BlueBella is a multi award-winning, fast growing lingerie and sensual products company, thriving on social selling and online retail. Founded in 2005 by Emily Bendell, a young, Oxford-educated entrepreneur who spotted a gap in the market for a company that knows exactly what women (not men) want, BlueBella’s mission is to inspire confidence in all women, be it to explore and enjoy their sensuality through its expertly designed and curated product range, or to build a successful business, through its innovative approach to direct sales.
What inspired you to become a lingerie designer?
I couldn’t find what I really wanted in the market. There were lots of great high-end brands but were restrictive in terms of price point and in terms of location, with many of the stores being based in London. So I had the idea of creating BlueBella, which would have both style and accessibility – I was coming at it from a consumer perspective.
What makes your designs different from others?
BlueBella is uniquely combined -it’s all about sensuality, but very wearable and affordable. We interpret trends to make sure we are offering the latest fashions, but we design with real women in mind and work with what will fit with them.
Are there any celebrities wearing your designs and who are they?
We’ve had celebrities including Cheryl Cole and Louise Thompson wearing our designs.
Do you wear your own products?
Of course! The Cordelia from the new autumn/winter collection is beautiful, really supportive and has gorgeous lace detailing.
What’s your favourite lingerie brand (not your own!) and why?
La Perla – it has such great heritage. It’s classic and erotic at the same time.
Do you think there’s enough choice for D+ sizes?
There is so much more than there used to be. We actually don’t consider that to be a plus size. Across the market as a whole, these types of sizes have been a real growing point
Are you happy with the way lingerie is sized? If not what changes would you like to see?
It’s a hot topic at the moment because Jockey has changed its sizing. It is difficult for consumers because they are different sizes in different brands, just like clothing brands, but sizing is a difficult one to standardise. My advice is that customers just have to make sure they try on and take advice from company they are buying from to ensure the right fit and shape.
What advice would to give to an aspiring lingerie/swimwear designer?
Know your customer. We’ve been really lucky as we have grown as a social selling company – we know our customer and hear feedback all the time so we can constantly refine our range. Wherever you start, make sure you are speaking to your customer as much as possible.
How do you get your inspirations for new collections?
Here, there and everywhere – whether it is mainstream fashions through to films. Last week I was sat in a meeting and we saw a table display and it was a beautiful shade – and that has set off inspiration. Lingerie is also crossing more and more into mainstream as more people wear it as outwear, so we do pay lots of attention to mainstream fashion.
Do you use paper and pencil to design your first draft or is it all done on computer?
Initial ideas are paper and pencil, but we work with designers who sketch and then it will progress to CAD.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a designer?
Before I started BlueBella, I was a journalist so I was writing and being creative in a different way! I guess it would be something within the creative industry.
What are you working on right now?
The new Fifty Shades of Grey collection, launching in Australia, working on exciting new e-commerce site and moving offices! It’s a busy time for BlueBella.
What makes a great lingerie model?
Curves in all the right places! We like to use girls who are naturally sexy…the ones that look great without trying too hard.
Visit the BlueBella to see more of the latest designs.