of the lines, and the way that the lingerie can totally change the overall appearance of the clothed body. Aubade is the very essence of refined French lingerie. We carry a wide range of it, and also selectively offer Aubade swimwear.
One of the only lingerie designers we can think of to have been asked to serve as a major museum’s guest curator (at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum), Marlies Dekkers hit the fashion world like a bomb with her first “undressed” collection in 1993. We bought our first Marlies Dekkers pieces soon after opening Ela, and were among the first boutiques in the US to carry her lines. We love the refined, edgy look and the exquisite and sophisticated design, engineering and construction that beautifully fit just about every body on the planet.
Worn by celebrities on both sides of the Atlantic, The Marlies Dekkers signature collection of lingerie designs has become iconic. As an early pioneer of the “innerwear as outerwear” trend, Dekkers’ designs are seen nationally and internationally as trendsetting, innovative and pioneering.
Eponymously named Verena Designs offers unique sleepwear styling concepts that have evolved from her European background and sense of quality. Verena Designs employs beautiful Egyptian cottons with the finest reproductions of antique nayural fiber lace to provide sleepwear for customers who favor romantic, feminine, and ultimately comfortable designs. Verena has been in business for more than a quarter century, and with Ela since our beginning. Her designs and garments are created in High Point, North Carolina. Verena is an American success story and many of our customers will only wear Verena Designs sleepwear.
35 years ago, the founder of Hanky Panky created a handmade lingerie set for a friend, crafted out of embroidered cotton handkerchiefs. The design impressed retailers and a new brand was created for the lingerie business. My partner bought some of those first products many years ago. Less than 10 years later, Hanky Panky’s designer invented a new Thong that reflected a revolutionary level of comfort and beauty. The Wall Street Journal featured the underwear on its front page and described the thong as “lace butter.”
Today’s Hanky Panky garments are made from the best materials and both the fabrics and final garments are 100% sourced and manufactured in the U.S. We love Hanky Panky thongs and panties for their comfort and for the hundreds of beautiful colors. One of our most common buying activities at Ela is to order new Hanky Panky merchandise – our customers love them too.
Also founded more than 30 years ago, Cosabella is a U.S. company founded by an Italian husband and wife team. Started with a $120 order and six styles of lingerie, Cosabella (“beautiful thing”) now sells more than 1,500 styles of lingerie, daywear, loungewear, sleepwear and sportswear in more than 90 countries. The company is managed by the son and daughter of the founders. The products are designed in the U.S. and produced in Cosabella’s own factories in Italy. We love the fabrics and the beautiful colors and the fact that Cosabella is committed to continual improvement and innovation. We love the moderate price points too.
Another venerable French line, Chantelle, established in 1876, is known for creating beautiful and hand-crafted lingerie made of rich fabrics and precise fit, but at moderate price points. Chantelle has been an international brand of premier French lingerie found in the most beautiful stores around the globe.
Simone Perele is known as the “Coco Chanel of lingerie” throughout France for its use of the world’s most beautiful fabric and lace. The brand focuses on chic, beautiful fit and function, as well as fashion. Simone Perele is the largest selling lingerie line at Galeries Lafayette in Paris and, like Chantelle, at a more moderate price point than many of the quality French brands.
When we first opened Ela, we carried several lines of Italian lingerie. Sadly, many of these companies were too small to survive the great recession. Valery, headquartered in Torino, Italy and still owned by the same family, has been with us from the beginning, and is thankfully still in business. We love the brand’s lavish use of fine Leavers lace and beautiful Italian fabrics. We carry both the lingerie lines and Valery sleepwear. Valery is entirely designed and made in Italy, and is found in the best national and international boutiques. Valery conveys a special feeling of luxury.
Wolford is quite simply the best hosiery to be found. Designed and manufactured in Austria, Wolford’s calling card is its proprietary seamless manufacturing techniques. In particular, the brand’s circular knitting technique produces garments that give the wearer the unique feeling of slipping into a second skin.
We have tried several other brands but always return to Wolford because they reflect contemporary styling and peerless manufacturing. We can’t recall a single instance of a garment received from Wolford with flaws. And because of the unique manufacturing and quality of the raw ingredients, Wolford hosiery lasts much longer than other brands. Quality, style, and longevity are the hallmark of Wolford.
We carry one of the larger selections of Wolford stay-ups, tights, knee-highs and panty hose on the west coast. We also carry a more select group of outerwear pieces such as tops and bodysuits.
