AJOUR’s Love Story
By Libby Basile
AJOUR finds its roots in love.
It is co-founder Vitaly Novitsky’s love for his wife, Tetyana, that was the driving force behind the launch of the brand, the implementation of its Ukraine-based manufacturing operations and the design of each of collection.
In fact, Vitaly uses the words, “refined, dazzling and perfect” to describe his wife. Together, the Novitsky’s take those same words to heart as they work on growing their brand within Ukraine, and worldwide.
Founded in 2005, the brand first gained recognition at Mode City in Lyon, where the collection was selected to appear in the runway show. It’s since grown to forty brand named stores in Ukraine and several international distributors. A physical US boutique and online shop is also in the works for AJOUR.
The Lingerie Journal recently covered AJOUR’s SS17 collection, in which flowers and butterflies are a major theme. Here, we had the opportunity to gain deeper insight into the brand’s creation and development, as well as a peek at what’s in store for 2018. Read on for more from co-founders Vitaly and Tetyana Novitsky.
Q&A with AJOUR’s Co-Founders Vitaly and Tetyana Novitsky
Can you share a bit of background on the brand? I’d love to share with our readers who may not be familiar with AJOUR how you got your start in the lingerie industry?
Vitaly: I was inspired by a woman. [Vitaly motions to Tetyana] When we talk about beauty — I mention women. When I think of the perfect beauty and its perception, I also mention women!
It was not an accident that we decided to manufacture lingerie. Our decision was based on a detailed analysis of the market, its saturation and potential. At that time Ukraine didn’t have a high end lingerie brand, and famous brands where not in a hurry to open their shops in our country. Together with the creation of our brand and opening the manufacturing warehouse in Ukraine, we decided to launch the chain of brand boutiques named AJOUR. Today, we have over 40 stores in Ukraine under the AJOUR name.
Can you tell us a bit about your day-to-day routine?
Vitaly: We take part in the development of AJOUR’s collections at each stage. We regularly visit international exhibitions and select fabrics, follow the main trends and tendencies in the lingerie industry to help our designers with sketches for new collections and participate in the selection of models for photo shoots and shows. Also, we personally take part in major international lingerie exhibitions where we are proud to introduce our AJOUR brand worldwide.
Is there a story behind the name, Ajour?
Vitaly: AJOUR is a French word that means “fine jewelry work”. We are happy to encourage woman’s desire to be beautiful and sexy. After all, everything has to be in “AJOUR”!
What would you say is the hallmark of your brand? Is there anything you feel your styles and designs are known for?
Vitaly: From the very beginning, the main criteria we have for our product is perfect quality and comfort. We treat the selection of new collections very carefully; each model goes through several stages of testing and is processed only under ideal estimates from focus groups. We always create our own unique design, order fabric from the best manufacturers in France, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland and add unrivaled accessories that give our lingerie unique charm.
What sort of materials and fabrics are used in your collections?
Vitaly: We care about the quality of our garments, because we care about women’s health. That is why we are proud to say that we use only high-quality European materials from the world’s famous suppliers: Weber Lace (Austria), Ets Lucien Noyon Et Cie (France), Inter-Spitzen (Switzerland), Havanas (italy), Forster Rohner (Switzerland) etc.
Can you share a bit about your current, SS17, collection? What inspired the designs? Do you have any personal favorites?
Tetyana: Our Spring collection is full of the spirit of adventurism and adventure. This is how we see and imagine a modern, active and successful woman. In this collection, sensuality is interwoven with tenderness in an incredible, lacy performance—elegance in every detail! I especially prefer the Chambord and Fleur sets—an exciting mix of soft femininity and playfulness that stirs the imagination. In particular, women inspire partners to take decisive actions.
Can you tell us about your manufacturing process? Your factory and operations are located together in the Western part of Ukraine. How does it set you apart from other manufacturers?
Vitaly: Production is a very delicate and complex process that requires perfect coordination of all parts—supplies, cutting, sewing, quality control and logistics among other aspects. We are proud that our lingerie is manufactured on the most modern equipment where automatic precision cutting fabrics combined with filigree manual work on sewing and decorating being done by the most experienced masters. Our factory is located in the regional center in western Ukraine. To make the process easier everything is done in one place—from inspiration, manufacturing, management and finishing with the sale of the AJOUR garment. Designers can always come to the factory shops and control the process. Long-term experience of employees allows us to provide impeccable quality results in a short time, including product improvement recommendations and cost optimization. Factory staff, who previously trained in France, have a deep knowledge and experience in this particular industry.
What’s in store for the next collection? Any ideas or inspirations you’re currently working on that you can share with our readers?
Tetyana: For FW 17-2018 you can expect absolute luxury and expressive lines. The new collection will embody a modern view of embroidery—found in individual items or in combination with innovative textures and materials. The collection brings to life a special combination of softness, strength, grace, passion and restraint. Let’s leave a little intrigue before we will present this collection for our clients at CURVELASVEGAS & CURVENEWYORK Shows.