New York City-based intimate designers, Marissa and Lauren have given me and several others the opportunity of having a stress free bra experience. They're pieces mold to your body, a sexy yet thoughtful bra. I send my love to these women who have changed the way I get to feel from morning to night, no restrictions, no awkward 'rearranging my bra' moments, a new way to give ourselves some love and support.
"Here’s to feeling amazing in your own skin - no frills or fluff required."
- Marissa & Lauren
Please tell us a bit about your background.
Lauren and I met freshman year in college at UPenn – we became fast friends, certainly in part because of our shared love for fashion. I think we both look at personal style as an opportunity for creative self-expression. Fashion is captivating – it has the ability to transform, to build confidence and create a presence, to communicate without words. It’s something both of us gravitated towards from an early age.
Underwear, on the other hand, was never a particular passion for either of us, which is the point. For two girls who loved fashion and thought quite a bit about what we wore on the outside, we realised we’d never given much consideration to what was underneath. Negative was born out of a desire to build something we’d feel proud to wear under – we want to give women a reason to care about their underwear! - Marissa
What lead you to start Negative Underwear?
We wanted to do something in fashion that would solve a real problem versus adding more clutter to an already crowded industry. For us, that white space was underwear. As we saw it, intimate apparel was a long-neglected category with a dissatisfied consumer base desperately looking for an alternative. We thought we could do better by making something different.
Negative was a many-years-in-the-making project. Lauren and I were both working full-time in other industries when we decided to make a change and pursue a career in fashion. We started with night classes at FIT, and it grew organically from there.- Marissa
Who is the woman who wears NU?
She's more a mindset than a demographic - someone strong, independent-minded and design-focused who knows what she wants and doesn't have much time for fuss. - Marissa
What are some influences that have shown in your recent collection?
We've been fortunate to have fostered a supportive network of amazing women - from Miley Cyrus to Alexa Chung to Cleo Wade to Hannah Bronfman - it's been humbling to see women we admire choosing to wear Negative as part of their daily wardrobe. - Marissa
What are some necessities you need around you while designing?
Fabric and material inspiration!
So much of our design process is based around textiles. Our designs are intentionally quite minimalist, so the details matter that much more - we care about every elastic, the hook & eye, the way our label is heat transferred onto the band to avoid itchy tags. We obsess over these details.
When it comes to fabrics, we're always on the hunt for materials that feel stunning on the skin. (Comfort and function are super important when it comes to intimate apparel!) Still, obtaining something special - a stylised edge that stands out in a sea of other frilly lingerie brands and isn't so so simple that it feels tame, boring. We love a good tone-on-tone print that feels engaging yet uncommon. We hate anything too expected. - Marissa
Describe your favorite corner in your studio.
When we worked in Soho, we had these big wondrous corner windows facing Broome + Greene Streets where you could look down on busy Soho life passing by - always a breath of fresh air when you needed a moment to reset. It reminded you why living in New York is so special. - Marissa
Do you have a schedule or a routine when you go to work?
Pretty much the opposite of a schedule or a routine! Haha - we're still such a small team, wearing so many hats that every day is truly varied. - Marissa
A photo shoot essential?
A portable steamer, body cream/oil, disposable underwear, a warm robe - studios are always chilly! - Marissa
What are you looking forward to in the future?
Continuing to build our underwear empire - both in regards to growing our audience, but also our team. - Marissa
L.A. based actress/model Grace Wethor gives us a stunning insight on her process. She expresses her simple adorations in and of life. A true giver a receiver of positive energy, an optimistic old soul.
This is Grace.
Please tell us a little about your background.
I’m a Midwest girl. My mom is from South Dakota and I grew up in Minnesota. I went to elementary and middle school in Minnesota and then I moved to L.A. when I was 13.
What gave you the push/want to be a model?
When I was 13, I was diagnosed with a Brain Stem Glioma Tumor. There is no standard treatment for my type of tumor so I decided to go towards more natural approaches. I really focus on eating healthy, holistic treatments, and following my dreams. After being diagnosed, I started pursuing my career.
See her Ted Talk dowe below:
Do you have a schedule or a routine when you go to work?
When you go to a print shoot or a day of filming you never know what to except. One day you could be inside against a white backdrop and the next you could be on top of a building in -20 degree weather. But one thing that I always have to do is school because I am a minor. So that’s usually as close to a routine as it gets.
If there was one plaza, nook, restaurant (just any general place) you could spend hours at, where would it be?
