Marrissa Vosper & Lauren Schwab
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so there could not be a better time to introduce Marissa Vosper and Lauren Schwab, the brains and beauties behind Negative Underwear. These professionals have spent years laboring over their brain child, bringing the ultimate daily underwear to life. In their own words these undies and bras are “luxurious products without any fuss,” which completely nails it. We love them not only for their products, but also for their attitude: “In a world of pushed up and overdone, we’re intentionally not.“
What inspired the creation of negative underwear?
We wanted to solve real problems and make women feel amazing while doing it. So many women tell us how dissatisfied they are with their current underwear options and how they don’t know where to go to find an alternative. We found ourselves constantly having to compromise between functionality and aesthetic.
We wanted to create a brand that women want to wear – both because it feels so good on and it makes you feel good in it. We want to build something fundamentally better than what’s out there today.
We love this line “We’re Negative – the first layer – closest to the skin, selectively exposed, undeniably intimate.” tell us a little more about that thought!
Underwear is incredibly intimate. It’s the first thing you put on in the morning and covers your most delicate body parts. While it’s not always intended to be seen, it often is – peeking out of arm holes, necklines or the waistlines of jeans. We designed Negative with both of these things in mind. We’ve hand selected every component of our bras and underwear to ensure they’re incredibly soft and flexible without sacrificing the aesthetic in that instance that it’s visible.
You’re stranded on an island and can only have three things with you: what are they?
- Sunblock – Gotta protect that skin.
- Lighter – I’ve watched enough Lost to be practical.
- My man – He’s my rock. I like to think I could be happy anywhere with him.
- Scrabble – game never gets old
- Someone I love – my guy / my parents / my bffs
- Survival kit – I don’t what would be in it, but I’m sure Patagonia has it covered.
What do women not know about bras & undies that they need to know?
We have lots of tips for fit, care and wear, but for the sake of brevity we’ll offer just a few here. If you have more questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to help! Who knew bras were so complicated!
- Down a band size, up a cup. One of the first lessons we learned about fit is that many women wear the wrong size bra (80% of women according to Oprah, ourselves included!) and that the primary culprit is roomy bands and undersized cups. The actual underwires are exactly the same on a sliding diagonal scale (so the wire for a 30D = 32C = 34B = 36A) – of course, the proportions of bands/cups are what change – so it’s worth trying your sister size up the diagonal spectrum and seeing what you think.
- Use your hooks over time. When you first get a bra, it should (ideally) fit snugly on the loosest hook of the hook & eye so that you can take it in over time as the bra naturally stretches with washing and wear.
- Have more bras in your rotation. Or buy duplicates of your most-worn pieces. We all have our favorites but every bra can use a breather. Giving your bras a day off between wears allows the elastic to readjust – we promise they’ll fit better and last longer.
What are the essential undergarments every twenty-something woman should have?
A well fitting bra that feels amazing, gives you confidence and encourages you to love your body as it is times 3.
We can’t say it enough – you need to rotate your bras, so you can give your favorites a breather!
What word defines being a twenty something?
If you were to recommend a piece from your collection to start with, what would it be?
It depends on what you’re looking for – we promise, you can’t go wrong. All of our bras and underwear are intended to be mixed and matched, so you never feel uncoordinated.
If you’re looking for the most comfortable underwear you’ve ever worn, we’d suggest you try the Albatross or the Boa style…the fabric is like butter. We often get clients who tell us they fell asleep in their bras because they were so comfortable.
If you’re looking for something that’s really unique and a bit edgy, go for the Essaouira collection. It’s this unusual perforated lace that looks a bit like a distressed eyelet.
What words of wisdom do you have for other twenty somethings who want to start a business?
Do your research. Take the time to understand the existing market, including who your competitors are, how you’re different, what void you’re filling, who your customers are.
Leverage your existing network. You will be amazed by how your friends, family, colleagues can help you learn things you don’t know and meet new people. Be open to introductions that may not initially seem immediately useful – you never know how someone can help in the future. Prior to a meeting, have a goal for what would make the outcome of the meeting successful. Always think of how you can help the people you’re meeting. They will be more inclined to help you if you seem interested in helping them.
Surround yourself with supportive and loving friends and family. There are enough people in this world that will tell you that starting a business is too hard, that your idea isn’t differentiated, that you’re not the person to execute on it. It’s really helpful to have people in your life that believe in what you’re doing.
Persevere. Don’t take no for an answer. Even when it seems like everything is stacked against you and everything just seems too hard, continue to persevere – that will separate you from the rest.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves – what brought you together?
Marissa and I met freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania. We became fast friends – bonding over our love of fashion. We graduated from college and pursued different careers – Lauren in finance and Marissa in branding. While we loved fashion, we didn’t see careers for ourselves in the industry immediately out of college. A couple of years into our respective careers, we started talking about launching a business together. To satisfy that itch, we took classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. There we identified the opportunity in intimates to solve a problem and create something different.
We spent four years researching, sourcing, developing and manufacturing our product before launching our brand – all while working fulltime at our respective jobs in finance and branding.
Everyone feels a little over exposed or insecure in their skivvies sometimes – how do you combat this? Any tips?
We believe investing in good underwear is a form of self-love. Underwear is your secret power suit. Feeling good in your underwear can give you self-confidence and change your outlook for the day. Whatever you invest in – whether it’s that bra that makes you forget you’re wearing it, a super sexy date night set or those uber functional seamless underwear – make sure you feel amazing in it.