Guest Brand: Hopeless Lingerie
We have recently begun to stock various other lingerie & swimwear brands on our website, because we just love having a choice! We picked our favourite indie brands from all over the world, including Kiss Me Deadly (UK), Maison Close (France), Love Haus (US) and Hopeless Lingerie (AUS).
But why not find out a little bit more about the designers behind these brands? We had a chat with Gabrielle, the director of Hopeless Lingerie!
Q. What were you doing before launching Hopeless and what attracted you to lingerie?
I completed a diploma in Fashion and nearly finished a degree in the Arts majoring in Art History, Film, and Architecture. I love lingerie because its small and detailed, and also because at the time no one else was really doing handmade lingerie.
Q. What was the original idea behind the brand? Where did the name come from?
My sister thought of the name when we were brainstorming. It just seemed right. The original idea for the brand was to create pieces that are sexy and fun but not trashy. We wanted to be modern but with nods to vintage, and with a focus on quality and beautiful materials.
Q. The collections have a really cool, edgy vibe. Who do you imagine as the Hopeless customer?
Young (at heart) and confident. Thanks to social media I get to interact with and see Hopeless customers nearly everyday! So I know very well who they are and what they like.
Q. What is your go-to destination for inspiration on previous and up-and-coming collections?
Film is a huge part of my life. I always look to film for inspiration for the pieces themselves and for design inspiration. I don't look at outfits literally though, its much more about a films mood, cinematography, and landscape being the inspiration than directly copying looks.
Q. What is one of your favourite pieces/sets and why?
Its not exciting at all but the Veronica Knickers in Bamboo are the BEST everyday knickers! So soft and comfortable and stay put all day long!
Q. How does an idea transform into a finished product?
I have a pretty big collection of patterns I've developed over the years so it will often start with altering one of those patterns, sewing a sample, maybe cutting out shapes or adding straps, then changing the pattern again and another sample. Sometimes I only need to do it once but more complicated styles sometimes take 5 to 6 samples to get right.
Q. Describe an average day for you.
I go to the gym at 6am most days, and I'm at my work desk by 8am. Im lucky enough to work from home so no dealing with traffic! In the morning I answer emails and do general computer work, social media, scheduling, and other admin things. I usually start sewing orders around 11am and break for lunch around 1pm. I then sew from about 2pm until dinner time 6 or 7pm. I try not to work after dinner but do sometimes do social media and emailing if it needs to be done.
Q. What sets Hopeless lingerie apart from other brands?
We are a small independent brand built from scratch, and a lot of trial and error. When I started I had no business experience and have built everything organically, which I think has really helped Hopeless evolve into something unique. My focus is on the brand as a creative expression, and I put that creativity into everything I do - from designs, photoshoots, Instagram, Facebook, packaging and everything in between. My focus has never been making sales, or making things that I think will sell. Im not interested in being a department store brand, or growing into something enormous. I will never follow trends, or buy trend forecasting information - everything is very much from the heart. All our pieces are handmade in Melbourne too, up until a year ago it was nearly all sewn by me! Now I have 4 girls who help me with the sewing part time, my sister helping with admin and emails, another helping with the cutting, and my Mum does all the accounts. I think thats what makes Hopeless special and different.
Q. How has the brand developed between launching in 2008 and now?
In 2008 it was just me, doing everything, as well as working 3 other jobs at the same time. Now (as I mentioned above) I have an amazing team supporting me. I have learned a lot in terms of fit and functionality, Ive expanded our size range, and it is very much my full time job.
Q. What three words would you use to sum up the brand?
Dark, strong, feminine.
Q. If you could pick any style icon as a muse/ambassador/face of Hopeless, who would you pick?
Q. A lot of your styles involve creative use of straps and lines. How do you balance style with function?
Function is debatable - different women want different things from their underwear, and while I know things like the 'ouvert' styles aren't for everyone and aren't for everyday wear, they do have a place. Some woman want things exclusively for the bedroom and a lot of my pieces are more suited to that.
Q. What lingerie do you think every woman ought to own?
Bamboo knickers. They changed my life.