Could you introduce yourself, and talk us through how you ended up in the lingerie business?
Beau Bra began when I was an archaeology student at Durham University, England. The idea for the front fastening bow front bra came from having read a book on the psychology of clothing which mentioned how the little bows commonly found on the bridge of the bra, were there as men wanted to undo them! This, coupled with me overhearing a group of boys boasting how they could take a bra off with their left hand in three seconds made me think about how important the release of the bra was in its design.
As one of the boastful boys happened to be my boyfriend, I cheekily cut up one of my bras, replacing the bridge with a bow and gave it to him with a note saying that now he truly would be able to take off a bra with his left hand in a few seconds. He loved it and so did everyone else who saw it.
It was the first Beau Bra.
From this point onwards was a rollercoaster ride. I went to law school where I started designing unusual bras for fun. One of the bras tailored for a friend ended up on the desk of the Editor of Vogue Magazine. To my amazement, I received a call from the editor requesting the launch of the label on their pages. This went hand in hand with a request from Selfridges to exclusively sell the line for its first season. From then on it went a bit crazy, suddenly I had my own Designers in Debenhams range, orders from shops around the world, a strong team of staff, lovely offices and more ranges, culminating in an acquisition bid by Slimma Plc!
But even now after ten years.. I still can’t quite believe that I design beautiful lingerie and not a lawyer!
There are dozens of lingerie brands that are trying to stand out. Why do you believe Beau Bra is able to do just that?
Beau Bra has very clearly defined niche in the current market place. Beau Bra makes beautiful, ultra luxurious, well fitting lingerie in elegant, feminine, slightly flirtatious, artistic designs.
Unlike other British brands that have found success by creating more risquÃ© lingerie to fulfill a man’s fantasy, Beau Bra has concentrated on designing lingerie that empowers the woman. We imagine our customer wearing high heels not stilettos, being a femme fatale rather than a vixen.
This subtle difference in our sexual viewpoint to our competitors creates a significant difference in our products. Our lingerie is less intimidating to buy or to wear, but has an equally invigorating effect. The beauty and luxury and the fit of the products often is hard to hide and the effect is difficult not to share.
Your lingerie is always provocative, yet this Spring/Summer 2007 is sober and romantic. We described it as belle Ã©poque-esque: high-class, but intimate. Do you agree this is a more sober and intimate line of lingerie than the previous Beau Bra collections?
Each season Beau Bra designs a brand new collection. Inspiration comes from a vast array of elements. My mood, my friends’ moods, London’s mood! Autumn winter 2006 was all about the femme fatale, whilst spring was more romantic! Autumn Winter 2007 colours were inspired by the colours of Versailles, but the mood of the pieces is designed around the concept of a woman casting an illusion on a man… all very smoke and mirrors! I find it hard to agree that one collection is more sober and intimate than the others. I believe they all have a signature look of Beau Bra. But I also admit that as I change and mature, so possibly does my lingerie!
What are your favourite fabrics to work with? Are these the fabrics you enjoy wearing too?
For Autumn Winter 2007, Beau Bra has indulged itself. We have used nothing but black and sable, eyelash, chantilly French lace with lashings of the softest silk satins in biscuit, nougat, sage and gold.
We have designed the pieces, we no expense spared. The bras are lined in silk, so that the wearer is cocconed in heaven sent silk luxury, laces overlay each other and are used on both the front and back. The pieces are luxury lingerie fantasy. I cannot wait to wear mine!
Where do you see yourself and the Beau Bra brand in 5 years?
Can I say ‘ideally right where we are now… maybe with a few more converted customers… ‘