Founded in 2012 by Marin Camille and Julia Zolinsky, Blackbird Underpinnings is a different kind of intimate apparel company -- one that celebrates the unique beauty of every woman by promoting self-expression and authenticity.
Inspired by the daring flappers of the roaring twenties and the fierce, able ladies of the tumultuous thirties, Blackbird Underpinnings brings you locally crafted intimates with a touch of the renegade feminine. We hope that these sumptuous garments will inspire fervent expressions of confidence and poise—a reminder that the simple act of dressing oneself is at once creative and revolutionary.
The MAVEN Collection...Shape Your Own Story
Funds raised from this Kickstarter campaign will directly support local production of the MAVEN Collection, Blackbird Underpinnings' debut line. 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. These styles reflect an era that was revolutionary for women's apparel and a statement that is truly timeless. We cannot wait to get these pieces into your hands!
The MAVEN Collection consists of five styles, each named for a pioneering woman that has inspired us in her strength, spirit, and ingenuity.
- Édith – Crushed Velvet Knickers
- Anaïs – Silk Charmeuse Bralette
- Josephine – Silk Charmeuse Bloomers
- Marlene – Silk Charmeuse Camisole
- Coco – Silk Charmeuse Romper
Each style will be available in two color-ways (black & champagne/gold), in sizes XS, S, M, L, and XL. Materials include silk charmeuse, crushed velvet, and lace.
Blackbird Underpinnings is committed to manufacturing locally, and is proud to join the resurgence of a thriving fashion industry in the San Francisco Bay Area. The MAVEN Collection will be manufactured in San Francisco with the finest fabrics sourced through domestic channels.
The Blackbird Experience
Beyond its role as an apparel company, Blackbird Underpinnings offers an experience built around values of creativity, empowerment, and grand enjoyment. Blackbird Underpinnings will host regular events that feature lush ambiance, swanky cocktails, live performances, and more. These events build a sense of community while offering an exclusive opportunity to meet the founders, purchase Blackbird garments and get in on special promotions -- all with a glass of champagne in hand, of course. The company’s much-talked about first event in February 2013 attracted over 300 people and featured a live photographic performance. Blackbird Underpinnings’ next event in mid-November will celebrate the Kickstarter campaign and will include some exciting new surprises. We want YOU to be a part of the Blackbird Underpinnings community, so stay tuned for more details!
The Passion Behind Blackbird
The idea for Blackbird Underpinnings emerged from designer Marin Camille's experience as an artist and sewer. As a student at Mills College, she was immersed in ideas of empowerment and deconstructing conventional images of gender. While it was a challenge to reconcile some of these ideas with her love of fashion, she came to realize that true empowerment is being comfortable with your authentic self—comfortable enough to embrace the differences between us—and fashion is absolutely a means of expressing this. Originally inspired by author, Anaïs Nin, who unapologetically explored sensuality from a woman’s point of view long before it was socially acceptable, she was struck with an idea: what if there was a line of intimate apparel that celebrated self-expression, confidence, and the unique beauty of every woman? Blackbird Underpinnings was born from that moment, a reverie of Paris in the 20’s and 30’s, now stretched to include inspiration from great women across the eras.
The Blackbird team consists of Marin Camille as Co-founder and Designer, and Julia Zolinsky as Co-founder and Business Development. We bring diverse and complementary skill sets to the company, and consider ourselves deeply fortunate to have found such an unstoppable synergy together. We have been working diligently since January 2012 to bring this project to life, and we are thrilled to be nearing production. We have spent the past two years doing intensive planning, building the brand, and creating a community around Blackbird Underpinnings. We have been featured in two runway fashion shows in San Francisco and have held our own PR event that was hugely successful with over 300 people in attendance. We have also laid the groundwork by carefully mapping out our production plan, lining up our vendors, and traveling to Los Angeles to source lace and fabric.
With all the pieces in place, we are ready to move full steam ahead. We have an enthusiastic audience eagerly awaiting the production of our line, and we can't wait to bring the collection to life!
To thank our AMAZING backers, we are excited to offer a variety of rewards, including:
- Your name listed on a "Thank You" page on our website
- A set of gorgeous digital photographs by Kelly Puleio
- A Blackbird Underpinnings eye mask
- A Blackbird Underpinnings tote bag
- A custom print by Jeff Boozer, specially created for Blackbird Underpinnings
- All of our garments in various combinations -- the Édith Knickers, Anaïs Bralette, Josephine Bloomers, Marlene Camisole, and Coco Romper. Enjoy them for yourself, or send them to a special someone!
- A custom fitting and day of lingerie shopping with the ladies of Blackbird
- Various package rewards including ownership of our entire collection plus all sorts of amazing goodies like invitations to a special VIP pre-party at our launch, and dinner with the co-founders
Spread the Word!
Please help spread the word via social media, e-mail, and word of mouth. Click on the social media links just below our video to share this campaign far and wide!
Meeting our goal of $37,000 will enable us to:
- Work with vendors to refine and size the patterns, and prepare our designs for production
- Purchase fabric and materials needed for the production run
- Manufacture the MAVEN Collection with a local factory right here in the San Francisco Bay Area
- Develop product packaging
- Conduct an expansive marketing campaign and produce printed materials
If we raise $50,000, we will be able to double our production run, allowing us to put sales revenue back into the company and continue growing the business.
If we raise $60,000, we will be able to double our production run, and we will also be able to rent a studio/office/storage space for one year, allowing us to start planting our roots as an Oakland business!
We want to send a HUGE thank you to our absolutely incredible and phenomenally talented photographer Kelly Puleio and her fabulous assistant Julie. Check out Kelly's website to see her amazing work and get in touch!
Another huge thank you goes out to Nick and Dorian of Lea Bruno Photography for creating an absolutely stunning Kickstarter video. We were so lucky to find you, and loved every minute of working with you!
Thank you also to our stunning models Kim, Erin, Diana, and Mellissa -- you ladies are fierce and we love you!
And to the ladies of Pretty Parlor, thank you so much for your expert styling, beautiful make up artistry, and polishing the look for our collection!
And thank you to the incredibly creative and amazingly supportive Jeff Boozer. We couldn't have dreamed up a better reward!
And last but CERTAINLY not least -- THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR BACKERS! We honestly couldn't do this without you, and we are deeply grateful for your support. Thank you thank you thank you! We can't wait to go into production and deliver these gorgeous underpinnings to you!
Risks and challenges
As with any manufacturing project, there is always the risk of delays in production. This can be caused by various factors including the unavailability of materials from vendors or delays in the production cycle with the factory.
However, we have already proven ourselves to be nimble and think on our feet when things don't go as planned, and we will absolutely operate this way during the production process. We react quickly to obstacles, and will find solutions to resolve any problems. If our fabric vendor doesn't have the fabric we need, we will source it elsewhere. If our factory can't fit us into the production schedule, we will negotiate with them and look elsewhere if needed. Thankfully we have developed a solid understanding of the apparel manufacturing industry, a robust network of industry professionals, and a healthy resource list upon which we can draw. These tools provide us with the ability to be resourceful and to change course quickly if needed.
As Marin always says "everything is figure-out-able!" So, we will figure it out. We promise. This is our passion, and our dream, and we have never been more certain of anything in our lives. That is our commitment to you, and we will hold to it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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