Retailer Spotlight: Tulli
Copacabana. The scenery to melodies, dreams and fantasies of incredible beaches is the background to the delightful atelier where Carol Leite, founder and head designer, and her team welcome their clients. Tulli, the brazilian lingerie brand founded in 2012, aims to create colorful pieces to make women feel beautiful and comfortable.
Last month, I had a chance to visit the brand’s beautiful atelier. As I arrived and opened the door at the fourth floor, it was clear that every corner of that space was designed to make clients comfortable when buying.
Divided in three spaces, lingerie and bikini sets were everywhere, along with books, pictures of models having fun and a beautiful decoration that could make anyone think “I wish I lived here”.
I sat down with Carol for a talk. Her office is inside the atelier, in a separate room, allowing the work to be done in her personal space while being close to the customers on the other room. As I could notice, intimacy is key on this space, and Carol told me a little more about the brand and her lingerie.
Q&A with Carol Leite, founder and designer of Tulli
What do you think Tulli brings to the brazilian lingerie market? What is the brand’s mission?
Freshness. We bring this concept, not common in Brazil, and work with exclusive prints designed in house in a fun and light way. We are not afraid of using colors and, most of all, we bring diversity and comfort, trying to create lingerie for the brazilian woman.
This is great! You usually work with models that do not conform with regular beauty standarts. Can you talk a bit about that? Do you think it’s a key factor to your clients?
In my opinion, it’s fundamental in this day and age that fashion brands bring everyone together, avoiding exclusion. The “Angel” stereotype is a past, today people want to identify with the brand and models – this certainly brings new clients. We use different body types in our campaigns and photoshoots, and we do not photoshop their bodies, so that women can identify with what they see. The models are everyday women, clients and friends, that are interested in being photographed for us.
One of Tulli’s differential is what you call the TulliBox. Can you explain a little about that?
The TulliBox is a monthly subscription box with lingerie. It works like a magazine or beauty box subscription – you are charged monthly on your card and receive a surprise piece at your doorstep. They are exclusive pieces, made only for subscribers, and usually one gets 3 months of panties and a top on the fourth month. That way, the subscriber can get a full mini collection by the end of four months. The idea behind this box is that since we always get bills at the mail, it’s nice to get a little present once in awhile. The subscribers have, in addition to the box, 20% off in every item and exclusive early access to all promotions. The TulliBox is a very important part of our revenue and the subscribers are some of our most important clients.
What is the idea behind this space? How does it work? Do you strive to make people feel at home while shopping at Tulli?
The atelier is the space where we welcome our clients and where we create our collections. It’s open from Monday to Friday and you can knock the door and enter, just like a shop. It’s always going to be me or other women from the team who will help the shopper, so yes, we do have the intention of having women feel at home while in here. There is always coffee, water, beer and even sparkling wine, sometimes.
Although we do have changing rooms and a bathroom with a big mirror, our clients feel so embraced that they usually change clothes in the middle of the space! They get more comfortable in this space to have some coffee, talk and laugh while wearing lingerie, and they end up buying more because of how they feel while shopping. That is why we decided to close all our stores in shopping centers, because our client wants to be involved and learn more about the brand in a pleasant environment.
What would you say is the biggest challenge Tulli faces within the Brazilian lingerie market today?
First of all, one of the thing I’ve noticed is that lingerie is still divided in Day and Night (writer’s note: in the brazilian market, lingerie is categorized by buyers and people inside the industry in these two categories. “Day” would be everyday pieces in basic colors, models and fabrics such as microfiber or cotton; while “Night” would be more sexual and sophisticated pieces), and Tulli does not fit in neither one of these. We make different pieces – we do not carry plain underwear and we do not make pieces that have the intention to be solely sexual. We create lingerie made for women, comfortable enough to be worn everyday but beautiful enough for her to feel great if she is headed to a special event. We truly believe that if a woman feels sexy and comfortable with herself, she will feel great for her partner if that’s what she wishes for. Our greatest obstacle would be that we don’t fit in the standards of what lingerie usually is in Brazil.
Finally, what’s in store for Tulli? What are we going to see next?
The greatest objective for us at this moment is to keep solid and reach more people. We do have a great online public, lots of followers, but we are still very small.
We intend to keep showing that diversity is important and it needs to be shown and accepted, but in a delicate way. I find that what we try to do with Tulli is to be delicate while showing diversity. We are a feminine and feminist brand, made by women to women. We do not create lingerie focused on the viewer, but focused on the wearer, and I think that’s our differential.
Our other great battle today is to make plus sized lingerie, which is really hard for a small company but I think we may be bringing some pieces for the next collection, since we know that our plus sized clients want the same prints and colors, and not boring pieces. So this will be great!
As Tulli grows, it’s clear that they Carol’s designs are already a part of the Rio life — always easy going and searching for fun in every detail. Here is hoping that we see more of Tulli in the years to come.