AIKYOU lingerie is a brand I discovered this past year and have fallen completely in love with. Not only is sustainability at the heart of everything they do, their designs are stunning, soft and so perfectly formed. Using tailoring principles their lingerie pieces fit like nothing else and really do stand the test of time. Read all about Biance & Gabriele's story on starting up a lingerie brand focusing on small-busts and what makes their pieces so unique!
Hi Bianca! Hi Gabriele! How did you both get started in the fashion industry?
The two of us had worked together on various projects over the years. This meant that we both knew each other really well, and after lots of discussions we decided to start our own business.
When did you decide to start up AIKYOU and why?
Small busts are gorgeous, just the way they are. That’s our credo, and that’s why we founded AIKYOU in 2011. Simply because there were no bras on the market meeting the requirement of small-busted women. In addition we wanted underwear without any underwiring or enlarging push-ups that really embraced small-busts.
Has working with influencers always been key to the brand?
Working with influencers wasn't something we did right at the beginning. However, as we continued to meet amazing people who got what we were doing, we started to work with them as a way to seed out our product. We are so happy to have developed some long-term friendships along the way.
What is your favourite thing about having started AIKYOU lingerie?
We are simply passionate about making small-boobed women feel feminine in their own way. Our aim is for women to feel confident in our underwear, without having to change or add anything to their natural bust. It moves us every time when we get feedback that someone discovered a new sense of body confidence when wearing our designs.
What’s the best part of your job?
That we can act independently.
What is your favourite piece that you have ever created?
Honestly, there is no one favourite! This is because once we have created a new style, this, in turn, sets off new ideas. So we guess our favourite is always the design we are currently working on. This is the design we give all our energy to, trying, testing, and then reworking. It is like a love affair!
What were your biggest challenges in starting up a lingerie business?
During the first few years, we practically met new challenges every day! So it was important just to continue on our way, walk ahead, stick to our mission and go through with it all.
What makes AIKYOU stand out?
AIKYOU is the lingerie label for small busts only. Our tailoring and our choice of materials are specifically made to fit small boobs.
What’s been your biggest pinch me moment?
The moment we decided to launch AIKYOU – it was an immediate yes on both sides, no questions asked.
What inspires you both?
Freedom in every respect! And also the exchange with our customers, which already lead to developments like our new paddable series.
What are your average days like?
Each one of us has her designated tasks, but we frankly spend most of our time on the computer! Dog walking and tea drinking are our regular intermissions.
Do you think you both have a work/life balance?
After the first very work-intensive years, we made an important decision; that yes, we want to have a really good work/life balance. Which is why we completely restructured our working processes to achieve a high degree of flexibility, managing to create more freedom for both of us.
What words do you live by?
Everything in life is about balance. (It’s true!).
What’s next for AIKYOU lingerie?
Sustainability has been a matter of the heart for us from the very beginning. And the most sustainable thing you can do is to start loving the things you surround yourself with. So our next mission is to advocate really taking care of your clothes and of your underwear, so you can enjoy them even longer...
If you fancy checking out some previous interviews you can find them here. All images are via AIKYOU Lingerie.