We Love Colors Microfiber Tights (available in 51 different colors)
We Love Colors Microfiber Tights (available in 51 different colors)
It’s the end of September, and that means it’s time for another designer interview! Designer interviews are my way of highlighting small, independent brands that I believe deserve more buzz. This month’s feature is of the UK lingerie label, Sugarlesque, created by the very, very talented Ruka Johnson.
1) What was your background before becoming a lingerie designer? What made you want to get into the lingerie industry?
Before designing lingerie I was training to be a make-up artist at the London College Of Fashion. I’ve always been a creative and crafty person and enjoyed making things for others. When I went on a short lingerie construction course in Leytonstone, East London, I started to branch out into lingerie and accessories.
2) Is there a certain kind of Sugarlesque woman?
Yes I think there is a Sugarlesque woman – she’s a woman who knows the meaning of the word “sexy” and understands that the right set of underwear is a powerful thing – it can change your mood, your strut, your swagger, the way you stand, the way you react to other people throughout the day. I also think a Sugarlesque woman likes a little hint of performance and “showgirl” in her underwear and there’s nothing wrong with being a bit of an attention-seeker, just a little bit though.
3) How would you describe your current collection in 10 words or less?
Risky frisky stretchy sexy tight right figure-hugging body-loving
4) Last month, you responded to this post about women of color in the lingerie industry. Does your perspective as a woman of color influence your design, aesthetic, or model choices in any way?
Well, this is an issue that’s very close to my heart and to answer your first question, yes, I do think my perspective a a woman of colour does influence my designs. In the same way that who a person is will influence anything they do or produce, my colour, culture and experiences have a big influence on the types of under garments I produce for other women.
I like to think my designs are bold and full of life and colour, which is most likely a direct influence of coming from a very loud and lively west African family. And I like to take design risks such as working almost exclusively in sheer fabric, which is probably influenced by being an opinionated London girl – I like to think we’re very brave and not afraid to take chances.
In terms of business decisions, such as choosing models for shoots and campaigns, I make a concerted effort to be as inclusive as I can in terms of colour, shape and size. If you take a look at my website you’ll see models of different races, sizes, with tattoos, without tattoos – and I plan to continue in this practice – there’s always space for me to diversify even more than I already have and I fully intend to.
In my opinion for a company to say they “cant find” suitable models of colour is lazy and elitist. It takes a click of a mouse these days to put out a model casting and find a model to fit practically any description. I’ve looked at ad campaigns for other lingerie companies in which I didn’t see a single model who looked even remotely like me, and I felt alienated. I don’t care what my demographics are – I want any woman anywhere in the world who looks at my underwear to not only feel included, but to feel like she could wear one of my pieces and feel as good about herself as my models do, and as I do.
5) Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring lingerie designers?
My advice is don’t expect to much too soon ! It take forever to get even one measly foot on the ladder and start getting recognition for your designs, let alone regular orders. Im still very small scale, and so its only been in the past few months that I feel like Im starting to build up a solid fan base, and more importantly a customer base. But it’s so worth it doing something I love – I would advise anyone thinking of taking the plunge into lingerie design to just go for it – do it !
6) What’s your favorite animal?
Bunny rabbits !!! I had a pet rabbit called Cleo, I got her when she was 2 months old and she was jet black with blonde tips on her paws. She sadly passed away in June of this year, but she was always chewing and tugging on my fabrics while I was constructing my latest collection and she liked to curl up inside the rolls of black mesh, so I named my AW2010 collection Cleo, as a tribute to her.
7) Where can we buy your stuff?
From my website: www.sugarlesque.com and I’ve got a few exciting new stockists in the works, so keep an eye on the website for updates.
For around $60, you can get the exact same lingerie look and still have enough money left over for a room in a five star hotel.
What do you think of this look for less? Purchase? Or pass?
Today’s guest post comes from Krista, a regular author over at The Lingerie Post. The Lingerie Post is one of the best sources anywhere for finding out the latest lingerie, underwear, and swimwear news. They also have a great lingerie sales page that I check at least once a week.
