Q and A with Temptations Avenue Lingerie Founder, Haithem Zaidan
New online retailer, Temptations Avenue Lingerie, challenges the outdated notion that lingerie is intended to be taken off. Instead, founder Haithem Zaidan educates customers on the importance of using lingerie as a tool for seduction. “Temptations Avenue does not exist to sell revealing fabrics—I want to offer couples a way to enjoy an enhanced intimate experience,” Haithem says.
Shoppers can browse categories like Elegant and Sensual for items like the all-black lace Harriet Bodysuit—or Erotic and Wild for something more playful, like a strappy BDSM-inspired Eternity Wild chemise.
We caught up with Haithem to get the details on the launch of the site and some insight into what makes the brand stand out among other online retailers. Keep reading for all the tempting details.
Tell us about your business! When did Temptations Avenue launch? And what was your motivation for creating this business?
Temptations Avenue was just launched in September, but the idea for the brand came to me in 2015. It all started when I was working for a multinational soft drinks company in the Middle East. I had just moved from Canada to Saudi and I was really shocked to see that males were servicing lingerie stores in a conservative country. I found it to be strange and I thought it was really inconvenient for a woman to buy intimate apparel from a male.
I started thinking about creating a website to sell lingerie in the Middle East. In 2011 I proposed the idea to a few investors and they saw the potential. I helped source and establish the website. However, the project did not last very long due to logistical challenges and a disagreement between the partners on the direction.
During this time I became very passionate about lingerie. I thought it was a fun challenge from a marketing point of view and I learned that many people don’t understand the positive power that lingerie can have on their relationships. I’ve heard it countless times from women, “why wear it when I am just going to take it off,” and it made me realize that women are missing the point of lingerie, which is not to wear it to take it off, but instead to wear it to help you seduce. And seduction is in a way a form of foreplay that can add a lot of spice to the intimacy.
What is your background in? How did you get started in the intimate apparel industry?
I studied economics at the University of Ottawa. I worked with different multinational companies (soft drinks, consumer electronics and beauty) managing different brands. Like I mentioned before, I got involved because I saw how awkward it was for women to buy intimate wear from men and I wanted to remove that pain.
How do you describe your brand?
Temptations Avenue is for those who find pleasure and enjoyment in seduction (whether being the person seducing or being the person seduced). Which means it is for those who like to put some effort before an intimate night. It is also elegance. Many people think that to be seductive you have to be “sluty” and that can’t be further from the truth. Elegance can be extremely seductive. I consider Temptations Avenue to be elegant, seductive, sensual and erotic.
Can you describe your customer experience and how it differs from other online retailers?
I believe simple is beautiful. I wanted to steer away from having a cluttered shopping experience and cater to the mood/experience you want to have. Are you in the mood for elegance? We have an Elegant & Sensual category. Or are you in the mood of taking charge or being a bit more on the wild side? Then you can shop the Erotic & Wild category. And I am also proud to say that all of our lingerie is made in Europe.
How have you seen the role of lingerie evolve in a woman’s life over the past 10 years? And how does your site cater to this new mindset?
Good question. One way to answer this is by looking at the industry itself. The variety is amazing and it tells you that women are becoming more sophisticated and aware of what they want. I think we are at a point where women really enjoy and appreciate different types of lingerie for different occasions. I have had feedback from women who tell me they have chosen a sophisticated lingerie set to wear before an important meeting because it increases their confidence.
How has the way women shop for lingerie changed? And how do you work to meet these new consumer needs?
They are definitely more educated. They ask a lot of questions and they share their experiences. There are forums and communities about bra sizes and fits, experiences and recommendations. I should not limit this to bra sizes but size in general. The biggest concern for women today is how accurate a website’s sizing is, and if the size is wrong, how easy is it to get it the issue resolved.
We are more and more active on social media and in circles where lingerie is the main topic of discussion and we make sure that we follow the same size chart for all of our lingerie so the measurements don’t change from category to category.
How do you support your customers?
Right now, our focus is to build trust with the customers. We want them to know that we understand that lingerie shopping can be challenging. Whether it is the size or the quality of the material. That’s why we have a hassle-free return/exchange policy.