Fashion Industry ARTICLE
The Corset Club as a Means of Business Promotion
Corset fans’ clubs can be divided into two categories: hobby and business.
Some are founded by people who just like to wear corsets, for them such a club is just fun time. For others it’s a means of their own business promotion. The best example of such an approach is Romantasy Exquisite Corsetry founded by Ann Grogan in 1990.
Ann Grogan is a former lawyer who discovered that there is life after the Law, as she puts it. Ann practiced Civil Rights law for 16 years, 6 of them (with the State Attorney General’s Office) in San Francisco. The job in an unfriendly environment, when even successes did not bring joy, made her think about changing her career. At that same time she fell in love with corsets; and, this in its turn brought her to the idea of Romantasy, a lingerie boutique.
Ann herself wears corsets most all of the time, corsets that are mostly made by the designers that she represents on her web site. Today Ms. Grogan’s private collection counts 90 corsets, 70 of them are custom-made.
Ann can be called a pioneer in America. In 1989, after a long period of corset neglect, she opened the first corset and lingerie retail store. In 1995 she was the first in the world to start a corset web site that is still one of the most popular ever – it is visited by at least 1000 people daily.
Romantasy offers 6 original private labels (Butterfly Corset, Scallop Trollop, Single Pleasures, Point Counter Point Cinchers, Sheri’s Cincher and Vest Corset) and represents several professional corset makers who are internationally recognized. But they are constantly in search for new designers. And, if a company can guarantee timely production and its production quality meets stringent standard requirements, they are welcomed to the Romantasy team. “As an independent broker, it’s not our goal to connect a customer with a certain maker or design/style, if they don’t like it”, says Ann Grogan. She has managed to create a unique business model where she combines her corsets sales, consultations, and club.
Ann Grogan, the company president, appears to be an interesting person to talk with and kindly answered our questions.
-We asked” Is it correct to say that corsets are popular today?
Ann replied: “That depends on what you compare. Yes, if you take into consideration our company’s slow but steady sales growth over the years 25 % of orders come from overseas and 75 % from the USA. The mass media promotes them a great deal today in the movies and Hollywood starlets can often be seen wearing them.”