Since 2009, Le Frivole has been producing and distributing lingerie and costumes, and from the beginning, the Moscow-based company has set great store by maintaining close customer contact. But there’s much more to this company which also makes it very interesting to wholesalers and retailers outside Russia, as Le Frivole owner Andrey Nikolaenko tells us in our EAN interview.
Le Frivole is an erotic lingerie and costume brand based in Moscow. Can you give us a quick overview of your company? Andrey Nikolaenko: The company’s goal is to help couples around the world save their relationships and make them more harmonious, fulfilling fantasies and diversifying their intimate lives.
The mission is to successfully invent, create, and sell inexpensive erotic lingerie that looks premium class, to make sure that our retail customers all over the world are happy with our products, and that their relationship is more harmonious due to the diversity of intimate life and the realisation of their fantasies.
Le Frivole has been on the market since 2009. Nearly a decade is a long time. Could you tell us a bit about how the company evolved since its inception?
“Le FRIVOLE” in French means frivolous. This name was chosen not accidentally, we pursued a simple idea – to help people become more relaxed and desirable, and, therefore, lovers.
Our company has been active since 2009, and during this time, it has become one of the leaders of the Russian lingerie market in terms of sales growth, efficiency, and brand popularity. Every day, our company grows and requires more people to complete daily tasks, so at this stage, we have more than twenty people taking care of the daily duties at our company.
It was very interesting when we started making inroads into Europe and stepped out of our business comfort zone, seeing how, here in Russia, we are the leaders in adult lingerie. Talking about the Russian market, there were very exciting moments, we had many competitors and it was a really healthy fight for popularity. Over time, we received many rewards like the Eroexpo award for market development in the adult industry from 2014 to 2017, or awards at Forum Forus and Thai fest in the category of international adult industry. Also, it was a great journey meeting and then starting to work with partners among the largest wholesalers in the linen and adult products industry, retail chains, as well as internet shops like Wildberries, Ozon, etc. – sites which have more than twenty million customers on a monthly basis.
To sum it all up, we have 107 items in our portfolio that includes lingerie, bodystockings, and costumes. Feel free to check it all out!
What sets your products apart from the competition?
One of the things that separate us from our competitors is probably that our products are made in Russia; quality is really important as our customers are very picky. We have been manufacturing and selling costumes in cardboard packaging; they are outstanding premium products with an affordable price.
Then, there are the descriptions and illustrations, showing how to wear it. Let’s take for instance a pilot costume, which includes a hairband, dress, stockings, gloves, and belt. So even shiest person that comes to a brick and mortar store does not have to ask questions. We managed to cut right to that moment of decision making.
The design of the packaging allows for three display options in-store. You can hang it on a plastic movable hook that can be hidden inside of the box, you can present it traditionally, standing, or you can place it sideways – that’s helps save space in a small retail store.
Most of the companies ship from China and they get problems with quality control, so we went ahead and decided to instead manufacture here in Russia. We really focus on customer reviews and take them into consideration for upcoming collections. Naturally, a wide range of sizes is also available. And we have fully customised boxes that also describe products in additional languages like Spanish, French, Italian and German. (No English, no problem)
A big part of your portfolio is sexy costumes. Besides showing skin, what makes a costume sexy?
Role-playing games in the LE FRIVOLE costumes will introduce more variety, remove psychological tension, and increase the attraction between partners. In addition, LE FRIVOLE costumes are perfect for theme parties and celebrations, striptease, and go-go dancing. Our costumes can cover many areas and it’s not necessarily about showing skin, it’s more about playfulness and interaction. Let’s make more LOVE.
Do you feel that the number of people who like to dress up in sexy costumes is increasing? Why do you think that is?
Well, honestly it feels great when we see our product leaving our warehouse – that means our product is building a great reputation in our industry. The number of people is definitely increasing because everyone wants to impress their significant other. In recent years, we have been doing more and more scouting for something new that is not often seen on internet. We try to keep our products fresh and new. We work hard not only to expand our business, but we care about customers who want to get new products, so we have sleepless nights while we create new designs.
But the whole secret behind the curtains is that people can’t necessarily express themselves in their normal life.
There are many factors why that’s happening, the surrounding where they live, education, religion, and many other things that influence our day to day life. But everyone has desires, secrets, and needs. That’s why more and more people want to have a chance to be whatever they want to be. Sexual dreams becoming reality, and it’s just one step way! Be anyone you like from a hot school girl to all the other items we offer, and we keep adding to our range! So yes, popularity is increasing big time.
Your company is based in the Russia. Do you sell your products in the whole of Europe or even worldwide?
For many years, we worked only in Russia and Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belorussia, and Kirgizstan, but recently, we started collaborations in England, Italy, and Slovakia. Also, many other countries are interested in our products and we are prepared to share our love with everyone.
Which lines of distribution do you use to market your products? Where can interested retailers turn to if they would like to sell Le Frivole lingerie and costumes?
Like every company, we also have to have some marketing secrets that help us to evolve. We use one simple quote “PASSION TO PERFORM”. We use it in-house and its creating a wonderful family atmosphere. That means, we are very dedicated to what we are doing. We’re not only selling but also proudly wearing these products! But on the other hand, we also use social media and other lines of promoting our product.
Is all your design work done in-house?
We have created designs completely inside the company and we have arrived at the conclusion that it is better to control the process of creating products in-house, and at the same time, we also work to attract talented designers to our team.
Which design aspects do you attach the most importance to?
Most of our products are created to deliver happiness to our wonderful ladies. So, we really looked at the materials, not only how they look like but also how they feel, as one of our slogans is “No need to take off”. So, we had to present materials and designs of outstanding quality.
For us, it’s very important that the design not only looks good on a picture, but that it’s convincing, and that the products are comfortable so that everybody, across all the different shapes and sizes, would look equally good.
What are the current trends in the costume and lingerie market?
The looks are bold, with rich colours. That’s why our lingerie and body costumes have dominant colours like white, red, black, and beige.
White is air: purity, tenderness, and innocence.
Black is earth: seductiveness, dark knowledge.
Red is fire: heat, desire, flash.
Beige is water: femininity, softness, attractiveness.
Another trend is to continuously improve the quality of products, to increase the level of aesthetics, and that goes for both, the product itself and the packaging.
How do you decide which line of new lingerie or costumes to add to your portfolio?
Before we start developing a new line of lingerie and accessories, we carefully analyse the sales performance of similar products in our loyal retail stores throughout the past 2-3 years (they give us sales statistics), identify patterns among well-sold models, and analyse demand specific for colours. We study materials and the packaging of our competitors. We believe that we need to do better than we already have and therefore, we need to understand what we can improve.
Often, our clients give us ideas when we see them at exhibitions, in our office, or in their shops. We are attentive to their case, because that is the most valuable information that we can get. Our task is to do what the retail customers want, and we try to meet their needs.
What can you tell us about your plans for the future of Le Frivole?
We got have concept goals for 100 years. Our plans are expanding, and we keep achieving things that seemed impossible in the past. In the near future, we want to open branches in Europe and we are very open to start business with companies from around the globe.
To sum everything up: We care about what we do, we value our customers, and we listen to what they say! And as manufacturer, we’re always try to process every order in the shortest time possible, unless it’s a mega order that you are about to make!
We are always happy to have video chats, to talk and show, and to answer all questions that are necessary to fill all the gaps in our business.