Wolford’s reputation was made worldwide when the famed fashion photographer shot and created a famous campaign for the Austrian hosiery designer. Today, Wolford is well established as a fashion favorite among celebrities, royalty and anyone who values quality and luxury.
Despite the Anglophile name, Cotton Club is another small Italian designer with fewer than a hundred employees. We love their unique Nadia line of simple, smooth-without-embroidery designs, which are realized in microfiber, micro tulle and cotton. These designs are especially well suited to the smaller figure. A number of our customers wear nothing else, ordering their Cotton Club pieces year after year.
Bracli, which burst onto the lingerie scene in the past decade, is committed to designing and manufacturing unique garments. Produced in Spain from the finest laces and pearls, the famous “pearl thong” is Bracli’s signature piece, Ela carries a growing line of Bracli panties, thongs, and soft bras. While Bracli is undeniably intended for special occasions, we love their combination of daring and provocative designs combined with beautiful lace, findings, and high-quality construction.
Born in Glasgow and now living and designing beautiful sleepwear in Vancouver, British Columbia, Christine Morton has created a unique and beautiful, ever-changing line of luxury sleepwear. Resplendent in the finest silk fabrics, Christine’s designs have found their way into the closets of customers around the globe, and to those of celebrities such as Oprah, Catherine Zeta Jones, Diana Krall and Gwyneth Paltrow.
We love the uniqueness of Christine Morton designs and their wonderful, equally unique prints and solid fabrics. A recent line of robes and chemises featured vintage lace no longer available anywhere else in the world. Even more special, Christine’s unique and beautiful garments are hand cut and sewn by a small network of individuals in Western Canada. Each piece is hand manufactured by an artisan who is personally recruited and known by Christine Morton.
Ela strives to supply a broad range of the very best sleepwear available, particular from brands known for using natural fibers. Pluto, a Belgian company, delights us with chemises and nightgowns, robes and pajamas which are all carefully constructed from the finest cottons and other contemporary fabrics. We buy two Pluto lines per year and almost always sell out before the season is ends. Their “Matelasse” line of cotton robes, known for its fit and incredible comfort, is a cornerstone of the Pluto line. We buy one of every color for ourselves, and for our adult “children”.
Traditional brand Calida is a Swiss line that’s been combining exceptional quality, excellent workmanship and meticulous attention to detail for three quarters of a century. They design and make fabulously comfortable and long lasting PJ’s, chemises and intimate wear such as camisoles from beautiful and long-lasting Swiss cottons. Many of our customers have discovered the amazingly comfortable line of all cotton Calida panties and will wear nothing else.
From yarns to fabrics, threads, elastics, embroidery and labels, all of the fabrics that go into making a Calida product are tested and certified to meet the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, whose test criteria guarantee that the textiles are not harmful to health, and that they promote the well-being of the user.
For many years we carried a simple line of wonderful cashmere robes, which were manufactured by a small, one-man business in San Francisco. We loved his robes, but the company fell victim to the recession and globalization trends in the fashion industry that make it very difficult for small businesses to survive. After two years of searching, we have finally found a new source of beautiful cashmere robes and sleepwear from Chris Arlotta. The line brings enduring quality, luxury and true comfort to the lingerie industry. Arlotta cashmere has been featured in O Magazine, Vogue, Marie Claire and Town and Country. We are excited to be able to offer Arlotta to our customers.
Mimi Holliday is a line created by British designer Damaris Evans. Starting from her kitchen and a 5,000 British pound grant from the Prince’s Trust in 2001, Evans created a lingerie brand now found in 37 countries. In England herself, the eponymous Selfridges introduced Damaris lingerie to great acclaim (and a first ever waiting list for lingerie). How British is Mimi Holliday? Well, let’s just say that one orders “knickers” when one wants panties.
Mimi Holliday is a diffusion or 2nd line from the Damaris empire. The line is designed for younger women in search of frilly, flirty, ultimately feminine underwear in beautiful silks and laces, and at a price point that fits most everyone’s budget. As Damaris Evans describes them: “…my designs are luxurious, fun, interesting, cool and essentially, functional.” We could not have said it any better.
Addiction Douceur is a new line of lingerie and loungewear/sleepwear from a designer in Los Angeles. Addiction features designs for the professional customer in the most exquisite and comfortable fabrics. The line reflects the LA aesthetic and is designed expressly for the contemporary woman who demands function, comfort and value.
