FLOURYSH interviewed founder of the lingerie brand LaSette, Shiara Robinson, about how NYC street fashion inspired her line of transitional lingerie for everyday women.
You saw a void in the market and decided to do something about it. Tell us about your story.
So my story is definitely an evolution of an idea, something that I didn't see on the streets. So I moved to New York in 2013 and was working and decided to go back to school. I went to school at Parsons The New School for a fashion design degree. And while I was in school, I took a lingerie class that I absolutely loved it. And at this time, 2015-2017 I didn't see what I was creating outside. There were just really three big brands in my eyes. There was the brand that I grew up on that everybody shopped. And then there were two luxury brands. But when I went outside on the streets, I saw girls who were literally making everything a top. There were no rules in fashion in New York city. You put on whatever you have at home and you put your spin on it. So I really felt like there wasn't something that could take a woman who wanted to wear lingerie from day to night. It was really more so to be hidden or very sexualized. It wasn't just a piece of fashion and that's what I was seeing on the street. I wasn't seeing that in the stores. So I decided I wanted to create that product to fill that void for girls like me who were going to a meeting and then going out for drinks with friends and then maybe going out for the night or really just wanting something underneath that maybe only we knew about that was going to give us confidence. So the vision behind it was creating confidence for women.
I’ve tried your lingerie and hugging my body made me feel like you really want your consumer to feel taken care of and loved. As a mom of two who’s always so tired at night, I really appreciated that. Was that your intention?
Like you said, you're a mom of two. I don't have kids, but I feel like the day kicks my butt every single day. And at night, we're talking about skincare, self care, you're taking a bath, you're doing your mask. You're rolling your Jade roller, whatever. What about the rest of your body? When women put on my lingerie specifically, we're talking about at night right now, I want you to feel like you slipped into luxury, but I want you to feel that at any time of the day, whether it's, you're putting on a bralette under your blazer, you're going into a meeting or you're just going out for a walk. I want you to put something on that has the LaSette logo on it and feel like you just elevated the game of whatever you're going through day.
Your website shows off beautiful women that look like our friends, our aunties…they look like us. What was your intention behind who you cast as a model?
That was the core value from the very beginning to create depth in the everyday for everyday women. So as someone who's been in the fashion industry for a long time, I've been around models for so many years and I think models, and women who are supermodels who are considered traditional models are absolutely incredible. The work they do goes so dismissed, but I also wanted to highlight everyday women because the reality is the women who are really buying lingerie are everyday women. They're not the models who are airbrushed to perfection
and who look incredible at all times. So I really wanted to make sure that when my mom, my cousin, my girlfriends came to the website, they could see themselves reflected in some way, because we all know as Black women, that representation is extremely important. And if you see yourself where you can visualize yourself, or you can connect to yourself, and when you
see a product you feel like the designer was really thinking about you and had you in mind when they were creating products. And so I include women of all shapes and sizes throughout the entire process. So from the designing phase, the fitting phase to shooting I want to make sure that I'm reflecting women, that I want to buy the product throughout all phases.
Your journey is going to be so fun to watch. How can people follow your journey as a young designer in NYC?
So people can follow the brand. The brand Instagram is @Lasette_ . I'm sure it will be one of the first ones to pop up if not the first. And then if you want to follow me, my Instagram is just @shirararobinson.