There is this tiny all natural Cafe in Minneapolis called Tao Foods. All of the food is so good and they have so many cool nicknacks in the store. I love going there, getting a green juice, and just chilling.
What inspires you lately?
I’m in love with my neighborhood. I live in Beverly Hills, two blocks away from Rodeo Dr. I often find my self walking around and looking at the architecture and the stores. I love living so close to the stores and being able to see all of the collections in person; instead of looking at pictures of them online.
What do you love most about the fashion industry?
Definitely how everyone can express them selves any way they want. You can wear what ever you want and you can create what ever you want. Also, everyone is so creative and I love being around people like that.
What was your most treasured memory when modeling for Chloe?
The Chloé shoot was a part of a project for Teen Vogue X Parsons and we shot it in the middle of Times Square. It was super awkward because there was a bunch of people watching. We also shot it in the middle of the street and almost got run over by a bunch of cabs. It was crazy!
What are you looking forward to in the future?
I think 2017 is going to be a big year. I have so many exciting things in the works and I cant wait to see how this year turns out and to share everything I’m working on!
New York based visual artist Renee Phillips tells us of the conversation between humans and nature. A meditation of sorts, with an urban twist. Soft and independent. The one and only Renee Philipps.
Do you have a schedule or a routine when you go to your studio to work?
I love having the flexibility to change my day based on what I’m working on, but I do have some daily practices that are important in maintaining fresh inspiration. I am a big believer in a morning mindful walk, and I recently heard that Snoop Dog also walks for inspiration! I live and work in Chelsea, so I’ll walk to the Hudson River and just be present, taking in the surrounding environment. Maybe I’ll take some photos or journal some thoughts; through movement, my mind opens up to new ideas and inspiration. I’ll then go to the art studio with fresh concepts and start working with color and form. The basis of my practice starts in selecting color palettes, most often inspired by combinations seen in the natural world, from my travels and the streets of NYC.
What inspires you?
The passage of time intrigues me. When I work in my studio, I allow the work to unveil itself over time while also contemplating the notion that time as we experience it is an illusion. My surroundings inspire me in so many ways. Nature and its evolutionary cycles of birth, decay and change, urban decay and transformation. The city is in a state of constant evolution as layers are applied by humans and removed by nature, revealing a unique conversation of decay and rebirth.
Please tell us what techniques you use in your work.
I'm a big fan of the concept of alchemy, the medieval ancestor of modern chemistry, as my approach relies heavily on investigating the properties of materials in my studio. Manipulating acrylic paint with water and alcohol, applying enamel over a wet surface, creating papers with chemicals, using heat to alter material composition - these are just a few of the practices I use in my work. Each piece has anywhere from ten to fifty layers. I build up and sand away many layers of these alchemical techniques to reveal the passage of time, energy and process, and draw the viewer into a conversation about how the piece was made. My favorite question to hear from any viewer is “how did you do that?”
Can you show us your favorite corner in your studio?
My work station is my favorite spot in the
studio. It’s where I mix all of my paint and
house the tools for my art making process.
Since my process can be chaotic I like to
have a clean and orderly work area.
Please tell us about the art scene in Chelsea. Among the young artists would you say there is a strong sense of support and community?
The Chelsea art scene is a main artery of the art world, and it houses some of the most established galleries in the world. Almost every Thursday in the spring and fall the galleries host opening night parties and it is quite a scene! Artists and art lovers come out to view the latest art and mingle with fellow creatives. With that said, working in Chelsea tends to skew a bit older while the Lower East Side and Brooklyn hold more emerging artists. I attended a residency at the School of Visual Arts in NYC a few years ago and made some wonderful friends in the art world that have become my tribe, so to speak. It is incredibly important to build your community of fellow artists, not only for friendship, but also for inspiration, heightened conversation, critique and collaboration. No matter where you create I would recommend building your community of fellow artists – we work and live everywhere.
What are the things that are upsetting you in the world right now? And what are the things that are making you happy?
We are living in a volatile environment filled with false realities, discrimination and hate – that is what makes me the most upset. However, this environment has ignited a passion and strength in ensuring our voices are heard. Art is powerful tool in this arena.
Where can you see your work in the coming months?
I have recently started a new series that is inspired by moments of transition. I’m using learned alchemical techniques with enamel, spray paint and polymers to freeze moments in time within the process of creation. I’m using a more moody color palette that reflects contemplative times, juxtaposed with bright and vibrant colors that jolt you with energy.