Independent Inspiration ~ RR Lingerie

By Kim “Kimmay” Caldwellhurray-for-lingerie2

Rachel Rector models her own creation for RR Lingerie Photo by Dan Busta

Working in the lingerie field for almost a decade, I’ve grown to love some of the most sophisticated brands in the business. I’ve also seen these companies grow as consumers become more “braducated” on the importance of investing in quality undergarments that fit well and do their job.

In the flurry of the lingerie business boom, I’ve also seen a few start up brands pop up. . . and disappear. The lingerie world is in no way as saturated as the ready-to-wear or shoe market, but some young brands make the mistake of missing the mark with their ideal customer. In reality: it’s a tough business to break into.

That’s why I’m so glad to see a designer like Rachel Rector strike such a chord with her brand. Rachel and I met while both working on a musical theater show during the New York Musical Theater Festival. She was working in costumes while I worked the social media platforms. What a beautiful coincidence to disover that we’re both lingerie lovers! After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Rachel launched RR Lingerie, which is artistic and sensual, yet remains foundational. Her answers to my questions below made me giddy – we are so in sync on why lingerie exists and why it makes us say “hurray”!

{Here is Rachel’s adorable Amelie inspired Kickstarter video! The campaign raised more than her $7,000 goal and is now closed.}

Rachel is just one of a few new brands that you will not see at the Curve Expo in August in NYC. Undeterred by the expense and size of the big expo, and eager to share her collection, Rachel has teamed up with two other designers (with whom she also shares a manufacturing space right here in the USA) just steps form the Javits Center for those shops and retailers who may be interested in exploring new brands and emerging designers (info at the bottom of this post.)

From one young entrepreneur to another… you’re pretty young to have your own line! What inspired you to start a lingerie brand? Did you always want to be a designer?

I started a lingerie brand because I consider it foundational in several ways. It’s the foundation for my outfits. I always start with lingerie and then I build my outfit around it. I like letting parts of the lingerie peek through, kind of like a secret that I can reveal or choose to keep hidden. Lingerie is also a foundation for the body, since it supports and helps shape the female form. It’s not about putting a body on display or pushing parts up – I design lingerie because it’s a way for me to express qualities that are important to me, like confidence, artistry and individuality. One day, after years of learning to sew, collecting inspiration and sketching ideas, I made the decision to go for it. I declared myself a lingerie designer, and voila! I find that dreams come true when I stay open to opportunity!


Photo by Duplex Collective

How do you hope RR Lingerie will make a woman feel? Who is the RR Lingerie customer?

RR Lingerie makes women feel radiant and confident, strong and sexy, bold and fashionable. The RR Lingerie customer is a woman who seeks a story in her purchases and takes pride in supporting independent designers.

All of your items are designed and made in the USA. Why do you feel that’s so important?

It’s important to me to foster direct relationships with the manufacturer of my lingerie. When I visit my New York based factory, we work hard to create amazing garments while chatting about our families over oatmeal cookies and sweet tea. My factory is genuinely invested in seeing my young brand prosper, and I am proud to support the local economy and provide jobs to the community. Local production also ensures quality, as I closely inspect each garment during the fitting and production processes.


Photo by Alan Rules

I love this post on launching your brand and sharing space where other lingerie brands are being manufactured! What has surprised you the most or been your biggest challenge as a growing lingerie brand?

The biggest challenge for me is that RR Lingerie is a one-woman team. On one hand, it’s liberating to have full creative control, but I think it would be motivating to have a partner to help sort out the not-so-fun logistical details. However, I’m very lucky to have a supportive network of family, friends, and peers in the industry to look to when times are tough.

I’m so into your Instagram feed. Really beautiful! What kind of role does social media play in your brand’s big plan?

Thank you! I don’t own a smart phone or spend a lot of time online, so I try to tap into the social media platforms that suit my lifestyle. I love using Instagram as a glimpse into the world of RR Lingerie. I primarily feature photos of creative women (artists, writers, models, dancers, musicians) wearing pieces from the collection. It makes me so happy to see the joyful reactions of these gals when they try on the lingerie.


Lastly, what makes you say “hurray” for lingerie?

I love the little details, finding the perfect fit, lingerie as fashion, and connecting with the independent lingerie design community. I feel such a thrill when I design the perfect set to pair with an outfit, to wear on a special night, or that just generally feels amazing to wear!


Photo by BriAnne Wills

Here’s how you can catch RR Lingerie and two other indie lingerie brands!


Photo by BriAnne Wills

What are a few of your favorite indie lingerie brands? What makes you say hurray about lingerie? Will I see you at the Curve show and the Pop Up showroom? Shoot me a Tweet and let’s connect!




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