We’ve all heard the expression “when one door closes another opens” — a testament to the opportunities that arise unexpectedly out of life’s darker moments.
For young professionals in the lingerie industry, that truism will reveal itself this weekend when they get a rare chance to talk with a successful designer who is in the process of winding down her popular brand.
Niki McMorrough, founder of Made By Niki, will host a Facebook chat on Saturday to give fans and industry insiders an opportunity to pick her brains about her decade on the front lines of the highly competitive industry. The UK designer announced the event on her Instagram account with a series of posts inviting followers to “Ask Me Anything” about her brand’s experience.
“Ask me anything about the lingerie business and I’ll give you the insider knowledge,” Niki wrote last week. “I know more about lingerie than anyone ought to, and I do not want it to go to waste!”
The Facebook chat will be invaluable to students in contour fashion design programs in the UK and elsewhere, as well as lingerie aficionados. Expect Niki to address the complex challenges of fabric and materials sourcing, working with retailers and factories, financing, marketing, finding models and other detail-specific aspects of running an independent label.
The event — which Niki calls “my parting gift to the lingerie fraternity” — will get underway sometime around noon GMT (check the brand’s Facebook page for specific details).
Known for its highly innovative blend of boudoir style and performance fabrics, Made By Niki became one of Britain’s most successful independent luxury labels, courted by the fashion press and coveted by celebrities around the world. Though it produced a wide assortment of looks, from fashion shapewear to sporty bras that anticipated the athleisure trend, MBN built its global reputation on its wildly original collection of fringe-based bodysuits, bras, skirts and other garments collectively known as the String range (below). The company earned numerous industry awards and in 2011 the String series was named the year’s most memorable lingerie look by Lingerie Talk.
Launched in 2007, Made By Niki got its start after Niki — who once worked as a travel writer before enrolling in De Montfort University’s contour fashion program — created a slinky tour outfit for singer K.T. Tunstall that would later inspire the String series. The company was run by its namesake founder and husband Scott from their Leicester studio, where all garments were hand-made.
“It has been a marvellous and crazy decade with lots of inspiration, just a few too many spreadsheets and not enough money,” Niki wrote on Instagram. “Wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
Niki has been working as a marketing exec for luxury car-maker Bentley for more than a year, and hasn’t produced a new lingerie collection in about two years.
Her label has been gradually discounting its inventory for much of the past year, and its imminent closing provides fans with an opportunity to get their hands on the last String and other styles at unheard-of prices.
Fans or design students who want to give Niki a heads-up about complicated questions for her FB chat can post them on the brand’s Instagram account or in the comments section on Facebook.