ACTIV INTIMATES (Scottsdale, Az)
Who likes lingerie? We like lingerie!! I call this all day wearable lingerie. Activ Intimates has given us the most versatile line of womens lingerie I have seen to date. As one of Phoenix Fashion Week's emerging designers, Activ Intimates is sure to heat up this years runway.
Wanna know more about this sisterly duo and their free-spirited brand? Good. Welcome to the world of Activ Intimates.
Give me one word that best describes your style.
"Neither of our plans included a hard left into fashion, much less intimate apparel.
We were both busy with careers and family and may have never entered fashion had we not discovered a gap in the market. So, in a way, fashion found us – specifically, intimates found us."
Let’s start with our Spring 2019 Erotic Energy Lingerie Collection. We’re excited to reveal this new collection at Phoenix Fashion Week!
The Playlette is our signature lingerie style, created for a woman to feel confident and good about herself from the moment she puts it on. The Playlette is a complement to her beauty and sensuality and is uniquely designed to wear before, during and after intimate moments. It’s about a woman being in control of her feelings, her desires, her pleasures.
We’ve also designed a line of limited edition Peignoirs. Our Lace Poncho Peignoirs are classic, versatile cover-ups from bedroom to date night -- or our favorite way, over nothing at all.
Our Mini Peignoir is a fun, fresh pop of color and great over our panty and bralette sets.
Maxi Peignoirs round out this collection with sheer elegance.
On the loungewear side, we have the Playful Collection – every-day pieces in dreamy soft micro modal fabric and effortlessly sexy style.
We love the Perfect Bodysuit too and it’s a customer favorite with two layers of modal and high cut sides. The collection also includes our Easy-Going Cami, Free Spirit Bralette and Favorite Micro-
How did Activ Intimates come to be?
"Laurie -- Activ Intimates started in the dressing room of a lingerie store where one would expect to find something for everyone. When I went to this store to find special lingerie for a special date, everything I tried on was UNFLATTERING. There was no consideration in the designs or fabrics for coverage over my thighs or tummy. I wasn’t going in with my 20 or 30-something body. This was post-childbirth, I was nearing menopause and my body and shape were naturally changing. I was frustrated and upset but also curious.
I wondered, do other women feel inhibited by insecurities about their bodies? And how do they feel about lingerie options? This experience was the start of something that would change my life’s direction. I became obsessed with the realization that there needed to be better lingerie options. Age shouldn’t exclude women from feeling confident and experiencing pleasure. I got to work – researching, sketching and calling my sister, CJ, to partner with me in this business venture. She said yes and here we are today ready to show our lingerie to the world."
"Starting the business was the natural progression of the journey we started when we set out to make our signature lingerie, the Playlette. As sisters, we had always dreamed of working together in our own company. In fact, we started working together when we were 4 and 5 years old in Seattle, Washington.
It was the 60s and we thought nothing of going door to door asking housewives for odd jobs. We were paid mostly in candy, but back then a profit margin measured in sugar was fine with us. As adults, our careers took us in different directions, but Activ Intimates brought us together
Now we’re learning new things every day while using our business backgrounds as the infrastructure for our brand. However, this time around, our profits are measured in dollars!"
Has it been a struggle for sisters working together?
"No, the opposite is true for us. We have always been close, and we work well together. One of the keys is that we are not the same. In fact, we probably have more differences than similarities. Our strengths, skills and perspectives are different – and when combined it’s powerful. We balance each other. We don’t always agree but that generally makes for better business decisions. One characteristic we share -- and this is critical, is our work ethic. Our parents raised us to be independent and to work hard to achieve our dreams and goals. So that’s what we do – put our minds to it, no matter the challenge."
What is most important when it comes to designing a new piece?
"Never lose sight of who it is you’re designing for."
"It’s more than fabric and trims, patterns, prints, colors and textures. Fashion is what happens when the components
Fashion has the power to take a special moment and to elevate it beyond the day to day.
It evokes an emotional response and makes a loud statement about who you are."
What is your favorite part in creating that special intimate piece?
"When it’s all said and done and we see our vision come to life. Seeing it on a model at a photo shoot or on the runway is truly exciting. But even better and more meaningful is when we hear from a customer – seeing her, listening to what she likes or doesn’t like is the reason we do what we do. At that point, the blood, sweat and tears of it all falls away and we’re ready to create the next piece."
