An Update on Adore Me Lingerie, pt. 3 – Conversations with the CEO, Morgan Hermand-Waiche

Editor’s Note: This article is a follow-up on our review of Adore Me Lingerie from 2013. For Part 1 of this new series, please click here. For Part 2 of this new series, which includes a conversation with fellow TLA writers Krista and Laura, please click here and here.

Disclosure: Adore Me flew me to New York to view their new collections. All opinions are my own.



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Today is the final part of our Adore Me update series. I realize I’ve given you all a ton of information, perhaps even more than you wanted, and there are a couple of reasons for that. First of all, I saw a LOT while in New York. I was at Adore Me’s headquarters for a full day and a half — taking notes, asking questions, viewing product, having conversations, etc. It was a really dense trip, more packed in some ways than even our semi-annual trips to lingerie market. I’ve left out quite a bit, and even what I felt was worth leaving in (as you’ve noticed) still constitutes a massive amount of information.

Second, it was really important to me to be thorough… even if that meant writing a few more words than usual. I want people reading this series to feel like they were at Adore Me with me, and I wanted to provide enough perspective — from both my columnists and myself — that you could reach your own, well-informed conclusions. That’s also why all four posts include a heap of photos. When I’m taking trips like this, I want the resulting piece to give you the impression that you were right there alongside me.

So all that’s a bit meta and hopefully gives you some insight into my mindset while putting these posts together. Now to wrap up the final part in the series, which summarizes an interview with Morgan Hermand-Waiche, Adore Me’s CEO, and answers some customer service questions.

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As I mentioned in Part 1, I assume that lingerie companies give TLA writers the extra-special treatment. Since “coming out” with my real name (Cora Harrington) I can’t even really order privately from most lingerie stores anymore. Please don’t interpret that as a complaint. But when large, well-known brands are sending me personal notes about how much they love my blog in my order, then I have to assume that my customer service experience is a little atypical. Which means I’m not really qualified to speak about customer service on the blog.

That said, our first Adore Me review got quite a few comments remarking on the company’s customer service, so I took the opportunity while at Adore Me HQ to ask about how they were addressing some of those concerns. Most customer service complaints focus on one of two areas: sizing, fit and quality, or issues with the subscription service.

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The first cluster of complaints has everything to do with Adore Me carrying products from multiple brands/manufacturers under the Adore Me name (i.e private labeling). It’s an expected problem, and one I don’t see going away so long as the company is at least partially reliable on private labeling.

The second issue, however, is definitely within Adore Me’s ability to control. I asked Hermand-Waiche how he was addressing subscription service complaints, and after emphasizing how Adore Me absolutely does not want to come across like a scam (what business owner would?), he went on to say that Adore Me has made significant changes to the way they sell lingerie as a result of customer complaints.

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As many of you know, Adore Me’s business model is heavily reliant upon a subscription service. Customers who join their “V.I.P membership program” are billed $39.95 per month, and have the option to choose any set out of Adore Me’s showrooms. If a customer doesn’t see anything they want to purchase that month, they can choose to skip that month’s membership and they won’t be charged. While Adore Me started off as a subscription-only service, shortly after launch, they also added the option to buy without a membership, albeit for a higher price ($49.95 instead of $39.95).

Many customers said they either didn’t see the information regarding Adore Me’s auto-charging membership service or that they were enrolled without their consent. Since Adore Me’s beginnings, the company says they’ve made the details on their VIP membership service much more transparent and that they also send out reminder emails in advance of a new member’s first month.

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The company also has plans to launch a new purchasing option later in 2014 where customers can place an order and try a set for free. If they like it, their credit card gets charged, and if they don’t, they can send the set back, no questions asked, and not be charged. This new no-commitment option, like Adore Me’s current no-commitment option, will retail at the higher price point of $49.95.

In addition, customers who’ve accidentally enrolled and been charged without their knowledge have 30 days to call Adore Me’s customer service and have the charge refunded. As Krista said while we were discussing the visit, “One of the things I appreciated the most was the openness of the staff to talk with us, particularly the CEO, Morgan. He acknowledged the ways in which Adore Me has taken feedback from the consumers and press to make their model even better.” I would agree.

