See FOXERS at CURVENY (July 31 – Aug 2, 2016) at booth #332.
“FOXERS are fun, comfortable, and sexy for men and women.”
by Michelle Broomes, Lingerie Journal Editor.
They say you never know where life may take you. Well, life took April Spring to Malaysia where, after spotting yet another underwear faux pas, she turned a brainwave on how to solve it into a business that has weathered several relocations and challenging market forces to carve out a niche of its own in the underwear market.
Hoping to help women wear their underwear more discreetly (especially thongs), April decided that adding a waistband, like that on men’s boxers, could be the perfect solution. Determined to test this theory, April made a prototype with 24 hours of her eureka moment. Her idea grew into a concept she called “FOXERS”.
Now established for nearly ten years, FOXERS has gone from strength to strength, currently retailing underwear and lounge wear for both men and women with, of course, the lace boxer style for women, taking centre stage amongst best sellers.
The FOXERS’ team is headed to CURVENY later this month but wanted to share their story with TLJ before heading off. We caught up with CEO and founder April Spring who gave us the scoop.
Q&A with April Spring CEO/Designer at FOXERS
April, why the name FOXERS?
FOXERS are fun, comfortable, and sexy for men and women so FOXY comes to mind but not a great name for a brand so I’m so glad FOXERS came to me because it’s a good brand name that can grow head to toe.
You started with underwear and then included clothing items. Why this direction for the brand?
I was designing evening and day wear when I came up with the idea for FOXERS. So I had to put those styles on hold while I developed the underwear line. From the beginning my thoughts were taking outer wear fabrics and making them cross over to intimates. To this day we design cross over comfort wear from intimate to outside or underneath. So when I wanted to add a PJ top I added something that could also be worn as outer wear. I am not a stay in my PJ kind of person. I like to wear soft clothing at night but look like I could have someone walk in and not have to run for a robe. We layer and design FOXERS so you can look and feel pretty and comfortable.
Boxers are traditionally a male underwear concept, so why do you think women needed this kind of styling on their underwear?
When seeing all of the thongs peer above the jeans I knew this wasn’t a desired trend but a problem needing a solution. This is when I came up with putting the men’s boxers’ band on other underwear primarily the thong.
“It has taken several years to develop the seamlessness of the brand but I believe it’s very recognizable now. We have tremendous customers that love the brand. This is the time to continue growing the styles.” – April Spring.
What is/are your standout pieces/collections so far and why do you think these have been the front runners?
Lace Boxers for brides and under dresses with our patented boxer band; our beautiful adjustable strap lace bralettes/camisoles with all of the touches to match the collection’s bottoms, and my favourite, the boxer briefs with pockets.
We know you like customer feedback to help inspire your brand but as a team where do the FOXERS team look for inspiration for design concepts?
Most of our color inspiration comes from when I see a flower, anything in my path, or crave a color. Also when we find a fabric we have to have for many reasons, we then match the color to the season. We also like to have add-in bridal colors like mint, lavender, silver, etc. with our seasonal colors.
“Can’t wait to be back in CURVENY! We are showing basics of course but also all of our collections for Winter 2016-17 and some Spring 2017.”
What did you find most challenging when starting up the FOXERS brand and what helped you to overcome?
Hum…that is interesting. I started with a bang from the go and never had to sell FOXERS thanks to some publicity that I received early on but then the recession changed that in 2009. After that I had a tough time going it almost alone for over three years running the entire show, keeping the brand fresh, and re-establishing the brand when the market returned. I never lost faith that I would survive and now I am past the success of where I was in 2008 with steady growth every year.
How does FOXERS stand out from the crowd?
We have a consistent look and feel from the lace to the accents, tiny satin bows with signature placement all for a purpose (copy cats always get it wrong), signature cotton woven adjustable straps, over 6 beautiful colorways per year and five basic colors all year; and the styles are evolving but with the distinct FOXERS look. It has taken several years to develop the seamlessness of the brand but I believe it’s very recognizable now. We have tremendous customers that love the brand. This is the time to continue growing the styles.
Tell us about the relationship between social media and the FOXERS brand and how you are using it to push the brand?
We have full time social media director in house, Catherine, as well as everyone on our management team is on top of making sure every outlet has steady notices about FOXERS styles and happenings. We also share information and education about the industry to those trying to build a brand. We have helped launch a few other brands and this always comes back to us with shared customers. Our social media and design team [recently helped] to pack books for African students. We give back and those we come in touch with tell others about our brand. I believe that social responsibility and social media go hand in hand.
If you could meet the girl in the thong in Malaysia, what would you say to her?
CUTE! I would give her a week’s worth of FOXERS! And most likely tell her the funny story.
What can we expect to see from FOXERS later this month when you attend CURVENY?
Can’t wait to be back in CURVENY! We are showing basics of course but also all of our collections for Winter 2016-17 and some Spring 2017. We have a very fun 10th Anniversary Collection that is a great colorway and repeats a look we made 10 years ago. Our anniversary is January 2017 so we’ll be traveling to all of the countries that distribute FOXERS to celebrate.
Besides CURVENY, what’s in the immediate future for the FOXERS brand? Can we look forward to any upcoming live or social media events, etc.? And what about a children’s range, any possibility?
We currently have children’s PJ pants for gift market that we will have in NY. We are also launching the boxer shorts with pockets of course! We do have a great media campaign for Winter 2016 through Spring 2017 including FOXERS being featured in some prime TV shows. Long term we would like to open a FOXERS flagship in Atlanta, GA. We have just started manufacturing in Georgia so that is very exciting. So much opportunity ahead of us but I plan to keep it sane and fun.