What type of material do you work with?
"For our loungewear line we use siro micro modal with Spandex for its softness, stretch and recovery. It wasn’t easy to find because we insisted on a fabric that would endure washings and wearing without pilling. We found a source in LA that knits their own micro modal.
Our lingerie is made from performance fabrics. We use power mesh and stretch lace. We also incorporate moisture-wicking anti-microbial tricot into our lingerie designs. We use and save our production scraps as part of our re-activate program, rather than sending fabric to a landfill."
"We created the first rendition of our signature lingerie before we officially started our company. It was literally the first thing we did -- in Laurie’s basement sewing studio. She lived in Denver and I lived in Scottsdale, so I got on a plane and we spent two weeks together making our first prototype – the HugMe.
We used white stretch performance fabric and a crisscross design, so there were multiple layers of fabric involved. This prototype traveled from Denver to Seattle to Scottsdale on its journey to become a sample and then on to Los Angeles for pattern and production. That leg was a road trip, our first time to LA for business and first time to the LA Garment District. Thinking we were in the final stretch, we lined up meetings at four production houses.
At our first appointment of the day, in awe of this factory, our fate in the hands of this man – he held up our lingerie and looked it over for about 5 seconds and said, “It’s much too complicated.” Back to the drawing board . . . And yes, we still have that original HugMe today."
What is the best part of the designer bootcamp?
"The timing of designer bootcamp could not have been better for our brand. Coming into summer we were weeks away from completing our first lingerie production run. We were working on our launch campaign and gearing up for sales.
As we were contemplating bootcamp, a recurring concern was that it would move us in a different direction, pausing our momentum. But what we found out quickly is that the structure and content of bootcamp would guide us through a successful launch – not only of our lingerie but our brand. We are leaps ahead of where we would have been without bootcamp.
The connections we’ve made with our fellow emerging designers, industry professionals, influencers, buyers, etc. are invaluable and the forward momentum is much more than we expected. We are on board the train now and it’s moving fast."
What is the hardest part of the designer bootcamp?
"Bootcamp challenges everything you think you know about your brand. Here’s an example from day one of bootcamp. We were reviewing brand logos and statements and we felt good going in, we had worked hard on our brand image and message – it was solid . . . until it wasn’t.
No one in the room connected with our brand message and we didn’t nail our logo. It was all off. This was a tough message to hear but when you’re in bootcamp, you have to open your mind and be willing to change your mindset. This is what bootcamp is about – but it’s not easy. Every day you have to wake up and challenge yourself, your beliefs, your goals. You have to live outside your comfort zone."
Are there any particular influencers in your world who inspires you?
"Laurie --Sarah Shotton is the creative director for Agent Provocateur. She is my lingerie designing hero. And like a hero, she’s fearless - in her design and her campaigns. Sarah is absolutely true to her aesthetic and to her customer. She’s a fashion superstar.
CJ -- Cora Harrington, founder and editor-in-chief of The Lingerie Addict and recent author of “In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear and Love Lingerie.” I’m inspired by Cora’s honest approach to writing and talking about lingerie. The title of her book is perfectly suited to what she does so well – educating and engaging us in a conversation that’s all about lingerie. The content and imagery she shares is refreshing and I have to say, I’m addicted."
What do you girls do in your down time?
"Laurie -- I enjoy working out on the elliptical, dancing, hiking, learning Spanish, sewing, reading, writing and debating politics. More than anything, I love my long talks and FaceTime with my three boys and my grandchildren and keeping up with my nieces and nephews.
CJ -- To clear my mind and energize, I like a good physical challenge – road and trail biking, running, hiking, pumping a little iron and Orange Theory (sometimes its good to be told exactly what to do!). I love spending time with my husband and three boys – totally out numbered but we have a great time hanging out, trying new restaurants and traveling together."
Follow Activ Intimates on IG @activintimates. If you want to catch their entire collection, you do not want to miss the big runway show. Phoenix Fashion Week at The Talking Stick Resort is October 18-20, 2018. You can happily get your tickets here. It's going to be one heck of a party!!
See you on the runway!
Presented by www.chronicbehavior.com/ @chronicbehavior
Thanks to the Chronic Behavior team for their excellent coverage of the event. They are the team helping to support and promote the brand. We appreciate you for your continued support.
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