|VA BIEN WAS FOUNDED WITH LOVE.
In 1975, a young French girl named Marianne Gerard
left France for New York City. She adventured off for academics - to study medicine - but found the fashion world waiting instead. Upon arriving in New York, she met Richard Gimble who together with his father ran Image O'Youth - a designer of longline bras and garter belts. (Image O'Youth bustiers can still be found in some American vintage shops.)
Marianne soon fell in love with the intimates industry (and Richard) and decided to put aside her studies to launch a new line together with him. Her initial target was shapewear, which at the time featured bulky outer paneling that showed through special occasion outfits - particularly the knits Marianne loved to wear.
With inspiration from her mother back in France, Madamme Paulette Gerard, Marianne responded with a collection of bodysuits and bottoms that for the first time hid paneling on the inside - and with silky-soft fabrics that felt more like lingerie than any shaping piece had before. Aesthetically, the pieces channeled her, and her mother's, sensible contemporary-French style; it was well-recieved by the trade and caught on quickly. Soon the the collection was carried in top luxury department stores such as Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom's.
A collection of bras soon followed to address further special occasion dressing needs, such as low plunge necklines and low backs. This assortment was complimented by a series of elegant boudoir pieces - which doubled as foundations - designed for less formal, romantic occasions. Marianne wanted to cover every special moment and by the 90's, Va Bien sported a full range of special occasion underpinnings that was sold in over 30 countries worldwide.
Today, Va Bien continues its rich tradition of special occasion intimates, and has been awarded multiple patents for its innovative designs - the most notable of which is the ultra-lift bra cup, which seals three thin stays within foam cups, providing an unparalleled level of support and preventing the age-long problem of strapless bras sliding down - all the way up to an I cup.
Yet, Va Bien today hardly excludes its focus to function alone: its seasonal couture line, Atelier Va Bien, proposes pieces hand-crafted from some of the most inspiring textiles in the world, each piece designed to cross over into ready-to-wear. The collection is designed by Richard and Marianne's son, Gregory, who is Va Bien's Vice President and Creative Director.