I’m Truly Sopel, an inspired fashionista, womenswear brand and now designer/owner of Truly Knickers, my new venture. I design and produce all of my ranges here in the UK in Somerset and London, selling online and to indie boutiques around the country. Here is a little more about my journey into the world of lingerie….
What inspired you to become a lingerie designer?
The passion started four years ago when I made my first pair of knickers, it was a fun and natural addition to designing womens clothing collections. At that time I also wanted to produce a design with a lower price point that fitted in with the gift market. Knickers were the answer!
What makes your designs different from others?
My designs are traditional, based on comfort and natural expression. The look is bright with inspiring colour combinations seen in pictorial prints and patterns. I like the idea of my customers creating their own look so offer choices on bow colours for knickers, sleepsets and slippers. It’s a way of really personalising each item for a unique look. My designs very often double up for fashionable outerwear too so you can be cool in the day and cosy at night.
Are there any celebrities wearing your designs and who are they?
I hope so, but I do not know of any to date.
Do you wear your own products?
Every day and every night. They are too cute and comfy not to.
What’s your favourite lingerie brand (not your own!) and why?
I like Fleur of England underwear for its bright contemporary look. It is also comfortable, wearable with a good price point. I’m also a fan of Dottie’s Delights, especially their frou frou style nighties, very babydoll chic.
Do you think there’s enough choice for D+ sizes?
On the high street yes, but less so in the designer world. It has become better over the years but you have to take time to find the brands that cater for larger sizes.
Are you happy with the way lingerie is sized? If not what changes would you like to see?
I think current sizing is very generalised and can be quite confusing. I guess the key is to find a style and brands you like and go from there.
I don’t like the idea of sizes being labelled by the same terms which is why I created my own sizing for trulyknickers.com. We stock our ranges in Petit Pois, Pretty Petite, Happy Medium, Beauticious, Extra Beauticious and soon size Bountiful will be added.
What advice would to give to an aspiring lingerie/swimwear designer?
Get your product out there, listen to your customer and live and breathe the industry.
How do you get your inspirations for new collections?
From girly sleepover parties and researching the clothes and colours of childhood. I’m inspired by the idea of mothers making for their daughters and their daughter’s dolls and the handcrafted techniques that they used, especially over the last sixty years. This theme runs throughout each collection with additional inspiration from current trends in art, music, lifestyle and of course fashion.
Do you use paper and pencil to design your first draft or is it all done on computer?
All sketches and pattern cutting are done using paper and pencil (and very often an eraser).
What would you be doing if you weren’t a designer?
I think I would suit being a full time housewife. I love cleaning, ironing, interior design, children, making and mending and most importantly baking. (I would probably have a cake decorating business on the side once the kids had grown up!).
What are you working on right now?
Boxer shorts for my new ‘Mr & Mrs’ range
What makes a great lingerie model?
A playful approach and a smile.