Q & A with Laura Godsal, founder of MyTights.com

In case you didn’t get the memo, hosiery is bigger than Obama this autumn. So, tights mistress Laura Godsal from MyTights.com is going to be very busy indeed for the next few months. A good job I sent her this Q & A a few weeks ago then. Former accountant Laura set up Mytights eight years ago so knows pretty much all their is to know about what we’re all going to be cladding our legs in from now ’til next year…

Disneyrollergirl: So Laura, why tights?
Laura Godsal: I hated buying them – I constantly got the wrong product, I could not remember what I purchased last time, I could never find what I wanted….. I basically set up the service that I would like to have.

DRG: Lots of people have great ideas but don’t act on them. How did you go from having the idea for MyTights, to making it a reality? Was it a struggle?
LG: Lots of hard work. The first few years in particular were tough. Cold calling is definitely not my forte and I had to do a lot of that to start with. I also knew absolutely nothing whatsoever about the hosiery business to start with – now I could practically do mastermind on the subject.

DRG: Who is the MyTights.com customer?
LG: Primarily 25 to 45 working women.

DRG: What’s your current best seller?
LG: Products that are constantly in the top sellers are Jonathan Aston Coloured Opaques, Aristoc Ultra Shine Tights and Spanx Power Panties.

DRG: What do you predict will be the big thing in legwear for AW08/9?

LG: Tights are huge this autumn. As always classic opaques will be the best sellers, however not just in black. By changing your tights you can completely change your look.

DRG: Who makes the best coloured opaques?
LG: I just love Falke Seidenglatt 70D opaques in neutrals and berry tones as they have a fantastic shine to them and feel amazing. For range of colours you cannot beat Jonathan Aston – these however are matt and personally I prefer shiny!

DRG: What’s your personal favourite legwear look?
LG: Where do I start! For everyday wear in the winter I live in a variety of textured tights in every colour imaginable – for this autumn, products such as Trasparenze’s Avril Tights and Amelia Tights (which I am wearing in metal right now as I write). I also cannot wait for the new Emilio Cavallini products to come in as they are fabulous. It’s very rare to find me in regular sheers or black opaques. If what I’m wearing is subdued then I will go for something very multicoloured. In the summer I live in Falke Shelina which are the ultimate in bare leg look tights and also Aristoc Ultra – you really don’t need to spend a lot of money to have fabulous looking legs. You also cannot beat seamed tights.

DRG: And your least?
LG: Footless! I know I am in the minority – but I think they makes your legs look shorter.

DRG: Any up-and-coming hosiery designers you want to recommend?
LG: We have got two new fabulous brands this year both of whom are proving extremely popular: Celeste Stein, who does the most amazing prints – these range from Harlequin designs to flowers to cats! We have lots more products due in over September including a large selection of different plaids/tartans. Also Bebaroque which is a very new company set up by two lovely Scottish girls. Their products are truly unique as they hand-embroider their products. They have recently become the Accessory Designer of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards.

DRG: What’s been the highlight of MyTights so far?
LG: I just love it when I go places and meet people who are customers and love what we do.

DRG: What’s the biggest business lesson you’ve had to learn?
LG: Employ the right people. Delegate!

DRG: What are your favourite fashion websites?
LG: Top favourite of the MyTights.com office has to be ASOS!

DRG: What do you think of Lindsay Lohan’s leggings range? Have leggings had their moment?
LG: They’re not something that I will be wearing! However sales of leggings and footless are on the up again. It looks as though they have now become a wardrobe staple.

DRG: What kind of tights are magazines like Vogue, Elle and Harpers calling in at the moment?
LG: Vogue is constantly calling in Celeste Stein (they have already featured them in two published issues since we launched the range in the UK in February). They also love Bebaroque. Plus opaques galore in every colour of the rainbow as well as black. After black, the colour we are getting most requests for is all shades of red.

DRG: What’s your best hosiery-care tip?
LG: Wash your tights in a hosiery bag.

DRG: Do you sell tights for men?
LG: Yes. When MyTights.com started men were among the first customers, however they are now in a very small minority.

DRG: What do you do with returns, can you tell if they’ve been worn?
LG: Yes, it’s very easy to see if a package has been opened. If there is any doubt whatsoever they are thrown away.

DRG: When I worked on an older woman’s magazine as an assistant, I used to get readers’ letters asking where to buy one-legged tights. You must get some funny requests…?
LG: You don’t want to know!