UD

Botanica Workshop

This lingerie is made for wearing. Seems like an obvious prerequisite to have as a lingerie brand I know. But you know what I’m talking about, when you find that bra that you end up falling asleep in and then decide there is no need to throw it in the dirty clothes the morning after... so, on to day 2 you go. That is Botanica Workshop for me. More specifically, the Aya Bralette.

Sustainably made in Los Angeles from organic material, Misa is the designer to which we stop and say THANK YOU. She goes beyond just mindfully sourcing materials, minimizing waste, and the brand’s light carbon footprint is company policy.

I was first introduced to Botanica by way of the Echo Park Craft Fair and fell in love with the aesthetic and colors—Goji being a top favorite. It’s obvious that nature plays a big role when it comes to her color inspiration. The reds are tomato-y, the pinks are rosey, and I was thrilled to see yellow in the line. Who doesn’t love a bit of sunshine under their tee?

The Romy Bralette is dear to my heart as it was a pivotal piece in the discovery of “The Perfect Shape” for me. As soon as I slipped into the stretch-silk top, the standards I once held for a bra went out the window. Where I used to require a bra that gave flawlessly round perfectly shaped breasts, I now had a new love for the relaxed nature of a shape that was mine.

 

Misa was kind enough to answer a few questions, solidifying why I love her brand so very much!

When you started the line, was it out of necessity or was it rooted in artistic expression?

At the time (circa 2012-13) it was impossible to find sustainably sourced and produced bralettes and underwear with a designer aesthetic.  Most organic cotton styles were either mass produced or unappealing bland (or both). At any price point, I struggled to find styles made with natural materials that suited the rest of my wardrobe.

One of the things I feel in love with, was your choice of color. Never before had I seen lingerie in such interesting shades. What is your process when selecting fabric/dyes? 

The core philosophy behind the design is that undergarments should not be thought of as a separate wardrobe. The pieces should blend seamlessly with your everyday clothes.  For example, I personally don't wear lace, microfiber, or ruffles because they don't suit my style. When selecting fabrics, I believe less is more- high quality natural fibers feel and look comfortable and luxurious.  The dyes we use are low impact, which means the process uses less electricity, water, and chemicals to achieve a great color. Each color is inspired by a specific shade found in nature, mostly from plants. I find that those colors are the most flattering to a variety of skin tones. Our customers love wearing color as well. 

For me, it was a transition wearing a bra that held my natural shape as opposed to being cupped and formed with underwire and padding. I certainly see a shift in lingerie, moving away from the latter. Do you find your customers are also experiencing and appreciating this?

Yes.  I think it's always nice to have an option for any kind of garment, and when I started this line, there were almost none.  We love to hear what our customers are looking for and what they're excited about, and try to create bralette shapes that are new and interesting while also being easy to wear and care for. 

What does femininity mean to you, and has that notion changed/shifted in recent years?

Femininity to me just means celebrating the woman that you are.  When I started the line a few years ago, buyers and editors were quick to put labels on the collection- "sweet and precious", "very L.A.", "crafty".  When you see the collection today, I don't think any of those descriptors are what immediately comes to mind. Our hope is that our customers gravitate toward these pieces because they want to look and feel good for themselves, not for anyone else, not because they have somehow earned it or deserve it, just because it's exactly what they want to wear every day.

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