Fashion And Beauty For The Hardcore | Stephanie Seymour for Chantelle
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Stephanie Seymour for Chantelle

New York – French lingerie brand Chantelle wants to spread the notion of something that French women seem to instinctively know – a good bra with the right fit empowers a women’s sense of femininity, and that equals more confidence.

To help raise the profile of the company, last year they signed on supermodel Stephanie Seymour as the face of the brand. Her curves are well known: Seymour was once a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model as well as a model for Victoria’s Secret.

“Put the right undergarment on and you are transformed,” said Seymour at a luncheon on Friday, April 18, in New York to celebrate the new Chantelle ad campaign shot by Peter Lindbergh.

Seymour, adjusting a pair of reading glasses, (“I’m no librarian,” joked Seymour) spoke to a group of editors about her own transformative experience with Chantelle.

“The first time I put a corset on, I was really impressed with my waist and my bust,” said Seymour. “In my twenties, I didn’t really wear too many bras……I always had a difficult time finding one, because I’m tiny but busty.”

But the fit technology of Chantelle impressed Seymour. “I was wearing Chantelle before they even considered using me,” she said.

Chantelle CEO Patrice Kretz said the emphasis for the brand in the coming year would be on the enlargement of their their product range to include more exclusive and luxurious fashion-forward styles. At the core of the brand are the bras, he said, but they are making them “more fun and more seductive” said Kretz.

Lace and a diverse selection of colors have been key to Chantelle’s success in France, while in the U.S. 50 percent of their sales are in more basic styles. Kretz said that for the U.S. market, they have developed styles that bridge functionality with fashion – smooth cups, practical for t-shirt wearing – but with a hint of seductiveness in the form of a lacy back.

For women just beginning to embrace lingerie as a fashion statement and the concept of buying good foundations, Seymour had this to say.

“Why did women seem more sexy in the ’50s and the ’60s? It’s because they wore great bras and they had a good shape,” said Seymour. “They may have suffered a bit then, but today we can have all of that but in something that is soft, modern and comfortable.”

“A lot of women think that wearing a bra ages you, but it doesn’t age you,” she continued. “It just makes you look sexy.”