We began carrying Addiction two years ago based on a decades-long relationship with the CEO of Absolutely Lingerie, Addictions’ parent company. Addiction sleepwear and loungewear was an immediate hit with our customers and has quickly become one of the most oft-reordered brands in our store. The Addiction sleepwear line was soon augmented by new color ways and, a year ago, with a new line of hyper-comfortable and beautifully designed lingerie. As our customers have discovered and embraced Addiction, we have continued to add to our inventory. Addiction has also become one our favorites for personal use.
Anita is a traditional, family owned company located in Upper Bavaria, Germany. Like many of our designers, Anita has been in business for more than a century. Anita develops, produces and sells lingerie and swimwear under the two brands “Anita Since 1886” and “Rosa Faia” for all shapes and sizes.
All Anita products are developed specifically with the various figures and requirements of our customers in mind: for fuller figures or large busts, for breastfeeding mums or sporty, active women – our underwear collections offer something for everyone, also for women who have undergone breast surgery.
Anita articles are often distinguished by what they term “mini monopoles” – technical ingenuities or special features which are often hidden or cannot be seen at first glance, but which make a huge difference to comfort and the feeling of well-being when worn or used on a daily basis.
We love the Anita sports bras. They provide a fabulous fit and they produce several distinct models to support different sports activities from light impact to maximum support. The hallmarks of the Anita sports bras are perfect levels of support and style to complement a wide range of workout outfits. We use them exclusively ourselves.
NuBra® is a strapless, backless adhesive bra — with medical-grade, self-adhesive silicone or fabric bra cups proudly made in the USA. NuBra® compliments any backless, strapless, halter, or sheer outfit, giving you the cleavage control and enhancement you need with its patented center clasp. NuBra® is worn by many celebrities and is simply about the only workable solution for some dresses with backless and bare sides.
With proper care, NuBra provides a very natural look and can be re-used as long as cleaning and other instructions are followed.
Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd were young fashion enthusiasts, launching careers in one of the world’s best-dressed cities. As they invested in building their wardrobes, they were confronted with the frustration of maintaining them: replacing prematurely worn items and paying painful dry-cleaning bills. As graduates from Cornell University’s Fiber Science, Textile and Apparel Management and Design program, they saw an opportunity to advance the world of fabric care.
We found The Laundress line of products while searching for a cleaning product for fine cashmere. We carry their Wool and Cashmere shampoo, which we have found to work very well, and their Delicate Wash and scented Signature Detergent in two scents (Rose and Santal), as well as a fabric freshner for spritzing garments when washing is impractical.
The Laundress products were given an unlikely marketing boost when a Youtube video greated by the well know rock guitarist virtuoso and singer John Meyer produced a home-made video of him washing 7 of his white tee shirts as part of a “home economics” project to see how much he could prolong their life with sophisticated care. That video went viral and helped the founders to dramatically expand their distribution and business success.
For the Hollywood community, the Academy Awards are the highlight of the year. For Fashion Forms founder, Ann Deal, they were the start of a multimillion-dollar idea. Inspired by watching celebrities walk the red carpet in daring ball gowns, Ann saw the need for a lingerie solution that would help women wear plunging necklines, backless dresses and other revealing looks with confidence.
She went into business in her garage with a backless, strapless adhesive bra in 1993. It was an immediate hit and the first in a long line of Fashion Forms products to revolutionize the intimate apparel industry. For the past two decades, Ann has enhanced the lives—and curves—of women around the world. We carry a range of useful Fashion Forms products to solve most lingerie problems.
Founded in 1973 in Bloomington Minnesota, this small family owned business was first “blended” and developed in a small kitchen and grew to become a registered trademark- Forever New International – by 1975. Over the years multiple repeat customers and continued growth has allowed Forever New International to become the #1 provider of fine fabric care wash.
Now greatly expanded, Forever New continues to maintain the highest standards of pure, organic and biodegradable materials. Today, Forever New® is world-renown and has grown into a full-line of garment care products. New and better products are continually being developed to ensure fine garments are always given “All the Best” care.
We have personally been using Forever New products for two decades. For fine lingerie and sleepwear we have never found anything better, nor have we ever had the “unexpected result” from using these products. We stock washing powder in bottles as shown and in small travel packets; stain remover gel; and fine lingerie wash bags which maximize the life of your fine underwear.