While we're all about staying #woke these days, we also welcome any snooze sesh that inspires us to dream consciously. New Los Angeles-based luxury label KENT is here to help ladies do just that, starting with their first layer of clothing.
Launched last November by entrepreneur Stacy Anderson, the local "under-apparel" line spins certified organic silks into sleek lingerie that complements every silhouette. The range includes breathable silk and mesh bras ($85), thongs and briefs ($75 to $85), and camisoles ($185), all of which are made using low-impact dyes.
Though the collection is mindfully manufactured in LA, the brand is also dedicated to doing global good: in addition to committing to a transparent and fair supply chain, Kent supports non-profit organizations dedicated to the education, health, and safety of women around the world.
KENT's exclusively shoppable online at minimalist wardrobe e-retailer The Dreslyn, but Angelenos can pick up its dreamy underpinnings IRL at fellow LA-based label AELLA's pop-up shop in Larchmont Village (128 1/2 N. Larchmont Blvd.) now through April. Plus, swing by this Saturday, February 11 from 10am to 4pm and enjoy bubbly and sweet treats while you shop.
We recently caught up with Anderson to find out what inspired her to create an underpinnings brand with a purpose, more about her Female Future Project, and what else KENT's got coming down the pipeline — read on below.
What's your professional background, and what was the moment that brought you to creating Kent?
My background is a bit broad — spanning industries of sustainable luxury womenswear, social enterprise, architecture, and fine wine, across Canada, the UK, Europe, and USA. I began on the business and branding side of the apparel industry, and while living, working and studying in London, found myself in search of beautiful, sustainable, de-sexualized under garments that were not overly laced, pushed up, or made of synthetic fibers. At that time, sustainable fashion was on a rise in London, and I fell in love with the idea of creating a sustainable luxury lingerie concept — which would soon become KENT.
KENT began as an idea during my MA thesis when exploring new directions on sustainability and luxury branding which culminated in a capsule collection of organic silk graffiti lingerie. We did a photoshoot and everything, which Suki Waterhouse was actually a part of, and I've been evolving the concept since then.
We love that each purchase helps fund female-focused causes. How have your past experiences in the industry or otherwise inspired you to take a socially-conscious approach to the brand?
We love that you love this! Our Female Future Project is definitely tied to my past experiences and overall outlook on the industry, as well as business in-general. We are seeing a massive shift in brands and consumers' expectations for business to be a force for good in terms of social and environmental impact.
From working with a textile social enterprise here in the US to one of the first socially-minded luxury womenswear brands in Copenhagen, making products that had more depth beyond simply being worn is something I've always gravitated towards. And because I wanted our lingerie to challenge existing norms and perceptions of femininity and return strength and self-love to this space, there is such a natural link to enabling strength and opportunity to women around the world.
How did you find the three organizations that you work with?
We started with the organizations we admire most, those with outstanding credibility and a proven track record of making tangible impact. That is so crucial to our model – that each and every product can make a truly meaningful impact in areas where women and girls need it most. In addition to surveying research and investments led by organizations such as The Clinton Foundation, Girl Effect, and UN Women, we also conducted our own due diligence and one-on-one conversations with our potential organizations to determine where our impact could be greatest.
We are so honored to be working with each of these incredible organizations who are each creating game-changing impact for women in girls:
ZanaAfrica Foundation, our health partner, where each product provides half of a school year's supply of pads, reusable underwear and feminine health education for girls in Kenya. Bridge International Academies, our education partner, where each product provides a contribution to directly fund a girl's education in Africa. And last but not least, ayzh, our safety and security partner, where one product provides one safe, clean birthing kit to expecting mothers in India.
Why was it important to you to manufacture in LA?
We are advocates of the local movement as well as reducing our environmental footprint, where possible. By producing locally, we are not only able to support the manufacturing industry in LA, but also develop close relationships with our partners. We love being able to stop by manufacturing facilities, meet with those who are making our garments, and develop a true relationship. There's something special about that. It also helps us keep our timelines and turnaround in a good position, which is super beneficial for us and our retail partners.
What else do you have coming down the pipeline?
We are excited to welcome two new retailers this season: Oui Hours, a stunning online lingerie marketplace, and Kindred Black, a destination for beautiful, sustainable luxury goods. We'll also soon be releasing a series [this spring] of three film shorts by three female filmmakers in collaboration with EROIN. Each film represents each director's interpretation of a renewed definition of femininity and the relationship women have with their bodies, and features original scoring by the amazingly talented, modern female voice of Madame Gandhi and her partner Alexia Riner.