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Entrepreneur Serves as Catalyst for Change in Lingerie Industry. Fireside chat with Suzanne Macbale, Founder&CEO of LoveSuze

Who is Suzanne Macbale?

LoveSuze Founder and CEO Suzanne Macbale serves as a catalyst for change in the women’s fashion industry, specifically related to lingerie. Suzanne’s obsession with lingerie started when she was 14 years old. As a teen, Suzanne wasn’t allowed to wear anything besides plain colored cotton bras and underwear. This only fueled her passion for bras and underwear that came in a variety of colors and patterns. After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology, she started her career with Calvin Klein and later acquired more than a decade of experience serving as the Associate Vice President of Design for Victoria’s Secret. After several years in the industry, she was inspired to start her own company to design lingerie with all kinds of women in mind. 

What’s the story behind LoveSuze? 

LoveSuze is a New York-based boutique lingerie company that I founded in 2019 at the fabulous age of 40 with two young children at home. I’m on a mission to empower women with lingerie pieces that are not only flattering and sexy but also move and flex with each person’s unique lifestyle and body shape. The pieces are available in women’s sizing ranging from XS to 3XL. With LoveSuze’s icon Flex- Sizing® design, the bras, underwear and slips fit flawlessly, flexibly, and stretch to fit the body perfectly – regardless of the day, time, and month.   

The ideation for LoveSuze came earlier in my career when I had an interaction with a customer who shared that she owned a variety of bras and underwear to suit different occasions in her life. She chose the pieces depending upon her body’s natural fluctuations. The styles that she felt the most attractive in were not the most forgiving, so when she needed more comfort, she wore pieces that didn’t make her confident and sacrificed feeling stylish. I don’t believe anyone should have to choose between style and comfort, so I was inspired to design lingerie that would help women feel confident and feel comfortable around the clock no matter what their body was doing or what their lifestyle entailed. 

What was the most difficult part of your experience in the early beginnings?

After working for mass marketing fashion companies such as Victoria’s Secret and Calvin Klein, it was very different switching gears to create and run a boutique brand. I found out very quickly that suppliers and factories prioritize larger companies because they bring in massive orders which means more money. When you’re responsible for an emerging brand, you have to find the right suppliers and factories that prioritize your company. When manufacturing apparel people don’t realize there are factory minimums, dyeing minimums, lace minimums and more to consider.

Thankfully I have been in this industry for a long time and built many connections and friendships over the years. My peers have shared sage advice, called in some significant favors and enlightened me with invaluable knowledge. I am humbled by these experiences. I went from being in a position where people did whatever you wanted at the drop of a hat to working one hundred times harder to ensure my boutique brand will be able to deliver high-quality products that genuinely make a difference in women’s lives. This process has entirely shaped my way of thinking and doing.

What are you most proud of regarding your business?

I’m proud to say that LoveSuze embraces positive body image and empowers the wearer. I want women to feel confident, and for me, that starts with your foundation — and lingerie is the foundation beneath every other garment in a woman’s wardrobe. This philosophy, providing a foundation that supports confidence, is genuinely the heart and soul of LoveSuze. We look at every decision we make as a company through this filter.

My collections are flattering and sexy, but also move and flex with each woman’s unique lifestyle and body shape. While women may share the same size, their bodies are vastly different, and they’re changing every day. With Flex-Sizing® fabric used in every piece, women feel and look their absolute best – no matter what day it is or what life throws their way. From living as young adults to celebrating marriage as a newlywed to embracing motherhood to aging gracefully, my goal is to empower women no matter their size or age. If I made a woman feel confident and comfortable, I have done my job. 

What is your vision for the future of LoveSuze? 

When people think of lingerie, they often associate the product with a special occasion during which a woman puts it on for a man. However, with LoveSuze, I am a woman designing lingerie with other women in mind. I am working to shift the paradigm, so women know that lingerie is for them. I want them to forget about “special occasion” lingerie. With LoveSuze bras and underwear, my hope is for women to view every day as a special occasion, and thus I create each piece in my collections to support and complement women during every stage of their lives. At LoveSuze we want to empower more women, increase their self-esteem and give them the foundational support they need to seize every day while feeling equally comfortable and fabulous. 

What’s your advice for the businesses that are trying to adapt to this economic climate? 

As an emerging brand, we ran into a lot of issues when COVID-19 hit. Factories stopped all production. The demand in the fashion industry was even higher than normal because more people were staying home, but we didn’t have the supply to meet their demands. In the early part of the pandemic, most factories were only producing COVID-related items such as scrubs and masks. When manufacturers started up again, boutique brands like LoveSuze were pushed to the back of the supply chain as they prioritized the mass-market companies with larger orders.
In response to the supply chain shortages and other issues, we moved manufacturing from China to Mexico in the middle of COVID to try to overcome these obstacles. These pivots presented other challenges and we have had to adapt many times. Emerging businesses must be able to pivot business plans and exercise flexibility in the manufacturing process. Throughout this process, we learned it is imperative to have a backup plan. 

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

Digital communications make a significant difference for LoveSuze and its clientele. We use an email marketing program called Klaviyo to share updates, newsletters, surveys, promotions, and more. I work with my team to determine a catchy subject and compelling content to ensure that our clientele is first in the know for all things LoveSuze. 

Social media also provides amazing channels for engaging with LoveSuze loyalists. These avenues allow us to continue the conversation and hear what our customers are thinking. Your best audience is the one that loves your brand, and we reach them directly through digital communications and social media.

These tools also provide avenues to attract new clients and share our message with them. 
In addition to digital communications, we use Google Analytics and Facebook Business to analyze overall customer trends. 

What books do you have on your nightstand?

As a lingerie designer, I am naturally inclined to appreciate romance novels. I have not read a Lisa Kleypas that I did not enjoy, and her books have always held a place on my nightstand. Lingerie is personal and empowering, just like the relationships we pursue. I love reading stories about women who are free spirits, learn to let go, give in to love and practice self-love in the process. I recommend reading Sugar Daddy and The Devil in Winter. I encourage you to wear LoveSuze pieces and cozy up with either of these books.

Because of the current economic climate our publication has started a series of discussions with professional individuals meant to engage our readers with relevant companies and their representatives in order to discuss their involvement, what challenges they have had in the past and what they are looking forward to in the future. This sequence aims to present a series of experiences, recent developments, changes and downsides in terms of their business areas, as well as their goals, values, career history, the high-impact success outcomes and achievements.

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