I am so proud to let you know that on August 4, Linea Intima won the prestigious Best Retail Development award at the 2013 Best of Intima Awards gala in New York City, honouring North America’s best independent retailers in lingerie, swimwear and loungewear.
This annual event is like our lingerie industry’s Oscar Awards and is one of the most highly anticipated and important functions all year. Some of the most influential and prominent names in our field gathered for cocktails and a sit-down, 3-course meal accompanied by live jazz music. Over 200 people attended this year at the glamorous 230 5th Avenue Penthouse Lounge. We all have a whole lot in common, including our love and devotion for our industry - so it’s an evening of animated conversation.
It was a beautiful summer evening and the view over the roof tops of downtown Manhattan was breathtaking. As always, the evening started with a welcome speech by the beautiful Editor-in-Chief and CEO of The Best of Intima magazine, Francesca Spinetta. The Best of Intima is a European publication and the most highly regarded magazine in the lingerie business. For the past 9 years it has hosted this amazing awards gala.
There are 5 categories for which 200 stores were nominated. In each category, 5 finalists are then chosen and our Linea Intima stores were very proud to be among the finalists (for the second time) in the Reference Shop category.
We did not win in our category - so no one could say that we got any preferential treatment because of our name … LOL! After our category was announced I was able to really relax, enjoy my dinner and a glass of wine.
What I did not know was that there were additional ‘Special Recognition’ awards to be given. When the host was announcing the award for Retail Business Development, he explained it was going to a retailer which had grown to 7 locations (I knew that could be many retailers in North America) so I was still sitting quietly not expecting to win and was totally surprised to hear our name announced!
It took me a few seconds (and a little push from my husband) to get up and go on stage to accept the beautiful award. Photos were taken of the presentation and then it was my turn to give a thank you speech - me, the little girl from Romania, who preferred not to give any answers in school for fear of speaking in front of my classmates. Yes I know I am often on TV, but in that case I do not see a sea of faces or speak into a microphone – there is only the host and a tiny microphone clipped to my shirt.
But this night I found myself standing in front of over 200 of my peers, on a big stage, with a microphone and lights - literally on top of New York!
Seeing so many familiar, friendly faces quickly put me at ease and after saying my thank yous, on a whim, I began to talk about our business. In a funny yet truthful way, I described the difficulties and challenges of the day-to-day operations we all experience in the industry.
I think a lot of people enjoyed my somewhat “candid and irreverent" comments and I enjoyed their laughter and applause. I discovered that I just might have a gift for stand- up comedy - NOT!
What an honour to be recognized for all of our hard work and to receive such a warm response from the people that I myself admire so much. Without my loyal staff and customers, my helpful suppliers and my dear husband who is my partner in every way, none of this would have happened. So …THANK YOU!