Designer Q&A: NOE Undergarments

| Lingerie

You’d be taking your life into your own hands to try to come between any of Journelle and NOE’s Edward leather shorts. From the moment those babies hit the racks, we were smitten. After a good heart-to-heart with the sisters (sisters!) behind the brand, spankin’ new line, it was a full-blown love affair. Their love for subtly-sexy syles and penchant for whimsical contradictions (fluidity paired with structure in lingerie and life!) tapped into our own belief in opposites attracting and appreciation for simplicity in style mixed with a good bit of creativity and cheekiness. Room for another sister?

Names: Bonnie Rae Boyes + Shelah Jean Abubo (cue the sibling envy, they’re sisters)

Provenance: Originally from Kauai, Hawaii; currently live in Laguna Beach, California and Hanalei, Kauai.

How did the name NOE come about? NOE (pronounced noy) stemmed from a name that we loved growing up. It’s a fairly common name in Hawaii and you hear it every now and again. NOE has a Hawaiian and French origin where it means ‘rest’ or ‘place of peace’ and this emulates our label perfectly… simple, not complicated and straightforward.

How long have you personally been designing for? Bonnie: We’ve both been designing since we’ve been teenagers. Our mom had a lingerie and swim label where she made one of kind pieces and taught us how to sew. Both of us went down the fashion road where I worked in swimwear and Shelah spent more time doing graphic design.


When did you launch your brand? We launched the first collection of NOE Undergarments in Autumn / Winter 2013.

Describe your brand ethos. It’s all about the beauty of opposites attracting. Mix quaintness with rawness, softness with roughness, fluidity with structure and aggression with passiveness, but also keep it simple. We believe in taking risks, traveling the unapologetic road, and accepting nothing but the good.

Who is the NOE Woman? The NOE woman is a woman who appreciates simplicity both in her style and her life, she pushes down boundaries and makes her own. She’s creative, a thinker and feels so sexy with our without someone telling her she is.

Do you play favorites within the collection? Which piece or pieces are you personally most excited about for f/w 13? Bonnie: I love the Ryan collection—my ultimate favorite piece is the Ryan Bodysuit…I love to show my undergarments so I wear this piece every week with mens-inspired trousers or high-waisted Levis. Shelah: My absolute favorite piece is the Edward Leather Shorts. I love the soft lambskin leather and the shorty-short cut is so sexy yet still sophisticated—with the high-waist and exposed gold back zipper. These are perfect to wear in the house or even add on a vintage tee or sweater and wear right out the door.


If you weren’t designing lingerie, what would you be doing? Shelah: Hmmmm… if I wasn’t designing lingerie I’d absolutely have to be in a creative field, probably digital design or web design. Bonnie: If I wasn’t designing lingerie I’d be a photographer. Photography allows for so much creativity, and it’s is incredibly personal as well as intimate, just like lingerie design.

What’s on rotation on your iPod? Oh a little bit of everything… we love music. Right now we have Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin, Jay-Z, Lorde, Alabama Shakes and a constant rotation of good jazz.