Brulee is one of my favorite new lingerie and loungewear brands, designed by Kristian Giambi and handcrafted in New York City. The designs are sexy yet comfortable, made from fine silk, cotton, and jersey, and accented with discreet details that include hand cast gold and Swarovski crystal hardware. The Brulee line includes camisoles, bodysuits, teddies, bralettes, boy shorts, lounge pants, nightshirts, and robes, all of which retail for between $36 and $220.
TFS had the chance to speak with Giambi to find out how she got into designing, what her favorite materials are, her dream clients, and more.
Q: How did you get into designing intimates?
A: I have always been a creative person, however I got into designing intimates when I wasn’t finding the lingerie and loungewear I wanted. I was inspired to design undergarments that women would feel feminine and beautiful in, without the frills and lace – classic pieces that are glamorous, yet have an edgy twist. That modern femininity is so sexy to me.
Q: I love that your line is sexy without being frilly. Is that a conscious decision when you’re designing?
Q: What are your favorite materials to work with?
A: I work mostly with silks and jersey. I love the contrast in textures, like the shine of silk against the sheer and soft finish of chiffon. I especially love the jet-black Swarovski buttons and square nail-head buttons, which we custom make along with most of the trims used in the line. Those details quietly give classic and sophisticated pieces an edgy “rocker” vibe without being over the top.
Q: How do you choose your color palette? Do you have any tips on what colors best suit various skin tones?
A: Lately I’ve been drawn to darker, moody colors like plum, pewter, and copper – although I always have to include my favorite wardrobe staples, black and cream. I think contrast is important in choosing colors for your skin tone so you don’t look washed out. I love a dark palette on someone fair-skinned, and a bright palette that pops against someone with darker skin.
Q: I’s very impressive that everything in your collection is handcrafted in NYC. Do you think people gravitate to your line because of that despite the higher costs it entails?
A: Being made in New York City is definitely a huge part of the Brulee brand. It is something our customers love about the line – and yes, I think consumers are willing to spend a little more knowing they are getting a quality garment, supporting workers right here in the city. I believe it’s so important to support and keep the New York garment district thriving, and I love that we are able to contribute.
Q: Do you think about a specific body type when you design?
A: I don’t. Women come in all shapes and sizes, so rather than think about one specific body type when I design, I think about creating beautiful pieces that can flatter all sorts of body types.
Q: A number of your pieces look like they may not support women with busts on the larger size. Is this true?
A: Currently our size range goes through XL. As we continue to grow, our lines will grow as well. There is much more to come in the future.
Q: Where do you get your design inspiration from?
A: I find inspiration in so many things, it is hard to just pick one…but being a lingerie designer, I find inspiration in the beauty women embody for simply just being women. That essence is so powerful. But I also find inspiration in the fact that men notice women and wonder what they are wearing underneath….
Q: If you could pick one celeb to wear your line, who would it be?
A: I would love for any woman – celebrity or non – who exudes strength, inner beauty, and confidence to wear Brulee.