POSTED ON OCTOBER 26, 2011:
Zinke sisters partner for a lingerie launch of international proportions
Big things are happening in a small, inconspicuous office off of Brookside. International-type things. Glamorous-type things. Trendsetting-type things. Profitable-type things. Sisters Arin and Jessie Zinke are taking the lingerie industry by storm with the 2010 launch of their lingerie company Zinke Intimates.
Arin began her career as a full service event planner under the name, Zinke Designs. She learned a great deal about running a business with her first creative endeavor. Once Jessie graduated from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, she approached Arin with some sketches of some ideas she had for lingerie designs. Being a visionary, Arin could see the potential. Arin had the bloomer and cami set produced as part of a wedding accessories kit that she was offering to her brides whose weddings she planned. The lingerie quickly started outselling all of the other accessories she offered. Their company just kind of organically grew from there. What for some young women are big dreams and grand ideas without any legs, Jessie has had the creative vision and Arin has had the pragmatic business know how to actually bring those drawings to fruition and into your top dresser drawer.
Their first big break came when powerhouse retailer Anthropologie opted to pick up their line. This has lead to subsequent partnerships with two other companies under the same fashion umbrella, Urban Outfitters and Free People. Landing such a deal was a huge milestone for the Zinke sisters and one that any up and coming fashion designer would kill to have.
"Anthropologie was one of our top picks for stores. Our styles are very complimentary of one another. Both promote the creative expression and individualism of the wearer. Besides the design compatibility, Anthropologie has proven to be a huge tipping point for us."
As the lingerie line has developed and the business has grown, the Zinkes have had to make some business adjustments. Jessie has moved to New York to oversee the sourcing of fabrics and the production of her designs. Arin has set up shop in Tulsa to oversee marketing, sales and distribution. They've recently added four employees to their company, two of them sales reps so that all of their selling is now in house.
"Making our sales internal was the best early move we made," Arin said. "It's made all the difference and has really led to some big breakthroughs in our growth."
Although not without growing pains, Arin and Jessie have each apparently hit their groove fairly early on in the game.
"The growth and transitions have more been seamless than we anticipated. I think it's because our roles have become more distinctive. At first Jessie and I both had a say in the entire process. We both had our hands in everything. Now Jessie handles everything from designing the fabrics, the design of the pieces and then seeing things through to production and then we sit down together and decide what we're going to market and how we're going to market it."
And market it they do. The fashion press has certainly taken notice. Zinke Intimates has had editorials in Women's Wear Daily Elle, Lucky, Marie Claire, Instyle, Maxim, Glamour, Nylon and Brides magazine among others. But marketing savvy aside, it is easy to see that great design still plays a part in why their lingerie line has been so successful. The pieces are unique and flirty and unlike much lingerie, not entirely impractical. The lingerie is designed for how we actually live and not in fact, for the woman who only lives in a Victoria's Secret catalog. With a fresh mix and match approach, there is a subtly to the collections. It's for the woman who wants to look glamorous but isn't one to take herself too seriously.
This underlying Zinke aesthetic of effortless chic is now going to carry over into another collection, Zinke Swimwear. With fabrics designed by Jessie, the suits are fresh and playful and as equally interchangeable as the lingerie line. It will be launched in 2012.
Here in Tulsa, Zinke Intimates can be found at Rope and also Anthropologie.
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