1. What was the motivation behind opening Fortnight? At the time, did you notice any gaps in the market that you were hoping to fill?
I’ve always been very drawn to lingerie – It has a rich history both in fashion, and women’s rights. It’s mysterious and intimate and plays a big role in how we feel in our clothes and everyday life.
When I started Fortnight in 2010, big box brands dominated the lingerie market. They applied a throwaway mentality to something so intricate and beautiful. Size ranges had been reduced for ease of commerce, forcing the majority of women to wear sizes that were not the right fit. Marketing was very much driven by sex and the male gaze. It felt as though it was time for a change. With Fortnight, my goal was to revive the classic beauty of lingerie with pieces that fuse careful design with technical consideration, that empower women through a diverse range of sizes. We don’t have to look a certain way to feel beautiful.
2. As a company that’s been around for over a decade, I wanted to know what changes in bra trends you’ve noticed over years? Would it be fair to say that there’s been a growing demand for more comfortable styles? And if yes, why do you think that is?
There has definitely been a growing demand for more comfortable styles. I think a big part of that is because women are becoming more aware of the benefits of proper bra fit. We’re all realizing that comfort, support and style can and should belong together! Many women come to us to explore supportive wireless bra options as they move away from the moulded cup bra. A seamed bra provides far more support, structure and endurance than a machine-formed bra with padding and no seaming. We’re seeing a big shift of Women embracing their natural shapes which is extremely beautiful.
3. One stat I came across in my research is that while sales for women’s fashion as a whole have gone down over the course of the pandemic, bra sales (specifically for sports bras and bralettes) have gone up. I know it’s been a bit of an odd two years, but I’d love to know how COVID affected Fortnight’s sales.
We’re so grateful and inspired by the amount of support we received during the pandemic. We were thrilled to see women embracing lingerie while at home. With that said, we really did not know what to expect at the onset of the pandemic and completely pivoted our business to ensure we could make it through the unexpected. We decided to go completely online, closing our brick-and-mortar shop as well as pausing on wholesale. It was a scary move, but it ended up being a great way to focus on one-on-one virtual fitting consultations and manufacturing.
In terms of sales, while bralettes and sports bras are an everyday comfort, it has been amazing to see how many women were looking to find something a little more refined and were ready to invest the time and effort to discover their perfect fit — something to put on that they are excited about with each wear. I think women want to feel beautiful and comfortable, even if they’re just working from home.
4. I’ve spent a lot of time researching how lingerie trends have evolved, and what I’m still trying to figure out is what the moment we’re in now actually means, and how it differs from any other point in history. I was wondering if you have any insights to share here?
I think we’re in an ‘anything goes’ stage right now with lingerie. From going braless to wearing something lacy and feminine, women just want to feel good in their skin and about the brands they’re supporting. Increasingly, I’ve been seeing the importance of quality, endurance and brands that are made ethically, with care. I feel women want to see marketing that reflects themselves and not just beauty from a male gaze. Since the beginning, we’ve always focused on fewer, made-to-last pieces. It’s been so rewarding and inspiring seeing this be more prominent now more than ever. Those that value quality pieces, made locally, with ethically sourced materials and practices, and those who understand the value in our pieces for years to come. And that’s really what means the most.
xo Christina Remenyi, Fortnight Founder
Read Nicole Schmidt’s piece on The Walrus: Underwire Under Fire: How the Pandemic Changed the Bra