If you’re looking to level up your at-home quarantine vibes, intimate apparel brand Kilo Brava—which recently relocated to Colorado—might just be your answer.
Kilo Brava’s founder, Kristin Bear, launched the brand of eco-friendly, transitional lingerie and sleepwear in the fall of 2019 (and, it seems worth noting, just two days after her daughter was born). Bear spent more than a decade in the fashion industry before establishing her own brand. She got her start in sleepwear and lingerie somewhat by happenstance after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York in 2008, and fell in love with designing intimate apparel—though she wasn’t always able to fully express her vivid, eye-catching style. “Even in the beginning of my career, I shied away from the sea of black and nude underwear on every department store floor, which was super prevalent at the time,” Bear says.
So, with her own brand, Bear went bold. Kilo Brava designs are an expression of Bear’s own aesthetic leanings: distinctively retro, sumptuous, whimsical, feminine, and sophisticated. “I knew I couldn’t be a little brand in a sea of big brands and not stand out,” says Bear, who formerly worked as head of design for Miami-based luxury lingerie brand Cosabella. “I thought it was important to stick to my artistic gut.”
Bear is inspired by the ’60s and ’70s—a time of feminine empowerment—and, when designing a new collection, begins her creative process by researching vintage photographs, decor, and people. She used to look for inspiration at the library, but these days she says she pores over eBay or Facebook Marketplace to find something that inspires her—maybe a vintage lamp, wallpaper, a photograph. “Once I pick a theme I live it: I listen to music from that time, I get obsessed with looking at photos, I find influential women from then—spokeswomen, models, women in the fashion industry—and I think about what would she wear, what would she like, what would look good on her,” Bear says. “I let them inspire me.”
Almost every Kilo Brava design is hand-drawn and then digitized by Bear. The embroidery is hand-rendered and sustainably made, and Bear prioritizes finding eco-friendly materials, including a Bamboo Collection made of 95 percent natural bamboo fiber. Other Kilo Brava collections include mesh, satin, rib, and lace; all are available in sizes 4 through 24 (aka 3X). The price point is also reasonable: bodysuits, for example, start at $40, and bralettes at $26. “From the second that I decided to start my own brand, two things were important to me: pricing and sizing,” Bear says. “And I didn’t want to compromise on style.”
Bear, who moved to Aurora from Florida in September 2020, designed the Spring 2021 Collection—which will be available late February—while relocating. Designing a line in the middle of a pandemic, while transitioning a business and two small children across the country, wasn’t exactly ideal, but this season’s line will launch later this month all the same. “I basically designed this entire collection during the first quarantine,” says Bear. “I felt like the butterfly was a symbolic, beautiful print for this season. I am hoping that in 2021, we can all spread our wings and get out a little more—even if that’s just getting fresh air and away from the at-home cocooning that everyone at this point is kind of sick of.”
This year seems as good as any to embrace ready-to-wear intimate apparel—i.e. items that can transition from chic-at-home to sleek-about-town. “I feel like if you’re gonna spend money on intimate apparel, it’s nice to know that you’re not just wearing it for your honeymoon and that’s it,” says Bear, who noted she wears her Leo Love pajama set out and about all the time. “I wear it to the grocery store, out to dinner. I feel really comfortable in it—it’s not like a messy, scrubby pajama-look; it’s a cute put together outfit you don’t have to think about.”
Kilo Brava can be found on KiloBrava.com, Macy’s, and Nordstrom, and Bear hopes to get the line in local Denver-area shops soon, too. “I would absolutely love to be somewhere local,” says Bear. “It will be so nice to be able to show products in person again.”
But while we are all still stuck at home, you might as well slip into something more comfortable.