Designer Q&A: Sophie Simmons of Dessous

| Lingerie


1.  You grew up in Paris and London. How did that affect your design aesthetic and your style?

I have always been told I had an aesthetic that was French. I guess that even if you leave the country you grew up in, you take a part of it with you. I don’t conscientiously decide on that, it’s just what I gravitate towards.

2.  Describe the Dessous woman.

She is stylish and practical. She is confident and wants her clothes and undergarments to support that intention. Dessous pieces are really about comfort and creating a sexy look without overly revealing yourself. It’s about the person who has it on, because they feel so good, and maybe for someone to see, because they are also deeply feminine.

3.  Who or what inspires you?

My son, the way he discovers the world with unbridled joy and curiosity, he observes evrything and engages this with this beautifiul innocence. Also being comfortable in his skin, which is something that we struggle with as we get older. As far as designers, I have always admired Maria Cornejo of ZERO, she has a singular vision, and has stuck to it, she is unique and she thrives, I really admire that. She is also a mother, a wife and a professional, and that’s hard to juggle gracefully, and she does.

4.  What is it about lingerie that interests/attracts you?

It’s the idea of what is underneath, it’s intimate. like a secret.

5.  What is your favorite piece in the current collection?

My favorite piece is and will always be the simple camisole, Nina, named after my mother, cut long, it’s the most versatile and the corner stone to all my collections, that’s where I show my new embroidery, like a little painting.

6.  What are your goals for the brand in the coming years?

I am trying to move my production to China and become more affordable, but I have not yet found a factory that would come close to the quality I require, so I am reminding myself to approach this new goal like my son would, with curiosity and enthusiasm, but the fact is, I find moving my production and leaving my team deeply saddening, but my price points have been prohibitive to the growth of the business.

7.  What differences do you see in the attitude towards lingerie in New York versus in Europe?

In general the relationship women have to their lingerie is far more reasonable and focused on women in Europe. In the States it seems that lingerie is either “to be seen in but not worn”, or “worn but not seen.” American higher end lingerie gravitates towards a look that seems often closer to a costume, uncomfortable and overly sexualized, like fake boobs and swollen lips. I think the American woman is still a little confused about sexuality and intimacy, our relationship towards ourselves and may look to the media for answers, which is defined mostly by men. The fact that brands like ERES don’t do as well in sales as brands like AGENT PROVOCATEUR is a good example, gimmicks over quality. Dont get me started with Victoria’s Secret, the montesanto of the lingerie world!


Thanks to Sophie for taking the time to talk with us and for giving us one of the BEST answers we’ve ever gotten when discussing how differently European and American women view lingerie. We love her belief that gorgeous lingerie can make you feel beautiful and confident, regardless of whether or not anyone else will see it.  Our goal is to make this attitude common in the US and, thanks to designers like Sophie, we have no doubt that we’ll get there soon.