Bottoms up: from vegan leather bras out of London to bespoke, steel-boned corsets worn by Beyoncé, bralettes for breast cancer survivors to lingerie for women with ostomy bags, we’ve unearthed 11 independent lingerie brands majorly shaking up the skivvies industry – and worthy of a place on your watch list now.
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What’s a 28 year old breast cancer survivor to do when she can’t find bras that fit post-double mastectomy? Create them herself, of course. Meet AnaOno Intimates: a lingerie line exclusively designed in fit and construction for breast cancer survivors and women living with breast cancer, founded by Designer, Survivor, and all round rad #girlboss Dana Donofree. The brand’s mantra? That you are Never Alone, as evidenced in the debut season’s empowering campaign images featuring fellow survivors (see below). Debuting earlier this year with wireless lace bralettes, sustainable bamboo sports bras & matching skivvies, look out for loungewear and a collab with Radiation Oncologist Dr. Katie Deming coming early Jan ’16. 5% of all AnaOno bra purchases are donated to charitable breast cancer foundations, year-round.
Leaving her corporate work environment behind, London based Ally Clarke set out to create “something that made her feel unstoppable and made others feel she was unattainable.” Enter Blue Reign: a range of progressive bras, briefs, garter belts and harnesses fabricated from the Creative Director’s signature vegan leather, seen here quilted in the debut “Dynasty” collection released earlier this year. Inspired by strength, freedom and ferocious passion, the brand’s statement pieces are designed to empower women to feel, and be, whomever they want to be – whether in the boudoir, or out taking over the world, natch.
Debuting for Fall/Winter 2015, GemPicket presents a collection of effortless, neutral-hued lingerie and loungewear merging Parisian sophistication with the eclectic Tokyo street style of “Onee Gyaru”, plus a touch of 1960s cinema. The line comes as the brainchild of veteran interiors and fashion executive Germaine Picket, who created the brand after spending over a decade creating retail interiors for Ralph Lauren storefronts worldwide. Silhouettes in the debut collection range from soft bras and knickers to open-back tanks and tap shorts, leggings to bodysuits; fabricated from fine natural fibers including cotton/silk batiste and cotton knit fabrications sourced from Japan and Italy. Meant to be seen, you decide whether to wear pieces inside the boudoir, or out.
Related: See 39 Pieces of Lingerie to Wear OUT of the Boudoir, here.
Harlow & Fox
An avid collector of genuine vintage nightdresses and slips, designer Leanna Williams always had a passion for vintage style. Not only the beauty and detail in lingerie, but also a love of the subtle aesthetics of 20s and 30s interiors (particularly from the pages of World of Interiors and English Home). When she couldn’t manage to find the lingerie she longed for in her size (32F), something truly special designed just for the full bust woman, she set out to create it herself. After taking design courses at the world renowned De Montfort University as well as the London College of Fashion, and alongside the help of a talented team of pattern cutters and seamstresses, the first Harlow & Fox collection became a reality in 2013. Now, gorgeous bra and knicker sets, tap shorts and half slips, and show-stopping kimono robes and nightgowns are available in a full bust size range of 30-38 DD-G; XS-XL.
Want more? Read our Q&A with designer Leanna Williams here.
After undergoing surgery for Crohn’s disease at age 20 resulting in a permanent ileostomy bag, the now 24-year old Jasmine Stacey decided to create a lingerie line for women just like her. Debuting this Fall, the designer and London College of Fashion grad unveils an empowering namesake collection for women living with ileostomy, colostomy or urostomy bags; scars or stretch marks, or simply preferring more tummy control. Cut-out bras, high waist briefs and silk PJ sets are ultra-feminine yet daring, celebrating and empowering women to be exactly who they want to be. The brand closely supports the work of Purple Wings, a non-profit which helps bowel disease sufferers with ostomies to feel more confident.
Made by Noemi
Growing up with dreams of being an interior designer, Stockholm-based Noemi Ivanova transitioned her passion of function and style to lingerie with the launch of Made by Noemi in 2004. Since then, she’s developed a brand DNA marked by clean, minimalist silhouettes that are just as feminine as they are functional – including her new Lace Leggings (fondly referred to as “Long Johns for stylish girls”) and her upcoming SheerPower Collection. Fusing the sporty sensibilities of powernet with the feminine lines of classic lingerie silhouettes, the sleek range of bralettes, briefs, slips and bodysuits will hit the MbN online shop November 20th.
Sin & Satin
Handmade one stitch at a time by self-taught corsetiere Jasmine Ines, Sin & Satin bespoke corsets are a true work of art crafted out of her Midtown, Manhattan studio. Jasmine’s authentic steel-boned creations can take up to 6 inches off your waist, whether wearing for waist training, a costume or a statement piece. Worn by elite clientele from around the world (including Beyoncé), all corsets are made to measure to fit your body type, petite to curvy to full figure to otherwise.
After spending five years at Playboy imagining what men might want to buy the woman in their lives, in 2009 Michelle Taylor left to set up her own design atelier. The mission? To give women what they really want – a glamorous secret below the neckline, whether or not anyone else knows it. Meet Tallulah Love, a cheeky line of lingerie, nightwear and gift sets transforming a taste for theatrics, opulent fabrics and hard-won technical expertise into alluring, playful pieces putting women in charge – without taking life too seriously.
The Giving Bride
Calling all brides: you now have a go-to destination for lacy little things (and other lovely essentials) designed to be worn on wedding day, night and long (ever) after. Meet The Giving Bride: exquisite lingerie for the discerning bride with a generous spirit. Designer Maggie Gillette launched the line earlier this year after a summer at the London College of Fashion changed everything. (Literally – prior she had spent nearly a decade teaching in the Chicago public schools system followed by a run in non-profits. Can we say triple threat?) Fueled by a charitable mission, a percentage of all Giving Bride sales go towards a chosen women’s not-profit, year-round. Presently sales proceeds go to A Safe Place, the sole provider of services exclusively addressing domestic violence in Lake County, Illinois.
Want more? Read our Q&A with designer Maggie Gillette here.
Everyday essentials, evolved. This is the mantra behind Minnesota-based Urban Undercover, marked by a range of signature skivvies featuring a discreet, patented pocket hidden along the inside of the Italian lace waistband at the small of your back. The pocket is just big enough to stash all of your secret (or scandalous) necessities – ID, lipstick, keys, cash, tampons…or otherwise. The best part? When not being worn, the clever undies are designed to roll into said pocket, converting to an on-the-go, portable square (no larger than a credit card) for wherever life takes you. Practical, functional and comfortable, Founder Sairey Gernes created the brand to offer women a smarter, simplified upgrade on a garment often taken for granted.
Violet & Wren
Lovingly made in Great Britain by designers Helen Pollington and Louise Barnard, Violet & Wren presents a timeless luxury loungewear brand upgraded with today’s modern sensibilities. Launched this Fall, the debut “Botanica” collection offers a dreamy range of silk kimono robes, slips dresses, camisoles, knickers and PJ sets merging the femininity of wispy, hand-rendered floral prints with the freshness of clean, directional silhouettes. Pajama dressing encouraged, wear these versatile lovelies in, or out of, the home.