Savannah was born from three women, with three very different personalities, very different body types and very different views on underwear. The first has a penchant for lingerie design, an obsession almost. The second is forever seeking the ultimate comfort. And the third searches for unfaltering support.
Two years of research, 83 samples and whole lot of love later and the first collection has launched. Carefully constructed with allure and elegance, Savannah strives to achieve a double threat. Fashionable luxury designs with comfort and support.
There are three women behind Savannah; Nina Wordley, Candice Joelle and Angharad Merrey. Each bringing personal experience to the brand. Angharad Merrey comes from a fashion background. Working as a stylist allowed her to discover she wanted to design when she ended up crafting metal and fabric together to create bespoke pieces for editorials. “I was inspired to design lingerie because underwear is the most fun to experiment with”, she adds. “But also because I was constantly on the hunt for specific bras and panties that I could never find”.
Candice Joelle’s background as a photographer and director meant Savannah were sorted for content. With social media, a website and seasonal changes it was a no brainer for the brand to have a constant stream of creativity and someone who is able to execute it.
Nina Wordley comes from engineering experience and project management. “I’ve worked in oil fields in the US, Mexico and Norway, and most recently I managed projects in London for a startup in Silicon Valley”. Naturally, she wanted to start a business of her own and was keen to produce the collection working with South America, Colombia in particular, where there is a real craft for lingerie.
No frills, no bows and no bounce. The story behind Savannah centres on the powerful look created by hardware within lingerie design, integrating everyday lingerie with that which could be considered bondage.
“We wanted to use the name of a woman to represent our brand and loved the idea of ‘Savannah’ because of its feminity and strength. When we hear ‘Savannah’ we think of clean beautiful lines and vast possibilities”. Echoing the Savannah plains in Africa.
Inspiration comes from the fusion of natural elements like the strong power net, soft silky strapping and metal hardware; “Savannah is ‘no frills’ because we don’t think you need lace to make a piece feminine, ‘no bows’ from not wanting to use them to cover stitching and taking away from a well crafted piece, and ‘no bounce’ comes from the support our design and fabric gives you”.
In the two years spent researching, Savannah focused on quality, comfort and creating lingerie drawer essentials. “To feel good you need to physically feel it, as obvious as that sounds”. Research shows that lingerie has a huge effect on women, and everybody has their own problems and annoyances. For this brand, it was important to create lingerie with this in mind, considering with precision, but still have a sexual edge. “We wanted to create lingerie that wasn’t just something you put on for a moment. Lingerie is your base layer so it was really fun to explore and experiment with different ways to make pieces that have longevity whilst managing to be playful”.
Whether it’s fair or unfair to say, often brands don’t give the whole package. Seeking aesthetic over comfort, or vice versa. “It’s easier to cut corners”, they said. “Using cheaper materials and big production lines is harder to manage quality control even if you have the perfect design. We were very conscious of compromising quality at every stage of production and that was hard. But well worth it. Our designer was very present throughout the whole process and the attention to detail reflects that.
As a new brand we saw first hand that sizing is the biggest challenge when working with underwear. Women are incredible creatures and no two are the same. We invested in adjustable straps to adapt to all body types and our current collection ranges from small to large, 32B to 36D. There are definitely plans to expand in the near future”.
“Absolutely!” Savannah said excitedly when I asked if it was a conscious decision to create everything in black. “We wanted to create a strong, powerful and coherent collection. For us black says all of those things. We felt black would be the best way to introduce our bold graphic shapes. Of course the black and gold together also just felt lux.
The brand is strong, graphic and relevant. There is a powerful potency to each design. “The ideal piece of lingerie needs to have a fashionable luxury design”, they continue. “But it’s important to not compromise comfort and support. Hence the no frills, no bows, no bounce tag line. We chose our materials and designed for you to feel good. We worked hard to not have the huge price tag you might expect. As a whole, we want Savannah to be functional as everyday basics, as well as for special occasions”.
“We see ourselves as a very real brand, and love working with and embracing the beauty and variety of real women. Our target market are strong women with a mind of their own. Whichever ethnicity they are. So for us, it’s really important to show variety as a true reflection. Strong women cannot be a stereotyped model”.
Many women, myself included, don’t always have the confidence they should have. Whether that’s to voice an opinion, or try something different. But “trying something different in underwear, is like trying anything new. You need to have fun with it”. There’s a good chance you might love it too. “Women that started wearing more daring pieces say it has completely changed the way they see themselves”.
Boosting your self esteem is just one of the benefits of great underwear. “Your clothes will also fit and look better. You can reveal a whole new side of your personality too. If those are not great enough reasons, then remember that lingerie should be done for yourself first. You need to be turned on by your own existence”.
All thrills, no frills.