BY: Ina Joseph
Now that Valentine’s Day is long-gone, we can finally escape the clichéd couple-y stereotypes that attack us at every street corner and advertisement. In my eyes, the season of love persists year-round—the season of self-love, that is.
Some of the hallmarks of self-love may include Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, heart-shaped vibrators, and lingerie. Whether you done the lacey attire to impress and arouse some potential significant other, an ephemeral one-time fling, or yourself, it’s unquestionable that lingerie possess some magical, sensuous quality that makes us feel on top of the world.
Deean Yeaoh and Agnes Chan, two students in BU’s Questrom School of Business, decided to cash-in on this lingerie magic. Luste Lingerie, Deean and Agnes’ original line of versatile lingerie for the young, working woman, aims to bring out every woman’s “confident, powerful, and sexy” self.
Lingerie resists the notions that sexuality should be kept behind closed doors, and that the intimate wear has to be associated with sex at all. While you can keep it on the bottom of your underwear drawer, untouched until some special occasion, you can also wear it for the world to see. And more importantly, for your own satisfaction.
“I just like delicate fabrics. I really like lace and how it comes into play with silk and how it looks. For me, I like to wear lingerie out,” Deean says. “I like wearing cami tops out and pairing it with something that’s more like casual wear, like jeans. That way it gives [the outfit] more of a playful feel. And people always say...I look kind of naughty. So it plays up that vibe too. And it’s also just so comfortable, so it gives me confidence and illustrates who I am to whoever I’m talking to.”
The same way the rise in popularity of sheer or barely-there clothing has allowed young women to reclaim their sensuality through fashion, lingerie provides the same opportunity. Its elements of lust as well as luxury make it a vessel through which one can express their baddest selves in and out of the bedroom. At the end of the day, lingerie should “make you feel beautiful”, and that’s what Deean and Agnes hope their line does for their future consumers.
However, the important thing to note about Luste is that it’s not meant to give you confidence. The beauty of self-love and self-luste is that they are intrinsic qualities that exist somewhere within. It’s up to you to bring them out, whether that’s through exercise, self-reflection, ambition, or maybe lingerie.
“Wearing nice lingerie doesn’t necessarily make you feel good as a person if you already don’t feel good about yourself. But it can help you get to that stage,” Deean says about the relationship between empowerment and intimate wear. “It can help you feel a little more empowered about yourself. So it’s an aid, but I don’t think they’re synonymous at all. I would hope that [lingerie] facilitates the empowerment.”
A big part of empowerment is comfort, according to Deean and Agnes, hence the central vision for Luste Lingerie. With three main categories named after friends that embody different types of women--the Anna, the Dani, and the Crystal--Luste will provide a range of versatility that can appeal to any type of woman. From “the busty chick who doesn’t give a f*ck” to someone who’s “a little sportier and wants support, but still wants...to feel like a lady”.
While the vision for Luste is still unfolding, the business has made some tangible progress in the process of getting its feet off the ground. “We’ve got a couple more steps to go,” Deean says, with a smirk. Regardless of when Luste Lingerie’s makes its grand debut, there’s nothing more empowering than ambition.
“All of the messages we want to send out to our audience about being confident and empowered and [feeling] beautiful and comfortable, they still relay. But our personal reason for starting it was to prove something to ourselves, and hopefully to prove to other people who may be in doubt of themselves that they can do it, too.”
If lace doesn’t light a fire within you, the story of two determined young women definitely will.