Luxury Lingerie: Exquisite Intimates For Feeling Gorgeous

We love luxurious lingerie for all the right reasons: it’s sexy, and if we feel sexy then we ARE sexy. Looking good and feeling good are integrally tied, and we know that we project how we feel – even if we’re not trying.

And the reality is that in the world of lingerie, there’s now so much more to choose from: gone are the days when the alternatives were either the excruciating corset type lacy construction or the beige granny knickers and industrial grade bra from department-stores-we-won’t-name. Now we’re spoilt for choice, with a multitude of fabrics, laces and design options, and it’s become more a matter of asking where to find that very personal combo of the right quality, fit and gorgeous look all rolled together into one delectable offering that’s beautiful and wearable.

Enter Exquisite Intimates, the creation of designer Priscilla Kwok. Having worked with the likes of Stella McCartney and Elle Macpherson, Priscilla’s mission for Exquisite Intimates was to combine incredible fit and quality construction with exceptional fabric selections; she designs for stylish and discerning women who want the best in terms of how the lingerie feels and performs, as well as how it looks. Priscilla believes that really, we should have all our bras created for us (yes, she does this), but if you don’t have the time, you can experience her work by purchasing from her ready-to-wear collection.

We talked with Priscilla about the philosophy behind Exquisite Intimates, and what inspires her and keeps her up at night.

You have a wonderful background working with designers like Stella McCartney and Elle Macpherson. What stands out in your mind about this early experience?

I worked with Stella and Elle for three years and that was an amazing experience. I created the core collections for both brands that continue to run to this day; I learned a lot from them and it opened my eyes to the global market.

Stella is a fashion pioneer and one of her key design philosophies is to combine both feminine and masculine elements into her clothing while crafting a story behind each collection. Elle focused on achieving a balance between femininity and comfort, and her collections were designed to have broader appeal. From both of them, I saw that one must really understand a brand in order to create beautiful collections with character, while also developing unique ideas to make it different from others.

With my technical design background, the path I’ve followed melds technology into fashion. This approach not only uses beautiful luxurious materials, but we also utilize innovative technology to bond the wings without stitching – so the bra feels almost invisible and it smoothes your back. Before my first collection came out, I worked very closely with the manufacturer to continuously test the bra to ensure it met the intended goal. The process was pretty stressful, but the result was so rewarding. This early experience gave me invaluable exposure and knowledge of the high standards required to differentiate my work and succeed at an international level.

What’s the most important thing for people to know about Exquisite Intimates?

Exquisite Intimates prides itself on its every-day comfort and perfect fit, crafted with luxurious fabrics and lace. Each piece of fabric and lace is handpicked by me and I’m involved in every aspect from design and fitting through to production. We pay meticulous attention to detail in the design and construction of every item.

I’m always looking for gaps in the market that need to be filled. My designs are story driven and my inspirations come from my surroundings and daily experiences, e.g. seeing a beautiful piece of lace. I start drawing and refining, and then I create a prototype that I develop on industry fitting models to perfect the fit for each size. Fit is incredibly important to us. Candy Lo, a former Miss Asia and a Hong Kong actress, is one of our big fans and comments that she wishes that Exquisite Intimates were created much earlier to fill a much needed gap in the market; and Colleen Lau, a Hong Kong singer and actress, says she loves how our designs “beautify” her body shape.

We talked earlier about extending the brand into other categories. Tell us more about what you’re thinking.

We’re now finalizing our maternity, shape-wear and bridal collections, which we expect to launch in Q2 2015. This is largely driven by requests and feedback from our customers and fans. For our maternity line, I’ve combined cotton and fine silk (normally only cotton is used) to create a luxury and sensation while still maintaining practicality. When I was last in Singapore, I walked the entire Orchard Road strip searching for a good maternity bra for a friend and was frustrated by the limited choices.

We’ve also found from research that even though women in Asia are relatively petite, they still want to refine their body shape through shape wear. Our shape wear will be functional as well as beautiful, achieved through our innovative design, and our selection and combination of materials. This doesn’t currently exist in the market and we’re confident that our customers will be happy.

What’s been a surprise to you about creating the new business? Or it’s pretty much gone as you’ve thought?

As we had hoped and expected, we’ve been able to fill a much needed gap in the market for truly bespoke high-end lingerie. We’ve been surprised about the positive impact we’ve had on the lives of our customers. Our initial research highlighted that most women are wearing the wrong size bra and this has been proven correct from the many fittings that we’ve done. Our customers are delighted to be educated on all aspects of fit and our service has helped them with a variety of issues, including breast discomfort and back pain. We also teach our customers how to maintain the firmness and shape of their breasts through techniques that include proper massage and correct bra fitting.

What are the biggest challenges for you right now?

Our biggest challenge at the moment is trying to find the highest caliber fitting staff, and partners in the target locations we want to launch. We’ve been very lucky through our network to be introduced to some great partners, especially in Singapore, and elsewhere in Asia, we’re looking most closely at Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul, and in Europe, London and Switzerland. We think the customers in these locations really appreciate and are willing to pay for quality service and merchandise. In people and partners we look for individuals and companies with the same passion and drive that we believe sets us apart.

How would you describe your personal style? What kinds of pieces or brands do you love?

Personally, I love simple, elegant and clean cut design that I match with pop accessories. Stella McCartney is a personal favorite (or course!) because of her simplicity in design and high attention to detail. One of my most-loved Stella pieces is her Saskia stretch-candy and mesh gown released in 2012; it simply uses a black and white contrasting cut to showcase a woman’s beautiful curves. I also love something with a “wow factor”, like haute couture designer Zuhair Murad.

Who are your personal icons – the people who provide you with inspiration, courage, ideas or anything else?

I have loved drawing, creating and building since I was a little girl, and I give my love and thanks for this to my mum – not only for giving me the talent, but also encouraging me to participate in school exhibitions and to learn drawing and color matching. In fact, she taught me to always keep learning, and at the same time to use my knowledge to help society.

My mother ultimately encouraged me to pursue what I like. She loves art and design, but gave up her dream of becoming a designer to work hard with my dad in a restaurant so they could provide for my brother and I. So I feel that I’m able to continue her dream and make her proud, and you know, she’s not only one of my biggest fans, she’s also my test model during development; she’s tried all my new innovations and always gives honest feedback. When she tried some of my new designs that really enhanced her shape, she was so excited! Really, I couldn’t ask for a better inspiration, role model, or test audience!

View the Exquisite Intimates collection here: