One of the wonderful brands which has been making waves in the lingerie startup world has also been making their way onto our lust lists. Nearing the end of her kickstarter campaign we’ve got our eyes peeled as to what’s next for this ice breaking designer. We were lucky enough to interview with the talented Filiz Rezvan and talk a little bit about her collection, her tips on starting a kickstarter campaign and where you can get your hands on a piece of the luxury collection.
1. Tell us a little bit about Filiz Rezvan. What inspired you start your label?
I started the label as I was really tired of not finding bras that I liked here in San Francisco, I was really missing British designed underwear. I was tired of seeing padded bra graveyards in the stores here. Tired of seeing the same shapes and didn’t like the fabrics or fit. I really wanted to create something that I wanted to wear, that felt great and that had enough support as I had grown several cup sizes over the years and nothing was really working for me. I would either find ‘old lady’ bras that lacked any imagination or if I did purchase designer bras online they lacked adequate coverage or support, so it was time to re-invent the wheel and go back to the drawing desk. I was also at a crossroads in my life where I was really questioning what step to take next and to follow my right livelihood. I really wanted to be creative for myself again. My mother was also a great inspiration to me as she made all our clothes growing up. Having a single parent mother, she made the best out of what we had, she worked from home as a seamstress and I grew up with the sound of the sewing machine, so it’s a familiar, safe and happy place for me 😉
2. How have you found your kickstarter journey thus far?
It has been a quite a journey so far, one that has been much harder then I had originally imagined but then there have also been many gifts and surprises. I didn’t realize what an amazing marketing platform it was going to be to launch this lingerie business. People are actively looking and are open to something different, they also want to naturally support endeavors’ that are humanistic by nature, and to put a face behind the product and I think Kickstarter does exactly that. I have also been so inspired by how people have taken to the collection, so many praises and realizing that it touches on a kind of longing in women to see a different kind of sensuality portrayed. Lots of comments on the amazing model that has curves in all the right places and to see underwear that harks back to vintage design but interpreted in a modern way. I have also attracted investors, PR opportunities and a brand new customer base as well as good friends who have a vested interest in your success, its like working with a huge team on your side, truly remarkable how supportive they are, this is a true gift and blessing that has come out of this.
3. What have been the biggest mountains to climb?
The biggest mountain to climb during this journey was that I was unprepared to how much time that it would take, it’s consuming in a way that is on a 24-hour clock during the entire length of the campaign, dealing with the UK and the US time zones. On an energetic level you are connected to this 24 hour cycle, it also pushed the places that I didn’t believe in myself when there were no pledges and you really have to be persistent in a way that may not feel so naturally but it also drew on inner strength to keep going. To maintain the mission impossible and hold on to the original dream, which brought me to this place, but had to also be flexible to learn and be open. I listened to feedback with adding new products, in providing something that was asked for, I wished I had done this earlier in the game, but I was seeing family in London and had no access to my fabrics and tools. It’s also felt that I was watching a horse race, that was never ending, it has been tiring but also inspirational at the same time.
4. How do you think kickstarter is revolutionizing the way we buy lingerie?
I think this is totally revolutionizing the way we buy lingerie. For me it has opened up a whole new world in the different ways that are not possible in normal stores. I have become increasingly dissatisfied buying lingerie in normal stores , they are more or less cookie cut in shape and design. Its like everything is padded, commercially produced, knickers are not very exciting, made like a commodity that lacks any inspiration and design to me. This makes for cheaper designs that are cheaply made to appeal to the mass market. So I see that these smaller specialty lingerie start ups are catering to women’s more sophisticated taste and sensibilities, more luxury, bespoke like and handcrafted to last longer. A treasure to cherish. I think there is a great longing to go back to basics, to handmade goods that are special; that offers something better than the mainstream market. I think that women are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with what is being offered, hence small lingerie companies sprouting up, offering either organic, handcrafted, luxury, bespoke, ethically made, socially conscious work that makes a difference to not only the people creating the designs but in production and marketing.
5. What is the inspiration behind your first collection?
The inspiration behind this first collection was vintage and art inspired, 1940’s, 1950’s and Surrealist Art. I also tried to not look at any current lingerie collections as I designed as I did not want to be influenced, I am an avid drawer and have lots of ideas flowing out of me that its hard to choose, but choose designs that I really wanted to wear and that were a challenge as well!
6. What is your favourite lingerie label and why?
I do really like Agent Provocateur, but only the full cup shapes otherwise they don’t fit me at all ;( I really like how the play with their designs and fabric and push the envelope out, really inspiring designs, only wished they did more D+ sizes. I also really love Fleur of England, really beautifully made, classic, luxurious lingerie made in England.
7. Who are your style icons?
I really have a few style icons, love Marilynn Monroe, for her vulnerability and how she embraced her body shape and what she wore was effortless, she was naturally sensual, but I preferred her less glamorous style. I also really loved Sophia Loren for her fire, another woman with natural curves; she had this natural wild grace about her. Of course I love Audrey Hepburn for her effortless, graceful, classic and chic style. My last choice is Katherine Hepburn, to sum up she was modern, independent, masculine/feminine chic that is still timeless.
8. Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of starting a label with kickstarter?
Yes, lots of advice; take your time before you launch your Kickstarter campaign. Make sure that your rewards are targeted for every pocket size, including $1 pledges, which I added in too late. I didn’t realize until quite late in the game that the number of pledges raise you up the ranking in Kickstarter. Don’t assume that Kickstarter will do the work for you. It’s really up to you to make it a success. So get all your ducks in a row. Get your social media up and running before you launch, I only did this as I launched, not a good idea, I did not establish my fanbase on Facebook, I only just opened a twitter account and had a learning curve on that, its like a brand new language! Same for Instagram and Pinterest. I started to build the social media bases as I pressed the button on the Kickstarter project, big mistake, I would do it so differently now. So please build up your fan base on all social media networks before hand. Also let your friends know what you are doing, get them on board by letting them know exactly what support you need, ask for help. Create your customers beforehand so that you have a strong base to work with, become an expert in your area. Not being established in social media gave me a slow start, I was a shy one, but was also really busy working my day job and then in my spare time working on the lingerie collection and I only had so many hours in the day that I did not realize how important it was when I launched. I thought that Kickstarter would automatically attract the right people, wrong. Also try and build a relationship with your social media groups beforehand, be authentic, be who you naturally are, so that they can connect to you and what you are trying to do, this was a huge learning curve for me. Also share your knowledge with people; I believe we should all support each other to follow our true destinies. Lastly be fully prepared with your press release, and know who your target marketing list is beforehand, this will save you so much time. Make your rewards clear, really clear, have someone double-check your copy.
Life is too short to live a life of unfulfilled dreams…
You can find Filiz Rezvan’s kickstarter and snap up some of her designs here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/238283174/luxury-bespoke-lingerie-made-with-love
Be quick it ends very soon!