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Women Making History: Kristian Giambi of BRULEE

Meet Kristian Giambi, the creative ingenue behind made-in-NYC BRULEE Lingerie and Loungewear. The Northern-California native is a lifelong lover of fashion and art. BRULEE offers femininity “without the frills,” a motto that reflects Kristian’s busy lifestyle. We’ve posted about BRULEE before so were pumped to get to finally talk to Kristian about starting her own business and getting started in the fashion industry in our exclusive interview!

What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?

Coco Chanel for her ambition and determination.

You studied Visual Communications in school – how did you make the transition to designing lingerie and starting your own company?

Yes my college degree is in visual communications. I studied advertising, graphics, photography, branding, etc., all of which was truly instrumental in starting Brulee. I wanted to combine all I learned and loved in college with my passion for fashion and design. Studying visual design and communications I had no formal training in design or fashion, so I really had to figure it out on my own. I started doing research on the industry – factories, product development, sourcing, production, etc. I really wanted to produce in New York City, so I began connecting the dots there. Sometimes I look back and think how crazy I was for taking this on! I really had no idea what I was doing but as I put one foot in front of the other, it came together so wonderfully. From the Brulee line to company branding and everything in between, I have truly loved building every little detail that encompasses this brand.

One of your design motifs is “femininity without the frills” – what do you mean by that? What do you wish to convey through your designs?

I believe you don’t necessarily need all the frills and fluff of bows and lace to be feminine and sexy. I am not saying it is a total no-no, I just think there is a beautiful way to execute it. The Brulee design aesthetic is classic pieces that are glamorous and have a modern sensibility. That sort of modern femininity is so sexy to me.

Many of your designs look vintage inspired.  Do you try to evoke “old glamour” in your designs?

Yes, I am inspired by and do infuse the glamour and sex appeal of pin-up era in Brulee, but executed in a modern, minimalist way.

What’s your favorite piece of that you’ve created?

That’s hard to pick just one. Probably the Coco Teddy.

Who do you want to work with?

I could go on and on listing the people I’d like to work with in all aspects of design because I admire so many people.  I would love to work with Karl Lagerfeld. If I could go back in time, Helmut Newton or Coco Chanel. Also David Carson and Kelly Wearstler. Just to name a few. I could go on more!

What part of running your own business is the most challenging and do you dislike the most?

The most challenging part is simply that every day presents new and different challenges! But this is what keeps me motivated, inspired, and on my toes. I really can’t say there is any part of this I dislike.

Any advice for ladies on the fit and care of lingerie?

Certainly finding silhouettes that work for you. What looks great on one woman may not look great on another, so try out different silhouettes until you find what complements your figure the most. Care for lingerie carefully! Do not just throw into the washing machine, especially fine silks. Hand wash with a delicate solution and hang to dry. Or dry clean.

Any advice for ladies who are just starting out in a career in the fashion industry or running their own business?

Education is important, but beyond that I believe finding a mentor in the business who can offer their insight is invaluable. And believing in the motto that you can do whatever you set your heart out to do!

Brulee pieces run $65-$280 on brulee.net
@bruleelingerie on Twitter
Brulee on Facebook


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