Beija Flor is a brand new lingerie label. Having launched only 4 days ago! Last month I had the pleasure of visiting their studio and finding out more about the Luxury London based brand.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Abbie and Mazie, the two sisters behind the label ...
Tell me about your brand.
Abbie: Beija Flor is a modern, minimalist and urban lingerie brand. We wanted to make lingerie that we, and women we know, would wear. Our aim was to make underwear that reflected our outerwear choices. Clean, simple, sexy pieces you can wear under your suit.
Mazie: Our X, Y, Z ethos is an integral part of our brand. It was essential that we were able to offer up to a G cup. We imagine 3 friends sitting around a table. One’s an A cup, one’s a B cup and the other is a G - why can’t they shop at the same place? They all have a similar taste and want the same aesthetic so it seems unreasonable to us that the G cup has to go to specialist larger-cup retailer.
Abbie: Bigger-cup brands often go for a retro, almost burlesque, feel and shape. But just because you have bigger boobs it doesn’t mean you want that look!
When did you start the brand?
Mazie: We officially started working on the brand just under a year ago, in February 2015. Abbie had just come back from living in Brazil in January so we moved pretty quickly! We flirted with the idea of launching to trade but it meant we would have to wait till September 2016 to launch properly!
Abbie: We knew we wanted to do things differently. While it was scary at times, we decided not stick to the traditional seasons and launch early. So we’re debuting what was originally our A/W16 collection in January and we’ll be adding new things onto the site every 8-9 weeks. It’s liberating to know that we can sell our products whenever we want!
So when is the launch date?
Abbie: We officially launch on the 6th January. It’s the day the website will go live! We’re really proud of it; we’ve worked with a great web designer to produce something that is truly sleek and beautiful. There’s also a video. We’ll be unveiling it on the website and then showing it again at our launch party on the 12th January.
What was your history before the brand, did you always want to get into lingerie?
Mazie: We grew up around lingerie. Our mum started Aura, a company which designs and supplies lingerie to the UK high street. There were always pants and bras on our kitchen table! Abbie was a size 34B at the time so her wardrobe was always bursting with free lingerie samples.
Abbie: Yes, it was amazing!
Mazie: It’s a great industry but I never knew what I’d end up doing. I studied Business and was working for a small menswear label before we started Beija Flor.
Abbie: I didn’t know either. I studied Footwear Design at Cordwainers. But lingerie is too good an industry not to be involved. Through our parents we have access to amazingly talented people and resources most start-ups only dream of. It would be silly not to try - if we had never given it a go, we’d always wonder “What if?”
I love the name, is there a story behind it?
Abbie: Beija Flor means ‘Hummingbird’ in Portuguese. They’re beautiful and eye-catching but also very minimalist. There’s nothing excessive about it, no huge feathers or oversized wings! It’s just attractive and simple.
Mazie: We feel the hummingbird reflects our brand really well - it’s neat, tidy and precise. Beija Flor is to-the-point lingerie, no bells, no whistles.
Do you have a muse?
Abbie: We don’t have one particular muse, we’re inspired by lots of different women. We idolize women who are kicking ass and doing things for themselves.
Mazie: We love #GIRLBOSS and the whole spirit behind it. I read the book by Nastygal founder, Sophia Amoruso, and found it inspiring. We also have a lot of respect for women such as Sophia Webster and Sharmadean Reid (The WAH Nails founder) - Women who have created their own businesses from nothing and achieved phenomenal success.
Do you have an ideal celebrity customer?
What was the inspiration behind your first collection?
Abbie: Our first collection is called ‘Without Exception’. It was inspired by the many women we spoke to during our market research. For our first collection we wanted to master the basics - Black, white and ‘nude’. The ‘nude’ for us is our walnut colour and we decided to add in a grey as it compliments so many skin tones.
Mazie: Our next collection, which is called the ‘Mombasa’ range, is a little crazier. The fabric was the main source of inspiration; we always start designing with the fabrics and colour cards first.
What fabrics do you use and why?
We use European fabrics such as French lace and tricot, Italian cotton and satin and Spanish swimwear materials. The quality of the cloth is important to us and we find European fabrics are the best quality.
What sizes do you produce?
Our bra backs go from 32-36 and Cups AA-G.
X = AA-B.
Y = B – D.
Z =DD – G.
Knickers and suspenders are size 1 (6-8), 2 (10-12) and 3 (14-16)
We hope in the future to expand our size range to be even more all-inclusive. A G cup really isn’t that big these days!
What is your biggest career moment?
Mazie: I don’t feel we’ve had one major career moment yet... although lots of great little things have happened. We were thrilled when the founder of Mother Meetings, one of the networking groups we belong to, followed us on Instagram and sent us a XX.
Abbie: I agree! Also getting production and tote bags, we were worried our stuff was going to be late so it was a relief when it arrived. Also the technical team, who have extensive experience with lingerie and really high standards, have started wearing our designs. It's such a huge compliment.
What is next for the label?
As well as preparing for the launch we're currently working on our Spring/Summer range. We'll be introducing swimwear next season. Also eventually we'd like to get into some stockists. Harrods and Selfridges would be amazing. And we're also looking at independent boutiques - there are some great ones, such as Goodhood in Shoreditch, that beautifully curate their stock.