Intimately, Lingerie Brand for Disabled Women, Raises $1 Million – WWD
Intimately is in extended mode.
The underwear and nightwear brands, making garment for women with disabilities, is expanding the category and adding a mobile shopping app that includes a community sectiwhere women with disabilities can virtualize and talk about topics that matter to them, thanks to nearly $1 million in funding recently raised.
“Part of our core is making sure women with disabilities have as many options as possible,” said Emma Butler, founder and chief executive officer of Intimately. WWD. “Our goal for this seed round is to prove ourselves as a true maker of functional and stylish suits. garment and actually set up our online marketplace. So when women with disabilities think that intimate people adapt, the first step to getting ready, they come to know Intimacy.”
While that may seem like a lofty goal for a brand that was just started less than three years ago, competition in the niche of adaptive apparel and adaptive internal spaces is still relative. small. Butler discovered this in 2019 when she launched Intimately as a blog. Inspired by her mother’s own disability journey (her mother was diagnosed with fibromyalgia more than a decade ago, which made it difficult for her to get dressed), Butler started blogging about how Choose the most appropriate outfit. The goal is to help women with disabilities find clothes they really want to wear. Tommy Hilfiger, Zappos and Targetplus some thrift stores, there’s a good selection of ready-to-wear clothes. underwearhowever, is not part of the combination.
Even more disappointing is approximately 61 million adults in the US (or one in four) are considered disabled; 3.6% of the disabled population has difficulty bathing or dressing alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the total adaptive apparel market is expected to be worth more than $4 billion by 2027, according to analytics and consulting firm Cohere Market Insights. But the clothing options available to that market are often dull or lackluster — or downright ugly.
“When my mother was diagnosed with a disability, the only options were medical and vintage items. They look like what my grandma would wear,” Butler said. “What is really important to me is [Intimately] do not look medical. And I’m not a disabled person, but I will 100% wear all of these bra. They are very cute and they are very approachable. ”
Butler brought in lead designer Maddie Highland, whose resume includes jobs at Vince Camuto, Jessica Simpson and Lucky brandamong others – to help with the latest creations, including braunderwear and nightwear.
The six-piece collection, debuting Wednesday at Intimately.co, includes features such as grips for women with dexterity problems; Velcro side openings on shorts and underwear, make it easy for users with limited mobility to put on their own shirts and magnetic bras and underwear hooks. Larger arm openings on pajamas are also less bulky when changing outfits. In addition, the collection features a variety of fabrics, such as satin and plush, with lace trim.
“I get all these responses from women in our community who say, ‘We want this aspect of bras.’ ‘We want this.’ ‘We want lace.’ ‘We wanted it to be sexier.’ ‘We want to hold the boob tight.’ All these incredible things,” Butler said. “So we really listened to the disabled community when designing this new collection. We have put a lot of effort into making sure it is exactly what the customer wants. It took a lot of testing.”
Butler added that the new collection, priced from $25 to $58 each and ranging in size from 2XS to 3XL (with plans to expand up to 5XL), is ethically made in Vietnam. from manufacturers using domestic violence victims. While Intimately’s assortment isn’t made from sustainable or recycled materials, the CEO says that’s a goal.
Other goals include launching at third-party retailers and possibly even opening brick-and-mortar stores one day. Currently, Intimately offers a selection of adaptive brands on its website, such as Slick Chicks, Elba, and Clip-Knix, in addition to its own branding.
“So if for some reason women with disabilities don’t like our products, they have great products from our partners,” explains Butler. “We really want women to have a choice. When we eventually expand beyond our close friends and into casual clothing.
“I think we will build [plans] because we realize it’s not safe for a lot of people right now with the current climate,” she added. “And then there is a lot to think about when creating an accessible store. With easily accessible stores, we’ll have to make sure parking is accessible. We will ensure that all aisles are wide enough for wheelchair users and low enough to ensure they can enter the changing rooms. So we’re excited to do that. But I think right now, we really want to dominate the online space because we can also reach more people that way.”
Intimately’s updated digital globe now includes a mobile app, complete with a community section. “That’s where [women] can talk about sex and disability, or [things like] Where do I put my disability on my Bumble profile? All of those questions are super taboo questions,” Butler said. “And Intimately is really a place where women can spend a lot of time. They can chat with friends and meet new people on this community app, but also shop and own super sexy lingerie for the first time in their lives.”
Intimately’s latest funding round, close to $1 million, is led by UK-based Venrex and British Fashion The council is part of their new fund, marking the nonprofit’s first investment. Butler, resides in Paris while the rest of her eight-member team is Stateside, said ensuring fashion investors in Europe. That’s why she wants to move closer to the supply chain.
Additional investments in the most recent round came from Steph Korey, Co-CEO of the luggage brand Away, and Michelle Kennedy, co-founder and CEO of Peanut, an investment firm for women.
“This is just the beginning of Intimately,” Butler said. “We have a lot of more adaptive intimate designs in development. We want to establish ourselves as a leader in the field of adaptive soulmates. And then the next round, we’re looking to move into other types of apparel. Over the next 18 months or so, you’ll also see some other Intimately apparel coming soon. “
https://wwd.com/fashion-news/intimates/intimately-adaptive-lingerie-1-million-1235059014/ Intimately, Lingerie Brand for Disabled Women, Raises $1 Million – WWD