How It’s Made: The Lingerie Label Every Cool-Girl Owns
Welcome to How It’s Made. Each month, we’ll be going behind-the-scenes with your favourite brands to find out how their most popular products are produced. For our first installment, we headed over to Lonely Label's lingerie headquarters in New Zealand to find out exactly how the company's beautiful lace undergarments come to fruition.
Ask any fashion girl where her lingerie is from and no doubt, Lonely will be high on the list. Delicate lace detailing that's made to be seen through a sheer shirt, mixed with strappy statement panelling, has made it the covetable brand it is today.
Keep scrolling to see inside the Lonely Lingerie studio and to read about how its pieces are made.
Who What Wear Australia: How did your lingerie label launch?
Lonely Lingerie: We launched Lonely in 2009. At that point we didn’t feel there were any lingerie labels which truly resonated with us or our customer aesthetically. We wanted to take away all expectations of how you "should" look in a product, and focus on how our lingerie makes you feel. Our starting point was soft cups, and even though we have expanded our range to include underwire and support up to an F cup, the philosophy remains the same—the emphasis is still on creating a beautiful, natural shape and, above everything, comfort for our wearer.
WWW: Your lace bras have become a favourite amongst so many women—why do you think this is?
LL: Laces are often a starting point for design; we use high-quality speciality fabrics sourced in Europe and Hong Kong. Stretch lace makes up the majority of our collection for its comfort and flexibility. We tend to steer clear of heavy padding, push up, and restrictive denier linings—this is unusual for a lingerie brand but it gives a natural, comfortable and uncomplicated result, which our customers love.
WWW: Where’s your studio? Are your pieces designed and made in-house?
LL: Our studio is in Auckland, New Zealand. All design, patterning and initial sampling is done in house, and our production is looked after by a collective of smaller size, family-owned factories in China. Initially, we tried to produce in NZ, but there isn’t the local infrastructure to support lingerie manufacturing here, and the quality we receive from our Chinese manufacturers is of such a high standard. We’re very lucky to work with such skilled teams. Our production and design departments visit all of our factories regularly, it’s important to us that we can be confident and comfortable with where our product comes from. Our dispatch is based in house at our studio, so every single piece that goes out has been carefully checked by hand by our team.
WWW: How do you perfect your fit?
LL: Fit and function are considered right from the start of the design process. We have an in-house sample room, which means we can retain control and ensure our base fits are 100% perfect. This is something that’s unusual, especially for a fashion-focused lingerie brand. We also manage all pattern making and grading in-house, which is becoming a rarity in today’s fast-paced industry where outsourcing is the norm. Prior to starting bulk production, we get a full-size range made up to be wear tested by local women. We listen carefully to all feedback and modify elements to ensure optimum fit and support across a range of body shapes.
WWW: What’s your bestselling lingerie set?
LL: The Lulu Softcup Bra is always a favourite. It’s a Lonely signature, featuring our classic cut-out bust-strap detailing. Through clever use of panelling and elastic strapping, the style is incredibly supportive for a soft-cup—it comfortably fits up to a D cup. Lulu is currently in her 8th season, we have it in store for A/W 15 in a classic black mesh and a soft shell colourway.
WWW: You inject seasonal colours – are these just as popular as classic black? Which has been your most popular to date?
LL: We love the current palette—it’s more muted than previous seasons, with soft easy wearing tones including taupe, dove grey and delicate shell. We also have injections of rich brick red silk and, of course, our classic black mesh and lace styles. Black styles always sell very well, but our customers also embrace colour and love to build their Lonely collections with highlight colours each season.