Underwear can be a work horse or it can be a show pony. There's the everyday cotton briefs you wear because of how they feel under jeans and the lacy lingerie you wear because of how it makes you feel when you're wearing nothing else. But, minimal lingerie brand Kye and skincare label LESSE's new collab bridges that gap. "So often we tell women how to look beautiful, rather than asking them what makes them feel beautiful," explains LESSE founder Neada Deters. "This is an issue [founder Bonita Kye] and I are both taking on in our respective industries. With this collaboration, we wanted to create a personal reminder to just find time, space, and intimacy with and for yourself. Not for anyone else."
While L.A. has long been known in the fashion industry as the home to denim factories, lately the city has attracted a group of like-minded creatives who are interrupting fashion, beauty, and wellness with products that embody a new, more thoughtful identity — building ideas like sustainability and a less-is-more ethos into their brand DNAs. "We are both minority, female founders running self-funded businesses in largely male-dominated and VC-backed industries," Deters explains. "And we both create products that are made for people to feel beautiful in their own skin." The result is a collection that is sustainably and ethically produced by a family-owned factory that uses 100 percent solar power.
The collaboration focuses on two products: the wireless Maison bra ($72) and Mies brief ($49) in the same blue-grey, LESSE's signature color. Both items come in sizes one through three, meant to fit up to a 34D or size XL. "We really focused on how we wanted people to feel when they wore these pieces and how we could make it in the most sustainable and uncompromising way, which became our compass for bringing this collaboration to life." Deters says.
For the two entrepreneurs, what sets the pieces apart is the attention to detail that ensures every piece is comfy enough to wear all day, while still feeling elegant and thoughtful. For briefs, this means a higher rise and cut overlap thigh details. For underwear, it's a thicker band and adjustable straps and closure.
For the shoot, the duo enlisted an all-female team, and chose to photograph the models on film sans retouching. "Lingerie has been so frequently sexualized by the male gaze, it really felt fulfilling to create something beautiful for women by us, their peers," says Deters.
Feeling inspired to give your underwear collection an upgrade? Below, shop the collab before it sells out.