There’s nothing better than slipping into some gorgeous nightwear, especially if you’ve just checked into a 5* hotel. As #TeamCoco are constantly travelling and are lucky enough to lay our head at some of the most prestigious hotels and resorts around the world, luxury nightwear is usually top of our packing list. However, as some of us are blessed with killer curves it can be hard to find nightwear which is high quality and has a fit that makes us feel a million dollars. One brand that champions the fuller figure and takes influence from Hollywood starlets is Bustoire. Our writer Jenna got behind the brand to chat to the CEO Joyce, to discover more about the brands history and how she transitioned from a career in Banking to designing glamorous slips…
JC: So firstly, what was it like transitioning from working in banking to owning your own nightwear brand? Must have been quite a change of pace!
JL: Yes, definitely quite the change. I’ve worked in banking since I graduated with a mathematics degree. And although banking and fashion seem like polar opposites and in many ways they are, there are still similarities in skills that apply to both. I enjoy the whole process of designing and selecting the fabrics for each piece and love the detail and craftsmanship that goes into every garment. Seeing my designs come to life is very exciting. I like to work very closely with my manufacturer who is based in London and be present during the production phase. I source all the fabrics from the UK and only use the highest quality silk satin, silk chiffon and lace. I think it’s important to use natural, breathable fabrics, so that our garments are not only perfect for lounging but also sleeping in.
What makes my garments unique is that each piece has hidden bra support. The hidden bra support is made from Powernet a durable, strong, stretchy fabric that provides that much needed support for a bigger bust while still feeling comfortable and free. There is great attention to detail even down to the bra strap adjusters, which are gold plated. It was important to have our garments made in the UK and be an authentically British brand that is sustainable and ethical.
JC: We love the retro Hollywood vibe of your collection – was there a Hollywood pin-up who inspired some of your designs?
JL: My debut collection is inspired by Hollywood glamour and powerful, strong women whom I admire. The Josephine Babydoll for example was inspired by none other than Josephine Baker’s famous banana skirt which she first wore while performing in her show La Revue Nègre in the 1920s. The iconic skirt influenced the silk chiffon gathering and stitching. It drapes so elegantly against the skin and flows with such beauty.
JC: Why did you choose to focus your collection on larger busted women?
JL: I decided to focus on nightwear for fuller busted women because of my own experience of not finding beautiful, feminine and supportive nightwear for a larger bust. There has been some progress over the past 10 years with bras and swimwear for bigger cup sizes, however nightwear is still a very underserved market for DD+ women. I initially had the idea a few years ago while on day trip to Cambridge with a friend. While shopping we went into a well-known lingerie shop where my friend proceeded to purchase a red lace slip that came in the usual small, medium and large. I stood around knowing there was nothing in the shop that would fit me and just waited for my friend to pay.
On the train back to London I kept thinking about the red lace slip and why I was so used to seeing nightwear that didn’t come in larger sizes that supported a fuller bust. I felt frustrated and at the same time inspired. I decided there and then there needed to be a change. I eagerly brought out a notebook and pen and started sketching designs. I remember how empowering and freeing it felt. As soon as I reached home I took out my sewing machine and made my first prototype and that’s how the brand started.
JC: Who would be your dream stockist of Bustoire?
JL: I would love to see my brand in Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols in the UK, Barney’s, and Neiman Marcus in the US and luxury department stores in Australia, Dubai and Canada. Currently we are selling direct to customers through our online store and pop up shops.
JC: Can you tell us about a recent ‘Girl Boss’ moment?
JL: A recent Girl Boss moment was launching my first pop up shop in Islington over the Christmas holidays. It was amazing to see the customer’s reactions to the garments and being able to provide a physical retail as well as an online experience. We will be doing more pop up shops this year.
JC: We can’t wait to see one of your physical stores to come to life! Aside from all the excitement, what has been the hardest part of running your own clothing business?
JL: The most challenging part is splitting my time between my full time banking job and running a business. When people ask me how I do it, I say I don’t know what sleep is anymore which usually gets a few laughs. But in reality I try to stick to a schedule and plan ahead of time what needs to be done in the evenings and weekends. This helps me to stay focused. I am also a big believer in morning and night routines, which also helps. I don’t try to do everything myself and I’m lucky to have a fantastic and talented team to work with.
JC: What’s in the pipeline for 2019?
JL: You can look forward to Bustoire garments being stocked in luxury retail stores and boutiques in the UK and a new collection coming soon.
To find out more about Bustoire, visit the below links.