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After addressing customer service issues, Morgan Hermand-Waiche was kind enough to offer some insight into what goes into building a lingerie brand from scratch. While we touched on a bit of that in Part 1, I was genuinely astounded at exactly how much capital is involved in being a comprehensive, mainstream lingerie label to consumers. And I think of myself as fairly well-versed in these issues! I want to share that information with you because I think it helps illustrate why every brand isn’t making every size as well as why it might take a brand several years to expand their size range.

To begin, Hermand-Waiche mentioned that most factories they approached required 3,000 piece minimums for one bra style in one color. Just that one style in one color would cost the company $45,000 (or $15/bra). If they wanted 50 unique bra style/color combinations (not an astronomical number at all), then you’re talking $2.5 million dollars just to make one round of bras. And that figure doesn’t include anything else that’s involved in selling bras (advertising, marketing, sales, tradeshows, customer service, factory visits, etc.)

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Those high initial start-up costs also influenced Adore Me’s early sales model. Instead of developing their own bras from scratch, they would approach a brand who already planned to manufacture a given number (like 3,000), ask the brand to make a few hundred more (an order for 3,500 instead of 3,000) and then purchase the extra 500.

Now Adore Me is able to use the same manufacturers as the brands they’re seeking to replace (Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein, etc.). In addition, they’re able to work with a third-party plus size specialist to manufacture their plus sized bras. That’s right — companies have to go to an entirely separate factory if they want to produce outside of the “traditional” size range. All of that, of course, adds to the time it takes to produce and debut a new style.

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Currently, Adore Me’s best-selling sizes are 34B, 36C, and 36D. However, they did a customer survey a few months ago and found a strong interest in 30 and under bands (a potential revenue extension of between 10-15% according to Hermand-Waiche). They’re also getting customer demands for plus sizes. Again though, the company has to cope with minimum order quantities and with making sure the customer base is actually present to purchase the new sizes.

We were also able to talk about vertical integration and how that affects sales. Vertical integration means that the same company is handling all touch points for the brand, from design to manufacturing to distribution (whether that means wholesale or store sales). Victoria’s Secret is one example of a vertically integrated lingerie company. On a smaller scale, so is Ewa Michalak. Zara and American Apparel are also examples of a vertically integrated fashion companies. Vertical integration allows a company both more control and flexibility; when you’re handling everything in-house, your costs are lowered and your company can be more responsive (ideally, anyway). With their new in-house designed and manufactured line, Adore Me is shifting to a vertically-integrated company, which is a good move considering their overall goals.

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We talked about a lot more, from Adore Me’s plans to open a flagship to their long-term vision of being every woman’s go-to place for lingerie, but I think I’ve covered all the main points here.

Now that you’ve read the entire series, has your opinion of Adore Me changed? If you haven’t tried this company before, would you be willing to make a purchase? And did this installment in particular give you any insight to what it takes to develop a new brand? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

22 Comments on this post

  1. Anon says:

    I would say this company is going backwards ethically not forward.

    1) this company has a D from the BBB. BB has two types of data sets.
    a) Actual filed issues, which the BBB checks out as genuine. 750 Actual complaints of actual genuine customers to BBB in the space of a couple of years is a lot of complaints. Seems to be more complaints recently.
    b) “user” reviews. These are not checked out and can be shilled. If you look at 5 star” user reviews” on BBB, they get generated on single days (a sure sign of shilling by “Adore me”)
    EG. there are 8 reviews on Nov 11, 2015. All five star, most starting same way “I Love Adore me!…”. . Then nothing until Oct 8 when there are about 15 five star reviewers. Then no reviews until Sept 27 and 28 when you see another clump. Then nothing for two weeks, then a clump of 40 in a single day again and so on.

    2) On Resellerratings dot com they have 20,000 reviews on “reseller ratings”
    a) they started out with an one star (“F” grade) and clearly are shilling there
    b) 20,000 ratings absurdly high for a company that size
    c) Same as BBB “user” section, there are periods of weeks in a row with zero reviews and then a single day with 50 to 100 reviews, a few weeks with no reviews again, and then a singe day with 50 to reviews. That is clear and massive shilling sign.
    d) 99% of their five star reviewers are from “users” who never post any other review of any other company. Also a clear shilling sign
    e) 90% of the few bad reviewers findable in that tsunami of fake good reviews are from people who review several companies — showing the reviews by people with problems with “Adore me” are legit.

    do you really want to buy from a company that uses obvious shilling ? That in itself is a form of fraud.

