We spoke the founder of Dora Larsen about transitioning from lingerie buyer to business owner and the importance of sustainability and inclusivity within the lingerie industry.
On her background and career progression:
Georgia used to work as a lingerie buyer for Topshop and after 5 years, left to launch her own lingerie brand, Dora Larsen. She always had a clear vision for the brand and it quickly took off after launch - a career highlight for her is being stocked on Net-a-Porter!
How did you find the transition from working in lingerie to running your own lingerie brand?
"I went through an incredibly fast learning experience!" She explained that there was a lot to learn about running a self-funded business, "I thought that I knew it all but it took me a lot of mistakes along the way to get my head around the complexities of running a business." Now, they know exactly what direction they are going in.
How did you launch your startup, with savings or business loans and grants?
Although she was lucky to have some friends and family chip in, she did also apply for a loan early on and would highly recommend going through the process of creating a very detailed business plan and cash flow. If you have a great plan and idea, it is a great idea to apply for a loan!
What is your approach to using colour in your designs? What is the colour function in designs?
"Colour is very emotive, they can make you feel differently when you're in your lingerie." She explains that her choosing process is organic, she goes through different swatches and try to put the pieces together to create empowering, fun and girly colour-ways. She wanted to create lingerie that wasn't traditional or expected, so "you looked at it and knew it was Dora Larsen."
Do you find that a lot of women aren't wearing the correct sized underwear?
Yes, we all have slightly different body shapes and the majority of us probably aren't wearing the right size. Some common fixes are to adjust the strap lengths and to use a tight setting around your chest so that your bra doesn't shift up or down. She is confident that when your fit is right, you feel and look that much more amazing.
How much does body confidence and positivity play a role in your ethos?
She believes "it is difficult to run a brand thats not aligned with your identity" so for her, everything she produces is what she believes in strongly and that includes body positivity. Dora Larsen is a brand that is sexy without being overtly so - you wear it for yourself but also look amazing in it.
Do you believe that the industry is becoming more size inclusive/diverse?
She can't imagine having a brand that wouldn't take inclusivity into consideration and has realised over the past year "what is the point in running a business unless you're doing something good?" Hence, Dora Larsen has a large range of sizes and is striving to expand this further and although it is a difficult and slow task for a small brand, it is of high importance to them.
Every month you donate a percentage of each order to an environmental charity or organisation. Could you explain to us the changes you are making in terms of sustainability?
She explains that there are still things they can change in regards to fabrics and supply chains, but that brands also have a responsibility to give back as well. She says "what a great economy we could be moving into if a percentage of our profits could be put back into the community!"
During this pandemic, she felt the need to become more of an activist for sustainability, feeling the obligation to make sustainable changes especially as she works in the highly polluting fashion industry. She explains that Dora Larsen is not yet perfect and it is definitely more expensive to be sustainable, but it should without a doubt be the priority and we have to accept that.
How would you describe your personal style?
Definitely a boho-meets-scandi vibe.
If you could rent someone's wardrobe, dead, alive or fiction, who would you choose?
Dora Larsen are also currently looking for a digital marketing assistant.