Lingerie: what's not to love? I may be alone this Valentine's Day (cue the violins) but that's no reason why I shouldn't treat myself to a little bit of lacy lovin'. When I came across Noe Undergarments I immediately knew I had to get intimate with the lovely ladies behind it all, and twin sisters Bonnie and Shelah are as delightful as they are talented. The label seeks to explore the female form, with pieces that champion every curve on the body and empowering the wearer. Sexy, sultry and always classy - everyone needs to be wearing Noe Undergarments.
Please tell me a little bit about yourselves: i.e. age, design backgrounds, how long you have been designing for, where you grew up, how Noe Undergarments was born, etc.
We’re twins and we’re answering these questions together (as we do most things when we can!). We have different backgrounds, I’ve (Bonnie) been in fashion marketing around swimwear and sportswear for most my career thus far and Shelah has done a variety of different creative roles in design.
Since we've been teenagers we’ve dreamed of having a lingerie label, our stepmom who we grew up with was a lingerie designer and some of that creativity and passion for undergarments rubbed off on us! We love how something so small and often discrete can make you feel so sexy, confident and beautiful!
We started really talking about the idea of making it happen a few years ago and started putting pen to paper on the concept in early 2012. Bonnie was in business school at the time and crafted a business plan around the concept of NOE Undergarments and shortly thereafter in June 2012 the label was born!
We grew up in a small town of Hanalei on the North Shore of Kauai. Shelah currently still lives on Kauai, however our business is based out of Laguna Beach, California (where I live). It’s the perfect scenario… I travel to Kauai to get away and get into a nice creative space and Shelah is often here in Laguna Beach working on other aspects of the business as well.
How did you fall into starting Noe Undergarments?
Being lingerie lovers ourselves, we (as well as many of our friends) had a tricky time finding progressive unique lingerie that we loved. Like most fashion categories, you have your favorite jeans or favorite bikinis but for us we didn't have a favorite "go to" lingerie label and felt there needed to be one! Their are amazing lingerie labels out there, however we felt we could truly add something unique to the market and their was room for us in this category. Having space in the market along with a sincere passion for lingerie we felt we had to take the leap and develop our collection.... NOE Undergarments was born!
What has been the best thing about working together?
We’re best friends and maybe it’s a twin thing but have been extremely close our whole lives… we finish each other’s sentences, often dress alike, enjoy the same things and really have similar aesthetics and style sense. Being so close and also so like-minded it’s been amazing working together as we have a very similar vision for what we want and the direction of the label. We get to work with our best friend each day…. It’s a dream!
Greatest achievement/s so far?
Our greatest achievements thus far has been getting emails from some of our amazing customers proclaiming their love for a piece or pieces they purchased. It’s so rewarding to see someone love something you create and share that when wearing your designs it makes them feel beautiful and empowered… that is our goal and when we hear that we know we’re doing something right.
What are your wardrobe essentials?
A good pair of jeans, an amazing pair of boots, worn perfected leather jacket and fabulous lingerie. Truly, we’re not just saying this (as we design lingerie) but when your wearing amazing undergarments no matter what your wearing on the outside you feel confident and oh so sexy!
We both agree our favorite scents of the moment are Leilani Bishop Fragrance oils. Leilani is a close friend that launched her fragrance oils a few years back, their fragrances inspired by Kauai and the islands. The oils are amazing!
Favourite music artists and band/s?
Oh tricky, we love music and can switch from listening to Bob Marley one second to Alabama Shakes or Led Zeppelin another. Of course we always have a sprinkle of Rhianna or Lorde on the IPod list as well!
(Bonnie) My all time favourite film is American Beauty… love the sarcastic ironic comedic element mixed with darker topics.
(Shelah) This sounds totally childish but Wizard of Oz is pretty fabulous!
Kate Moss. Does this sound so cliché? But truly, we think she’s a style icon of our time… her imperfect perfect style just resinates what fashion is about. Love how she breaks the fashion rules without trying and then it’s like “oh Kate did it, we can now too!”.
Is there anything you are currently coveting?
(Bonnie) Loving these new silver cuffs I just got from The Haute Pursuit, truly fabulous… slight bondage in feel but mixed with a modern simple aesthetic. Also, totally obsessed with my NOE Undergarment black silk Ryan Bodysuit… I live in this piece, wearing it out at night but also with just drop crotch sweats on the weekend!
(Shelah) I live in my oversized R13 denim jacket… I’m petite and this piece somewhat swamps me but I love it. It’s the perfect menswear inspired piece to wear fabulous undergarments beneath. I’m all about masculine meets feminine style.
Any guilty pleasures?
Candy, chocolate, ice-cream, latte’s, chocolate, more latte’s, more chocolate and more lattes. In short… we both love coffee and chocolate!
Best advice you have been given?
Be yourself. Don’t follow trends or what others are doing…. always be you and that is when you’ll feel the most confident and look the most beautiful inside and out.
Something people might not know about you?
We both grew up wanting to be professional surfers. Growing up on Kauai surfing was in our DNA. Our dad is an amazing surfer and sports have always been a big part of our family. We surfed every day we could and thought that was what we wanted to be as “adults”. Times change but we still love to surf!
If you could have anyone strip down to their underwear for you who would it be?
Again, Kate Moss BUT even better would be Joaquin Phoenix!