It's no secret that I enjoy introducing readers to new full bust luxury lingerie brands. My breasts have been up and down the bra alphabet, but are settling into the DD range in old age. So I'm always up for learning about brands that make bras for my boob size.
Today, I share an interview with Katherine Hamilton, an indie UK designer offering luxury lingerie options for full busts---those wearing 26-38 bands and D-HH cups. It's for the modern woman who enjoys the glamour of retro styling, with a strong emphasis on fit. You'll find beautiful bras, high-waisted knickers, and suspenders, along with bodysuits.
Like many other bloggers, I'm in love with the quality of their materials and timeless designs. I'll also be sharing a review of one of their styles in an upcoming blog post.
Learn more about Katherine Hamilton below, and view current and upcoming SS2018 styles.
How long has the brand been in business and what was the impetus for launch:
Alexa from SS18 Collection via Katherine Hamilton
We soft launched in Autumn 2016 following years of research and development. It was particularly joyous time as it coincided with the arrival of my twin boys 😊
We originally soft launched to ensure that our system worked smoothly from start to finish from manufacture through to delivery to our customers. We also wanted to ensure that our products were well received. It was important that any potential fit or make-up issues were tweaked before approaching retailers and expanding our range.
Having received fantastic reviews from customers and bloggers, we presented our SS18 collection this August at the INDX Intimate Apparel trade show as part of our hard launch. We received a great response from buyers. We’re looking forward to announcing new stockists over the next few weeks and months.
The motivation behind Katherine Hamilton comes from my want for luxury lingerie. As soon as I learned my small band and large cup size at age 16, I suddenly couldn’t find any beautiful lingerie. I wanted to be able to buy a gorgeous silk and lace set with a suspender belt. But there wasn’t anything available like it in my size. And so the brand was developed to meet this need.
What makes Katherine Hamilton different or unique in the lingerie or intimate apparel market?
Our aim is to be the first luxury level brand with a fit-focus in ‘real’ sizes. Our products are designed for women who want the look and feel of an Agent Provocateur or I.D Sarrieri product but can’t currently get it in their size. Or if they can, they don’t feel the fit is good enough for the price. We are priced a bit lower than these brands but with a superior fit, and we offer standard sizes of (26-38 backs, D-HH cups).
Our non-padded bras have a lighter fit than the standard offering available in this size range. Our research has shown that a significant group wants the feel of a ‘bralette’ but in a product that fits well.
Who do you see as your ideal customer?
Gabriella from SS18 Collection via Katherine Hamilton
Our key customer is a professional woman with a disposable income that she can invest in quality garments. She’s someone who has learned that you get what you pay for and so chooses to buy clothing that is tailored, well-made, will last and feel nice against her skin. When I visualize her, I imagine her as someone who invests in herself for herself. She isn’t particularly driven by what others think; she’s choosing lingerie that makes her feel good.
What’s been your greatest business challenge in establishing your brand?
Other than the financial pressures of developing a fuller bust brand, our greatest challenge has probably been product development. It is incredibly time and cost consuming to develop a lightweight, delicate item of lingerie that offers strong support and shaping for a wide range of breast sizes, shapes and compositions.
One thing I have learned to accept is that one bra will not work for everyone. Our breasts are all so unique requiring different types of fit from deep cups to shallow cups, narrow wires to wide wires, wide-set straps to narrow set straps etc. I do however aim to gradually expand the variety of shapes for which we can cater.
Is there anything you find frustrating about the lingerie industry of which consumers have no clue?
The cost of a bra. Before I stepped foot into the lingerie industry I didn’t know anything about lingerie development and assumed that creating a beautiful, supportive and comfortable silk and lace large cup bra would surely be quite straight forward and could retail for maybe £38! When I think of that cost now I feel a sense of dismay knowing the engineering and craftmanship required to create a large cup bra (for fair wages), in addition to the materials required and surcharges for low order quantities.
I can feel frustrated when someone comments on the price of a luxury bra. The best analogy I can give as an explanation is shoes. If you want a sexy sophisticated pair of stilettos for work that are also comfortable for all day wear, you can expect them to cost upwards of £100 (many pay much more). Luxury bras are like luxury shoes; you pay for the beauty and comfort that enables you to wear it all day. Bras have the added feat of shaping wobbly breasts that vary in shape, weight and composition. Considering how important a bra is in making us feel confident and comfortable, I think it’s worth the same investment as the other items of our wardrobe.
My frustration is however countered by the wonderful feedback we receive. Just recently, Sweet Nothings NYC concluded a review of our Sophia that brought tears to my eyes, confirming that we had succeeded in creating a bra that is elegant, luxurious and truly comfortable for all day wear.
Where do you want the brand to be in the next ten years?
Our aim is to become a global brand, renowned as an authority in large cup technology offering high-end lingerie, nightwear, loungewear, swimwear, perfume and accessories. I’d also really love to open a store in Dubai. But that will have to be much further in the future to be a serious goal.
What is the one thing you want customers to know about the brand?
That we genuinely care about our customers; our ultimate goal is to empower through lingerie that promotes confidence, self-worth and comfort.
Katherine Hamilton Recap:
We offer two core designs:
- A three-piece non-padded bra composed of delicate vintage inspired French lace and silk that coordinates with knickers, thong, high waist brief, suspender belt, and robe.
- Three-piece padded balconette bra that exists in two styles: a modern, clean strappy look called Louise and a new design that features overlaid French lace in line with our more vintage inspired aesthetic.
Bra Price Range: Prices range from £30 to £475
All of our bras are available in sizes 26D-32HH, 34D-34H, 36D-36G, 38D-38F
Suspender belts and robes: XS - XL
Where to Buy: You'll find our products on our website and brassion.com. Following the launch of our SS18 collection, we will be available from new small and large stockists, both online and brick & mortar, across the UK, Europe, and the USA.
What do you think of the cost of full bust bras? Would you buy Katherine Hamilton lingerie?