  2. Monica T says:

    Adore me has gone down hill, it takes days to even ship. My most recent order has been in process status for 3 days now, previous order took 1 week. Morgan Hermand-Waiche is the CEO, I guess I will try and reach out to him and let him know his warehouse is running off his customers, wife spent $300 in the last couple of months with shipping being more of an issue with each order. Good Bye Adore you

  3. Anne says:

    I just received a two piece pajama set from Adore Me. The top has an Adore Me label and the pants have a Victorias Secret tag! I love the set but am scratching my head about this.

  4. mg says:

    When I first ordered from the company, I was thrilled. The bra/panty set was so sexy. The second one was even better and hugged my curves oh so right. Then I ordered a swim suit. One time wear. It was sexy, comfy and very stylish. But it ripped on one side. The company policy is they don’t make exchanges. I wanted to same suit, same size, but better quality. I thought this is normal, right? I am not asking for much. I just want to buy a $60 swim suit that doesn’t rip the first time you wear it. Customer service responded, sorry, but no exchanges or refunds. So I said, wow, then I am cancelling my VIP membership. What will happen to my credits, will they be refunded, I asked. Adore Me will deem my credits forfeited. She used that term, forfeit. Wow again. So I’m going to use up my credits, then cancel my membership, call my bank to make sure they can’t charge my card anymore, then use social media to blast this company. STAY AWAY FROM ADORE ME!!!!! P.S. I’ve only worn the bra/panty sets a few times (and I handwash my lingerie) and it’s literally falling apart. Cheap stuff, the worst customer service policies. Definitely a SCAM of quality. STAY AWAY FROM ADORE ME!!!

  5. Christine D says:

    I am plus sized and wear a 40 G bra, I got 3 bra sets and a corset and they are WONDERFUL! It is awesome to be able to get a cute bra/panty set for $40, when I normally spend more than that just for an ugly beige bra!

  6. Alex says:

    I really wish I’d seen all the Adore Me reviews on the Better Business Bureau beforehand. I had a discount code to buy my first set at 20, so I figured if I didn’t like it, I could just cancel my membership after that and it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Well the set arrived and although I like it esthetically, it wasn’t very comfortable even if it’s my size, the underwire is just not right. So I went through the online cancellation process. I prefer doing things in writing in case I ever have issues (so luckily I have a trail of email records). Well, that was 2 weeks ago. Since then, I have messaged them 5 times and the only thing I ever get from them is an automated “we’re working on your case” message. My subscription is still active and someone from there has yet to cancel it as I requested or contact me. I put a review about the bra where I explained this, and they had the nerve to send me a message explaining how to cancel my membership, which is exactly what I’ve been doing (and of course they don’t show negative reviews in their site). It’s not that I’m not following their instructions, it’s that they’re not respecting their own terms and conditions. Sinks I placed a complaint with the BBB and the NY Consumer Protection agency. What this company is doing should be illegal and they should be legally and financially penalized for scamming people. Worst 20 dollars spent.

  7. Nicole says:

    Adore me is rude and treats people like they are idiots. Your panties are all cut wrong. I ordered 5 panties different styles and according to size chart it says medium. I get them in and they are HUGE!!!!! Only one pair actually fit, while others fell off. There is a vastly huge difference in the cut from where you get them from. When we called adore me the rep was rude to us and treated us like we are idiots and etc. I will no longer be a customer of adore me and will not recommend this store to anyone for how i was treated. Your reps are rude and nasty!!!!

  8. LingerieBizElle says:

    I work in marketing and product development for an established and well-known company in the lingerie/sexy lingerie realm (we do exhibit at ILS), and I can say that bras at the 3,000 MOQ (minimum order quantity) will NOT cost $15/piece. That’s absurd! There aren’t any infinite number of factories overseas that do bras, so we’re all familiar with the main ones….and even the top end won’t charge $15/pc for an order of 3000. I think the CEO’s numbers are inflated. But, I do understand their strategy. It’s a lot of money to house designers and r&d departments and to establish relationships with factories.

