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Can three entrepreneurs with very different backgrounds and skill sets come up with a formula for success in the lingerie business?

That’s what the founders of Savannah Lingerie, a new UK brand, are hoping as they launch a debut collection that aims for the sweet spot between trendy bondage-themed style and comfortable daily undergarments.

The company is led by three women with expertise in fashion styling, photography and engineering:

  • Angharad Merrey, a celebrity stylist who has worked on music videos and fashion shoots, was inspired to design a lingerie brand after creating bespoke garments for editorial assignments;
  • Candice Joelle, a director and photographer, brings her creative eye to the team in shooting Savannah’s lookbook, designing its website and managing social media; and
  • Nina Wordley, who has a background in engineering and project management for oil companies in the U.S., Mexico and Norway, brings her multi-tasking skills to the new venture.

“After managing rig hands (in the oil field) I thought, ‘How hard could launching an underwear line be?’” Nina told Lingerie Talk.

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Most startups in the lingerie industry are led by fashion school grads or people who are branching out after learning the trade while working for other brands. And while the Savannah team lacked such a background, they had plenty of ideas about what kind of brand they wanted to create.

Savannah was born from three women with very different personalities, very different body types and very different views on underwear,” the company says in a press release.

“The first has a penchant for lingerie design – an obsession almost. The second is forever seeking the ultimate in comfort. The third searches for unfaltering support.”

And, like so many newcomers to the industry, they were looking to create something they couldn’t already find in the market. In this case, that meant a combination of comfort, design and luxurious materials … but with a fashionable BDSM-tinged edge to it. And all this at a reasonable price.

“Since we’ve always been drawn to the powerful look created by hardware within lingerie design, we wanted to bridge the gap between what most consider bondage/BDSM and everyday lingerie, integrating the two,” they said. “All thrills, no frills.”

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The trio spent two years developing the brand, creating 83 samples along the way before settling on the all-black, 16-piece debut collection that launched on the company’s webshop last month.

Fashioned primarily from semi-sheer power mesh, it’s a smooth, figure-hugging collection accented by a variety of modern straps and 24-carat gold-dipped loops. The mix-and-match styles range from mild to wild, with the most dramatic piece being the powerful Chain Hoop choker-harness set.

Savannah takes its name from the grassland bioregions of Africa and South America, which signifies the vast and varied range of women it hopes to serve. “She is friendly, personable, passionate, spontaneous, lots of energy, modern, fun, accessible, contemporary, fast moving, she likes to make ideas happen quickly and she doesn’t mind taking risks,” the company says.

Savannah’s fabrics are sourced and the garments are manufactured in Colombia, and keen observers will see a South American influence in the bold designs.

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“I’m half Peruvian so I was keen in producing the collection and working with South America where there is a real craft for lingerie,” Nina told us.

“Colombia … produces the best quality materials and we met a group of incredibly talented women who crafted our designs.

“It was actually very interesting because we insisted on using a power mesh but they were used to working with light frilly fabric and lace, not metal and power mesh. But when they had completed the garments they loved that they were involved with such a different product to their everyday work.”

For its first marketing campaign, Savannah issued a model call online and auditioned 50 women before casting Monique Soudre and Inna Black for the lookbook shown below.

“We loved that they were different, and they really stood out from the ultra-skinny models,” Nina said.

Savannah’s collection ranges in price from under $25 for a choker to just over $100 for the full bodysuit or most elaborate bras. The brand is sold exclusively through its webshop, although it is hoping to expand with retail distributors in the future.

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