Today we're featuring indie lingerie brand, Ellesmere Lingerie. Only a few years old, this Canadian label is quickly making a name for itself.
Why is that? First, the styles (whether a simple everyday black bra or delicate lace and matching garter set) are drop-dead gorgeous. Second, they offer bras and bralettes to fit a broad range of body types. You can shop for both core and full busts sizes that go up to a G cup. Third, there is a custom sizing option. It's hard to find a small brand willing to take these types of risks at such an early stage in their business.
But my view is that Ellesmere Lingerie will be around for some time. The way they market and advertise their line is both inclusive and welcoming. And their materials are exquisite, whether it's an embroidered Italian lace or floral leatherette. With the current industry emphasis on more casual bralettes, it's great to see Ellesmere using cup sizing in both their wired and non-wired styles. They even offer it in made-to-order bodysuits. (Perfect for D cups like myself.)
Take a look at a few of Ellesmere's latest lingerie styles below, and learn more about them in my interview with their designer Julia Rechel. You'll want to check out the rest of their collections here.
How long has the brand been in business and what was the impetus for launch:
Ellesmere is a pretty young brand. I moved to Montréal two summers ago with the intention of launching here. My idea was to start a project that celebrates the inner lives of woman, and thusly Ellesmere was born. I think it can be easy to lose a bit of ourselves as we go through life. And I want to create a world that encourages women to keep hold of themselves---safe-guarding who we are, while exploring who we want to be.
Ellesmere is named after Canada's most northern land point. It's an island right at the top of Nunavut. I grew up in the Yukon, and take a lot of inspiration from my rural, northern childhood. I learned to sew as a young girl, and wanted a name that reflected the personal nature of what I do.
What makes it different or unique in the lingerie or intimate apparel market? What’s the lingerie niche you are trying to fill?
I'm happy to be part of the independent lingerie community, working to change the more corporate notions of who lingerie is for and work towards more inclusivity. Everything we make is manufactured in-house, and Ellesmere provides a high-quality, fit-focused experience for those looking for something unique.
Who do you see as your ideal customer?
Ellesmere is about reflection and our inner lives. I love the intimate nature of what I do. And my ideal customer is anyone who wants to find openness, whatever identity you are looking for, take it and make it yours.
What’s been your most significant business challenge in establishing your brand?
I think woman often want to establish a sense of trust in an intimate apparel company before they will try them, so building that relationship is probably what I work hardest on. I take the technical aspects of my designs very seriously and want women to feel assured that they can rely on my products.
Is there anything you find frustrating about the lingerie industry of which consumers have no clue?
I would say sizing challenges. Many customers understand this, but many have no idea! I'm very technical and work with fit models across the board when developing new styles. I expanded my size range last fall, and it was really a labor of love to put out a new range that I felt confident in. The technical difficulties that I face as a designer are certainly challenging, but to be honest, I wouldn't say that I necessarily find this frustrating, as I would say it's my job to make this look easy!
Where do you want the brand to be in the next ten years?
I'd love to keep true to the values of Ellesmere, to continue embracing diversity and offering well-fitting, high-quality garments. I'm looking forward to expanding my production capacities and working with more stockists in the future, as well as continuing to build the relationships I have with my clients.
What is the one thing you want customers to know about the brand?
I really want my customers to know how much love goes into each and every garment coming out of the Ellesmere atelier. Everything is handmade here, and every order is special.
Ellesmere Brand Quick Recap:
Core and full-bust styles
Bra Price Range:
$75 - $137 CAD (approx. $57 - 105 USD)
Bras: 30B - 36G (UK sizing)
Knickers: S-XL, custom sizing available
Where to buy: ellesmerelingerie.com/shop
What do you think of Ellesmere Lingerie? Which of their styles would you wear?