Lingerie brand Soma surveyed 1,500 women over the course of 3 years to create what it believes is the smartest bra on the market, the Bodify, launching today. During an exclusive 2-day pop-up event in NYC, FashionUnited spoke to Holly Wilson, Vice President of Design at Soma Intimates, about common bra-shopping challenges, or “brablems” as the Soma team calls them, as well as the patent-pending technology behind the Bodify, and the evolution of the lingerie market.
“Solutions really became part of our dna very quickly because of the constant conversation with the customer on the problems she was trying to solve,” said Wilson. “Whether it was smoothing out panty lines, straps digging in or sliding down, gaping cups, or something else, all this led to the creation of our proprietary innovations over the years.”
It is worth bearing in mind that the brand was founded in 2004 when the lingerie retail environment was dominated by Victoria’s Secret which was focused on supermodels and angels. This created a retail void which Soma identified as an opportunity. Now with 250 boutiques and outlets nationwide, the all-women led design team have established an alternative to the male gaze which once controlled the lingerie market.
“We set out to demystify the bra-fit experience, to create an environment for women that was unintimidating, where they could actually find products that suited them,” said Wilson.
The challenges of bra shopping
Rather than forcing women to aspire to an unattainable and unrealistic beauty standard, the Soma team starts with the belief that the uniqueness of every woman’s body is the best thing about her. “If you lined up ten 36Cs, they are all different," said Wilson. "Each woman, although the same size, carries her weight differently, and each one's experience in bra-shopping is therefore different." Added to that, women’s bodies change, even throughout the month, as well as during pregnancy or nursing, a reality that is also often ignored in standard lingerie sizing. Now with wire bras making a return as women go back into the office, Soma has built a bra that aims to provide confidence-building support coupled with that work-from-home comfort women have grown grown accustomed to over the past two years.
The Soma Innovation Lab has released the following information on the construction of the Bodify: Flexicup Pad Technology, the patent pending technology found in the cups is made from a self-adjusting material that flexes and recovers to adapt as a woman’s body shifts throughout the month. When body heat is applied, the material softens, promoting a customizable stretch that tailors itself to match breast density, size and shape. This elasticity prevents the neckline from cutting in and conforms to each breast without gaping. Floataway Wire Construction: Complementing the Flexicup Pad Technology, Soma’s patent-pending frame-work design offers additional flexibility, natural lift and cooling benefits. Inner mesh panels beneath the cups promote breathability, alleviating overheating while allowing the cup to adjust to the body. This construction takes the pressure off the bra straps to provide independent support and appropriate lift, eliminating digging or slipping. Other solution-focused features include no-slip straps crafted with a soft spandex gripper; soft casing underwire support; and four-column hook and eye clasps for added customization.
Said Wilson, “It’s the closest thing you’ll see to a custom-fit bra that’s out there.”