    On the flip side, established lingerie companies are feeling the squeeze in margins with the flooding of smaller, boutique brands, knock off brands that specialize in inexpensive copies, and with larger brands like Victoria’s Secret, Ann Summers, and popular French and Polish brands. Therefore, to add an additional revenue stream, these companies are turning to flash site sales (Groupon, Zulily & the like), and private label options like AdoreMe. The industry is ever-changing and will continue to evolve given the market opportunities in the face of competitive threats to profitability.

  9. Tannia Los says:

    I’ve been enrolled for 3 months and I love it! I had to make a return and it was zero hassle. I find their quality great for the price point, the fit (one I figured out my size) is great, their boustiers are well made, and the lace is very soft. I decided to skip purchasing this month with Xmas coming up and it’s a simple click of a button. Their app is intuitive and easy to use. I also found the site very up front about customer expectations. I look forward to the beginning of each month to shop for my next order (which comes in the mail very fast). I definitely recommend!

  10. Sassafrass Nelson says:

    Super frustrating that I can’t return things without a restocking fee. I’m often a 34 g, sometimes a, 34 e or f or 36 g. It’s all about the padding or the set of the straps, or the height of the cups. With this company, I can’t order both sizes and keep one without paying a penalty restocking fee.
    Because it’s OBVIOUS that parfait/ affinitas makes their full sizes, sometimes it’s a good price for a known brand- but since they sell out of color/size/panty combos, if it’s not the PERFECT combo- I’m losing money.
    I’d rather go to nordstoms rack and try it on! It’s the same amount of hassle to try on a million bras at the rack to find one, then to deal with the clumsy adore me app and weird restrictions on sales.

  11. Lily Hofstra says:

    Excellent detail. Hard to believe they haven’t been shut down for fraud. Co tact your bank or Cc company and see if you can block adoreme.

    • Disqusted says:

      I have already notified both my bank as well as my credit card company regarding any further charges from adoreme.com.
      My purpose in documenting my experiences here was because I felt that since this site is considered the top lingerie blog in the world, that I might get this information out to a large number of individuals, thus saving them the nightmare that I (as well as MANY others) have suffered. It is pretty clear to me that the adoreme.com company director(s) tried to mitigate the damage done to their corporate “image” by their own former customers documenting their experiences here, by trying to wine and dine Ms. Harrington. Indeed, it seems as if her position did change somewhat between her first and second reviews of their “program” and “products”.
      Irregardless of what they “claim” to be doing, the FACT REMAINS that they treat their customers poorly, with VERY LITTLE HONESTY OR COMMON COURTESY, as well as OFFER TERRIBLE QUALITY FOR OVER PRICED ILL FITTING COSTUMERY which they have the gall to call quality lingerie. Any “professional” who opts to associate with adoreme.com is either as dishonest as their CEO (who’s job, after all, is to direct the affairs of the company), or incredibly uninformed about how their employer actually conducts company business. I see a class action lawsuit in the future of this pathetic excuse of a “business” for INTENTIONALLY DEFRAUDING A GREAT NUMBER OF PEOPLE. Incidentally, I was at a very large and well established department store recently and tried on several Wacoal bra panty sets. They were lovely, we’ll fitted and made lingerie items, which I purchased on the spot. So much nicer than anything adoreme.com sent me, and the price difference was minimal. No more mail order garbage intimates for me. Ever.

