I’m Ellen Bowman, Founder, CEO and everything else for Pimp my Pants. In January 2013 when I was eighteen years old I opened my website, pimpmypants.com, and began to slowly build up a series of collections which I have designed, pattern cut and handmade myself in my own workshop/bedroom in the south of England.
Inspired by the bohemian, the beautiful and the burlesque, my ‘Kinky Vintage’ style lingerie will bring out the twisted pin-up girl in anybody
What inspired you to become a lingerie designer?
I fell in love with all the lace and intricate detailing at a young age. As I got a little older all of the sensuality, seduction and the ‘taboo’ surrounding lingerie intrigued me and I have never wanted to do anything else.
What makes your designs different from others?
The ‘Kinky Vintage’ idea is that we maintain a very vintage, bohemian style but with playful, modern twists. Vintage fashion can be very accessible and create such amazing looks, I wanted to create something that would allow you to maintain that vintage glamour in the bedroom and make you feel like the sexiest pin-up girl in the world.
Are there any celebrities wearing your designs and who are they?
Not yet! Having just released our AW14 we are currently focussing on some PR so we shall see where that leads us!
Do you wear your own products?
Of course! I don’t think I could bring myself to sell anything that I don’t love to wear myself.
What’s your favourite lingerie brand (not your own!) and why?
So difficult! Well, the Agent Provocateur in Soho was probably the place that sparked my initial determination to become a lingerie designer. Because of that and the fact that they were founded in the year I was born, I have and will always have a special love for AP. Bordelle and Lascivious are also up there with my top iconic brands.
Do you think there’s enough choice for D+ sizes?
I think that a lot of brands have become far more accommodating of larger sizes in recent years, so it is definitely getting better. With my Pimp my Pants, I currently only have the resources to offer a limited size range, however I intend to broaden my sizes in the next year or two so be sure to keep an eye out.
Are you happy with the way lingerie is sized? If not what changes would you like to see?
To be honest I think that the system is so complicated that if we made any changes then it would take us years to get used to it! I also believe that a lot of our sizing issues, as with any sizing, are because we all have a different opinion of how something is supposed to fit. The best thing is to find brands where you can either try on their styles, or if that isn’t possible (as with Pimp my Pants where everything is made to order), then a brand that will happily compare your measurements to their sizing.
What advice would to give to an aspiring lingerie/swimwear designer?
All I can say is never give up. If it ever feels like all of the work is not worth it, then you probably do not want it enough.
How do you get your inspirations for new collections?
My inspiration can come from anything. Sometimes it’s a particular fabric, sometimes places I have been, sometimes I just doodle and end up designing new collections without really realising.
Do you use paper and pencil to design your first draft or is it all done on computer?
Always paper and a pencil! Maybe one day this will change, but I much prefer the freedom of just drawing, everything flows out much easier.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a designer?
I have no idea! From the age of about fifteen this is all I have wanted to do. I have always loved music but was never very good at playing anything so I would probably just be travelling the world and not pursuing one particular career.
What are you working on right now?
Last night I launched my AW14 additions to pimpmypants.com, which is all very exciting! So I will now be focussing on some PR and sorting out my SS15 collections.
What makes a great lingerie model?
Relatability. When buying lingerie, we need to be able to look at the model and think, ‘that could be me’. I don’t mean that they shouldn’t be wearing much make-up, or that they should have a particular figure or style, because women come in all shapes, styles and sizes. Personally, I think that diversity is key. I like to see similar styles of lingerie on completely different women, so that you get a really good idea of how you could look in this lingerie.
Check out some of Ellen’s designs below and see more on the Pimp My Pants website.