Underneath It All

DECEMBER 5, 2013

Photo provided by Naja

In the opening scene of “The Devil Wears Prada,” we see Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway) preparing for her grueling interview with Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), and as she stumbles around her NYC apartment we laugh to ourselves. Yes, she is educated, ambitious and attractive but she is lacking several important qualities such as confidence, a fashion sense and sex appeal. Several other women are also preparing for their hectic mornings but their routines happen with more ease and grace. As KT Tunstall is belting out “Suddenly I See,” the other NYC beauties are dressing to perfection! But their pencil skirts, Christian Louboutins and pink lipsticks were not catching my eye; instead the leopard silk panties, black lace thongs and bow tie bras stole my attention. These women knew who they wanted to be: vibrant, sensual and feminine.

I remember when I bought my first Victoria’s Secret thong freshman year of high school. This purchase led to drawers and drawers full of silk, lace, satin, garters and hosiery. Immediately, I gravitated towards matching bras and panties because of the power I possessed in them. When I slip on a set, whether thong or brief, a sense of confidence over comes me and I feel invincible for my day ahead. Obviously, I can’t be in matching sets daily but a regular nude push up bra just doesn’t give me the same “magical” feeling. Over the years I have experimented with numerous brands such as Victoria’s Secret, La Perla, Agent Provocateur, Damaris, Cosabella, Hanky Panky, and Chantelle to name a few. I would have to say my shopping destination depends on what I am searching for and how much my budget is at the time. Each brand serves a different purpose for my body’s needs. I have to admit though I am one of those girls who buckles garter belts onto hoses on a pretty regular basis.

Before I zipper up my dress or button my blouse I look at my “secret outfit” in my floor length cheval mirror satisfied, ready to conquer the world. I wear these seductive lingerie sets for myself and not a man, but that doesn’t mean I am not prepared for the unexpected. This kind of thinking has proven successful on more than one occasion. There is only one problem – the high cost of buying gorgeously made undergarments.

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Catalina Girald, the founder of Naja, “a radically different lingerie company for smart, courageous women who aren’t afraid to speak their minds.” (Think ladies from opening scene in Devil Wears Prada). Catalina is an entrepreneur full of energy and creativity. Her unique vision of lingerie for the modern woman has come to life in three initial collections of neutral colors inspired by a Japanese tattoo artist representing integrity, freedom and reliability.

Elegant, delicate, smooth & comfortable are four adjectives that came to mind when I was able to see the collections in person at Naja’s launch party at No. 8 in NYC. Various inspirational quotes inside each panty and painted scenes within each bra cup are two aspects of Naja that set it apart from other lingerie. Catalina told me she was not a lingerie connoisseur in the past, but she was bored of mass brands, and dreamt up Naja to offer women La Perla quality with affordable pricing. I look forward to purchasing my first set to feel for myself.

Curiosity led me to ask Catalina several personal questions that resulted in new advice for lingerie shopping. Not only does she purchase a matching panty for a bra, but she gets three pairs so she can switch up her look. This is great advice for women who enjoy wearing a variety of different styles. Also, if you are not as comfortable with lingerie, try organizing your delicates drawer by color, cut, style etc. The desire to look and feel good under your clothes will surely come if you can visualize what you have.

Underwear for Hope: Change your underwear, change the world. As working women of the world it is vital to give back to those less fortunate and Naja makes that possible through our purchases. A portion of the company’s profits go toward training mothers in the poorest countries of the world who then are employed by Naja.

I firmly stand by my opinion that lingerie is a personal secret we carry with us day in and day out. Catalina has chosen a fabulous quote for Naja’s packaging that sums it up best, “What we wear underneath is first about us and then about who we choose to reveal it to…should they be so lucky.”

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