  12. Lauren Martin says:

    I used to buy from Adore Me but they stopped carrying my size. A while back I got desperate and got a bra one cup down with one back higher and took it in in the strap. (The customer service guy suggested this, even though I explained that was terrible advice as bras don’t fit well that way, but whatever.) Last week my partner and I were watching tv and a commercial came on that said they carry every size. I said they didn’t cary mine before so we checked the site and found out they had two bras in my size. My birthday is this weeks so my partner ordered one set for me as a gift. It came today. I opened the plastic to try it on and it looked REALLY SMALL (for me) in the cup. I tried it on anyhow. Nope, WAY too small in the cup. I look at the tag and it’s a european size, but that shouldn’t matter. For example, a 32 H north american is the same cup fit as a 32 FF european. This cup is neither. It looks closer to a DD. It literally cut my breasts in halves. I call customer service and wait 30 minutes to get A VERY RUDE rep who blames me, trying to say “it’s european sizes and it says right on the picture of that bra set that they fit small.” I’m looking at the site while she says this, and no it doesn’t. And that’s not how european sizes work. It’s super unhelpful that she knows so little about bra fit. After being blamed for their false advertising and not helping me at all I decide instead of an exchange I want to return it and never order from here again. I try to go through the site but it’s not working. I try to write a review and it doesn’t let me. I call back and wait another 25 minutes and ask for a manager, who I’m told is gone for the day. So they’re getting away with being super rude because they’re unsupervised? The second rep had tons of bad attitude as well. Then I get an email (not responding to my earlier inquiries for help) but for exchanges. Instead of the 30 days listed on the card in the box with the bra and panty set and listed on their web site, they tell me I only have 20 days. There are many many stipulations that are all in bold. The oddest was that I was to either give the package to my mailman or leave it in my house mailbox, but not to put it in a mail drop box and not to go to the post office as it’s in bold to NEVER WAIT IN LINE to mail your package. You have to agree to their terms and policies to follow through with the return but the terms say they can change their terms and policies at any time without notification, and they did. Within hours of me calling. WHAT A SCAM. They also say they don’t have to acknowledge the return for 30 days, which means you don’t get your money back for up to 30 days after they get your package. This is as of TODAY. OCTOBER 2015~! I think they gave you the polished version and not a real one. Their customer service is horrible.

    • Lily Hofstra says:

      Terrible! Sounds illegal. File a BBB complaint and contact your State’s consumer affairs dept. I’m so sorry about your awful experience. I will definitely go into my local department store to purchase intimate garments after reading what you went through.

  13. Nicole says:

    Thanks for the very thorough review of Adore Me. I have been checking out Adore Me’s merchandise occaisonally for past 6-8 months now. I am very conservative about buying online and I want to make sure the company has figured out their business model, customer service and styles before I commit. Aka. I am a slow adopter and want to make sure a aite is legit. Now that I have read your entire series on them, I feel more comfortable with giving it a go! Thank you. :)

  14. Olive says:

    Honestly I still wouldn’t bother, I’ve heard nothing but horror stories and I’ve bought cheap knock-offs before, it’s just not worth it. Better to invest in something you can actually wear rather than find the fit is all wrong, it falls apart after one wash etc and have to throw it in the trash

  15. Kellee says:

    I was enrolled without my consent into getting the monthly charges. I didn’t discover it until too late and had 3 months worth of charges ($120) that they wouldn’t refund. I’m sorry, but stealing money from me and not refunding because I didn’t catch the mistake in time is still stealing. I’ve told a lot of people about this scam and I continue to. I’ll never trust this brand no matter what they do. It’s been a year, but if they really want to make it right, my bank account will stil accept my $120 back. They may claim to have changed, but money was still stolen from me (and others).

  16. Jessica says:

    Yeah they do not refund money so easily. I am now left with 2 months credit with now no bras in the 30G UK sizing, barely anything under a 34 band for the last 6+ months. I contacted well within the 30 days of each and I still could not get refunded.

  17. Merienne says:

    I was initially very happy with Adore Me and they did not come across as a scam to me…at the time. However, in the past couple months I’ve stopped receiving emails notifying me that I’m going to be charged the next month. Of course I was charged 4 months. Despite that I still felt it was my fault as I had not checked up on it myself (although they did promise a reminder email). I called to cancel and was put on hold for almost an hour. They make cancelling incredibly difficult. They claim it’s for “security purposes” but other subscription services allow you to cancel online. Before this experience I planned on placing orders from Adore Me in the future, but this experience has left a bad taste in my mouth and I do not agree with their shady business practices.

    • Kellee says:

      I also remember having to wait forever to cancel. A subscription service should make itself really obvious to people who want to subscribe and not just rely on the fact that consumers will be too busy to accurately monitor their bank account and sign them up when they think they’re making a one time purchase. It’s cool that this company is being honest about its relabeling but that’s not my issue as someone whose not a lingerie expert. Don’t trick me out of my money!

  18. […] read the Lingerie Addict’s Review and her interview with the company Part 1, Part 2a, 2b, and Part 3. I had 1 experience with the company in 2012. I did not have multiple experiences to […]

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