Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Intimate Interview: NOE UNDERGARMENTS

The internet is kind of tricky: you get excited about seeing new things, but then sometimes it's difficult to find it in person to touch and experience. I always get super excited when I get to see a new brand in person. I got to speak with one half of the mastermind behind NOE Undergarments, Bonnie Rae Boyes, at Lingerie Collective on the whats and whys of their line.

"I come from a background in swimwear, and my sister comes from more of a background in ready-to-wear. She has more of the technical skills and the design side, I come from more of the marketing side and I was a brand manager for swim in the past and that was my background, and we both have been lovers of lingerie since as far as we can remember. And so we really took that concept of 'what’s in the marketplace?' And there were just honestly pieces we wanted that we couldn’t really find, and we were like, let’s build this ourselves.

I was seeing myself wearing a lot of swim-inspired tops and different things under sheer dresses or whatever and I’m like, we need to make this. So we combined our thoughts and about a year back we decided to come up with NOE Undergarments and then we just kind of built on really wanting it to be contemporary, a bit modern, and play off the ideas of very simplistic but everything having that forward, edgy take.

So for example, like some of the bralettes, just having the detail that pushes the boundaries a little bit. The Zachary bodysuit which looks a little bit simple from the front but in the back it’s just you know, edgy. I’ve never described a line like this before but I thought it was well-described; this piece just came out in WWD and they described it as a ‘pretty bondage style’. We were like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ it kind of describes some of the strapping we wanted, that masculine meets feminine. And that’s kind of the take of our line, that masculine meets feminine, a little bit of opposites attract, in a simple way.
And so really, even with all the marketing and stuff, of just thinking well we want to do something that’s different, we didn’t want to do the girl in lingerie on the bed, you know we wanted to do something a little more contemporary and so that’s where we built the imagery around and just the concept.

It’s been interesting; we wanted to launch with a strong NY presence obviously because I think it breeds out that way, and I think we have a stronger presence in NY than we do on the West Coast. However, it’s been interesting; we have these flowy, kind of silk dresses and a little bit more of the softer pieces we sell those strong out in the Hamptons, like in Montauk, and over on the West Coast, in Hawaii like in coastal regions. And I think it’s almost like that coverup, beachy, cover-up lifestyle, you know? And here [in NYC], it’s like, Journelle and all that, they bought more of these pieces [holds black Ryan Bustier Bra], which are more structured and a little bit more sophisticated style pieces and obviously black.

Actually for the fall season we had, instead of this firecracker [red], we had a mandarin which was really a bright orange and we also had a complement accent of a bright citrine yellow, and it was funny because some of the New York accounts were like—everyone kind of liked the orange—but the yellow they were like, ‘Ohh…,’ but our West Coast accounts were like, ‘Yay!’ and they were just like, ‘We love it!’ and so I think that’s the major difference [in preference between the coasts], the colours."

Bonnie Rae Boyes was interviewed by Esther Kim at the Lingerie Collective Trade Event in NYC, August 5, 2013.

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