If you enjoy this feature by Krista, why not read her other Lingerie Post articles here? And don’t forget to tell us what you do with the lingerie an ex gave you in the comments!
My friends have really taken to having a friend in the intimates industry. So naturally when I’m around, conversations about lingerie often come up. I was in a cab en route to a party with some girlfriends when one of them shared the story of wearing one of her most fabulous bra and panty sets for an important date and how it just happened to be a gift from her ex. “Should I feel bad about that?” she asked. This prompted the other friend to talk about a few pieces in her collection that she’s had for a while that were purchased during the era of an ex. “It’s mine. I don’t want to throw it away. But how do you repurpose lingerie?”
Hmmm…that’s a good question. Is lingerie like a song? Can you just create new memories with it and let the old ones fade or will you still attach it to that one particular person? If it is attached to one particular person, do you just get rid of it? If you are addicts like us, you probably spent a pretty penny on some of those pieces and “getting rid of it” is just not an option. Unlike a song that you can flip a switch and get rid of, lingerie is a bit more…well, intimate.
I don’t have an answer to the question. To each her own. But I’ll tell you my opinion based on my own lingerie philosophy. Lingerie is YOURS! Especially if it is something you bought for yourself. At the end of the day, it is about you feeling good, confident, sexy, empowered. If he pays enough attention to enjoy it (without being in too much a rush to rip it off), then that is the bonus. The icing on your already very fabulous cake. So go ahead and repurpose your pieces. Wear for yourself. Wear them for someone else. Just wear them with confidence and you’ll hear no judgment from me.
Dita, Dita, Dita…what can I say about her that hasn’t been said already? From being a muse to couture fashion houses like Jean Paul Gaultier to designing luxury lingerie collections for the likes of Wonderbra and Frederick’s of Hollywood to selling out burlesque and striptease shows worldwide, Dita is more than a woman…she’s an icon.
On the personal side, I love what Dita von Teese has to say about lingerie. Like her, I believe that “Lingerie is not about seducing men, it’s about embracing womanhood.” And I also “…love it when you can go about your daily business with the knowledge that you have a little secret of your own underneath.” With that in mind, why don’t we take a look at a few key pieces that can give anyone a Dita-worthy wardrobe.
Dita von Teese is almost never seen without her stockings, and thanks to an exclusive deal with Secrets in Lace, you can wear the exact same nylons that she does in her burlesque shows and stage performances. The pair shown to the right is the Dita Glamour French Heel, and you can purchase it here.
Along with her many talents, Dita is famous for being able to tightlace her corsets from a natural waist size of 22″ down to 16.5.” While I don’t recommend that kind of extreme body modification (Dita already has an extraordinarily curvy figure), I do recommend the corsets from What Katie Did. You can buy a basic black underbust (like the one to the right) for less than $200.
A pin-up model’s look isn’t complete without a retro-style bra, and how will your fully-fashioned stockings stay up without the right garter belt? Fortunately, What Katie Did has you covered. Authentic vintage patterns inspire all their designs, so whatever you buy will make you look and feel like Ms. von Teese herself. I recommend the classic Maitresse and Harlow lines.
What do you think of the Dita von Teese phenomena? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments!
A ginormous “Thank you!” to Independent Fashion Bloggers for featuring me again in this weeks Links a la Mode. Scroll to the bottom to see the article they picked, and don’t forget to check out the other great reads from these fabulous fashionistats too!
I know it’s late notice, peeps, but if you’re one of my daily readers then you’re in for a special treat. Both Frederick’s of Hollywood and Figleaves.com are taking 20% off everything in their store for a limited time only. The Frederick’s promotion ends tonight, while the Figleaves promotion ends Wednesday.
To take advantage of the Frederick’s offer, simply add $95 or more to your shopping cart (plus you’ll get free shipping!). For Figleaves, you need to enter the coupon save20, but there’s no minimum purchase. Take a look at a few of my favorite pieces–
From Frederick’s of Hollywood’s new vintage-inspired ICON collection (also shown above):
From the new Figleaves Boudoir collection:
Why don’t you take a look at their stores and tell me what you’re lusting after? Happy Shopping!