Q&A with Fantasy Lingerie’s Leilani Whitney
Above: Forget me Not set from the Fantasy Lingerie SS18 Hanging Collection.
“Fantasy Lingerie is a brand that encourages women to embrace all sides of their personality.” – Leilani Whitney.
With the inspiring motto, “Sexy is for Every Body®” Fantasy Lingerie is at the forefront of brands creating fabulous fashion lingerie for all sizes. They are so well-loved by shoppers that they have been expanding their brand to meet customer demands. From a new swimwear line to a brand new President, Fantasy Lingerie is ready to take on the industry for 2018. As discussed in our previous article, the brand’s managing director, Leilani Whitney, has been promoted to the role of President. The Lingerie Journal was lucky enough to sit down with Leilani to discuss her position within the company and her thoughts on the ever-changing lingerie industry!
Q&A with Fantasy Lingerie’s President, Leilani Whitney
For those who aren’t familiar with Fantasy Lingerie, could you give us a little insight into this exciting intimates brand?
Fantasy Lingerie is a brand that encourages women to embrace all sides of their personality. Whether it is their sensual, romantic, passionate or playful side, we have a style that encourages every woman to feel great in their own skin. We do this through innovative and fashion-forward designs in quality fabrics and trims, across a full size offering and at a mid-range price point. Fantasy Lingerie believes that “Sexy is for Every Body ®” in style, price and quality.
Above: P.S. I Love You Sun Goddess set for 2018.
We must also congratulate you on your new role in the company! It’s very exciting news. For our readers who aren’t familiar, what does a president position entail?
The quickest description would be the one that oversees the big picture while herding cats! For a more serious answer, the President is responsible for providing leadership while helping to establish long and short-term goals and strategies while also being responsible for the day-to-day operations of the business.
Above: P.S. I Love You Aloha Sunset Halter Contour Cup Swimsuit with Mesh Panels set for 2018.
What are your goals for Fantasy Lingerie?
To continue to grow the company through innovation and inclusion. I would also like to see Fantasy become more well-known and appreciated as a brand. When I speak with customers who appreciate the great combination of quality and price-point for our lines, it makes me want more people to discover and embrace Fantasy garments! Over the past several years, a lot of our business has been in the private label sector, which we love and hope to continue growing as well.
Above: P.S. I Love You See you in St Bart Triangle Halter Lace Bra and Bikini Bottom.
Fantasy Lingerie is also debuting its P.S. I Love You Swim & Resort Collection this year at the Altitudes Intimates Show. How did this line come about?
Fantasy was at the forefront of plus-size lingerie in sexy styles starting in 2012. We felt there was still an area missing in sexy swimwear for the plus-size woman and started there. We broadened the idea to do lingerie-inspired swim styles in plus and missy styles and manufactured them in sunny California. The response has been amazing!
What makes working at Fantasy Lingerie different from other brands?
From what members of our team have told me, one of the biggest differences is the feeling of inclusion. I am very interested in the ideas, feedback and experiences of everyone who works here. It has made for some lively debates and plenty of laughter. I also like to bring in outside training, lectures, publications and insights that I have learned or picked up along the way that can inspire and motivate the team. And there is always the occasional show tune if necessary.
Above: Fantasy Lingerie Curve Collection Monique Bra and High Waisted Gartered Panty.
How did you get into the world of lingerie?
I was working for the owner in another capacity when he bought the lingerie company. After some changes in personnel he asked if I would help with Fantasy Lingerie and it’s been a whirlwind ever since!
What is the biggest change you’ve seen in the lingerie world since you started 23 years ago?
I have been in the sexy industry for 23 years, the lingerie aspect of it has only been for the past 5 years. In that short time, I have seen a change in how lingerie is perceived and moved more mainstream and more competitive. The advent of social media and celebrity brands has been a game changer. I have also seen a big change in how the plus-size community has been affected. When we started the Curve line, I was told that people would ask for it, but not actually buy it. Instead of just a simple grade up in sizing, we decided to have our line designed by a plus-size designer. At that time, I coined and trademarked the phrase, “Sexy is for Every Body”, which I started to used in a variety of incarnations shortly after. Since that time, the plus-size market has exploded in all aspects of fashion including lingerie and swim, with model agencies, divisions and fashion runways including the full figured woman, which has been amazing to watch and be part of.
What advice would you give to a young girl just starting in the industry?
Work with the best people you can find, absorb as much information as you can, stay curious and be passionate about what you do. I think that is true in any industry.
What trade shows can buyers expect to see Fantasy Lingerie and the P.S. I Love You Swim & Resort Collection this year?
We just finished The Altitude Show in Las Vegas and in February we were at CURVENEWYORK. These are our two mainstays as we like to get out and visit our customers one-on-one when possible!