The considered and slow approach I want to take with the Videris product development meant that it was not possible to launch the brand with sizes and styles for all shapes and sizes. I wanted to move away from the relentless design schedule of my previous jobs where there wasn’t always the time to take a new approach to bra design.
“I’m not interested in changing people’s bodies with lingerie. I want women to feel comfortable, supported and confident with the way they are. It was important for me personally to be size inclusive as there were people in my family and community who couldn’t enjoy my first collections. This latest launch is a natural evolution of the brand.”
Creating a fuller soft-cup bra has always been in the Videris plan, but for many reasons required a lot more time to create - namely due to technical elements and the need for rigorous trialling. My design aesthetic is quite minimal, I want something to look classic and clean and to incorporate a lot of the technical structure into the design lines. It was a balance between creating a comfortable and supportive garment that looked great and supported a bigger bust without feeling like a cage - A bra that moves with you.
Most fuller busted friends complain to me about having to buy their bras in the ‘nana section’ of stores so it was important that these women felt as good in their bra as our smaller busted customers. I started developing this bra in the 2XL size which is already one size larger than our other bras, traditionally in lingerie design you start with a small or medium size and grade this up to the larger size. I wanted to start with the top sizes so I could be sure it worked and then graded this back down to the small sizes. My sister was one of the fit models and could give me honest feedback on how the bra was feeling for her; her feedback that she felt like the side of her bust was collapsing and not giving a good shape at the front led to me adding in the inner side sling to give support to the bust at the side and creating a nice bust profile.
During the development process I noticed there was a customer called Doni who kept buying our bras and returning them - she brought the Maggie, then swapped for the Angela but ended up returning it. Then when Sarah launched she tried that too and had to return. In my customer service emails regarding her return she mentioned she was a G cup and just really wanted to find a soft cup bra. I told her I was developing a new bra specifically for a fuller bust and asked her if she would like to wear the first medium sample and give me feedback. To this day we have never actually met as she collected the bras from my doorstep through lockdowns. It was really great to have her wearing it as you can do fittings on women but wearing the bra for an extended time and letting me know how it felt and what wasn't working etc was amazing, as a woman who had struggled to find the kind of bra she wanted to wear all day her feedback was invaluable.
Q&A with Doni
What has your past experience been with buying bras and what size cup do you wear?
Bra buying has been incredibly difficult since I reached a 10DD at around age 15. Nice looking bras in the 90s only went to a C or D cup and I actually wore an old maternity bra of my mothers for about a year, as that's what all the ones my size looked liked in stores anyway! I also went through a phase of wearing a crop top bra over an underwire bra to try to contain my bust as I'm quite short, so felt very out of proportion in my teens and early 20's. It became easier when I lived in London and discovered bras my size that looked good without costing a fortune. The last time I was fitted for a few new ones in around 2019 in Auckland I bought a 10FF and 10G.
Have you ever worn a non-wire bra before?
The only non-wire bras I've ever worn have been sports bras (aka straight jackets for breasts) and soft cup bras for at home - never out in public.
How did you get to wear testing the Rachel bra and what did the process entail?
My partner heard an interview with Chloe so he actually put me onto Videris and I tried the Maggie, Angela and Sarah bras which were gorgeous, but just didn't provide me with enough coverage. When I returned the Sarah bra, Chloe asked if I'd be interested in trialling a new fuller coverage sample which was an instant life-changer! I received the first version in lockdown late last year, then a second version over summer and they've ruined wearing wired bras for me. I gave Chloe really honest feedback about what I liked and what didn't work for me and have rarely worn a wired bra since.
What do you like about the new Rachel bra?
It's such wonderful freedom going from wanting to take my bra off the moment I get home, to feeling so comfortable yet supported wearing the Rachel bras that it doesn't even cross my mind. The Rachel bra took a little getting used to after 30 years of wearing tight, structured, underwired bras but is just really comfortable, liberating and looks good too. I've got quite a few Videris knickers in various gorgeous colours so am looking forward to getting a selection of colours in the Rachel bra too.