Home / Hi There, Blackbird: Bay-Area Startup Salutes Early Feminist Icons
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Our recent series about lingerie brands that rely on crowdfunding sites overlooked another interesting newcomer that is causing a stir in San Francisco.

Blackbird Underpinnings has already raised more than $22,000 on Kickstarter to help finance its debut collection of Flapper-style undies inspired by style icons of the 1920s and 30s.

Blackbird has only five more days to reach its $37,000 target in order to collect its Kickstarter funds, and with a big burlesque-and-jazz fundraiser in Oakland tonight it’s edging closer to its goal.

Blackbird‘s debut range, called The Maven Collection, features five soft, artistic styles such as crushed velvet knickers, silk charmeuse bloomers and a silk bralette, romper and cami edged with Art Deco lace trim.

The pieces are named for early feminist standard-bearers Anais Nin, Edith Piaf, Coco Chanel, Josephine Baker and Marlene Dietrich.

“The collection is inspired by iconic women who exercised unapologetic self-expression, and paved the way for each of us to find our voice and shape our own stories,” the company says on its Kickstarter page. “These styles reflect an era that was revolutionary for women’s apparel and a statement that is truly timeless.”


Blackbird Underpinnings got its start two years ago when co-founders Marin Camille and Julia Zolinsky began discussing a vintage-inspired lingerie line while working at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Marin was an accomplished seamstress and artist with a background in feminist history, while Julia was a former dancer with a nose for business.

The pair found an “unstoppable synergy” together and, inspired by Rebecca Apsan‘s seminal guide The Lingerie Handbook, they began laying the groundwork for a made-in-San-Fran vintage label. Blackbird has already been featured in two runway shows and a kick-off event back in February that drew 300 of the city’s fashionistas.

Below you can get a sense of the style and vibe of this promising brand thanks to an elegant photoshoot from Kelly Puleio. Blackbird’s Kickstarter campaign runs until Nov. 23, so act fast if you want an early shot at discounted styles or other campaign rewards like the original artwork piece shown above.


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